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Cannon Guide to St. Patrick’s Day

Let’s have a bit of craic today

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets
Look kids, a leprechaun!
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, from your friends at the Cannon!

When Mike assigned me this day to write an article, I knew I had to do something related to this holiday. As an American who is proud of his Irish heritage, I wanted to share a bit of that with you all. There’s some hockey content here, too!

First of all, it’s Paddy not Patty

Irish people get really sensitive about this. “Patty” is a piece of meat. “Paddy” is the proper short form of Padraig, the Irish version of Patrick.

Soundtrack

Music is a huge part of Irish culture, and I can rave about classic Irish music, or popular modern acts like Van Morrison or U2. Today I’m going to highlight Thin Lizzy. “The Boys are Back in Town” has become a bit of a meme lately, but if you listen to that entire Jailbreak album, you’ll find the whole thing is great.

Learn the language

Want to express your frustration at a shot-less power play but don’t want to offend any children in your section? Swear in Irish instead! WARNING: This video contains no spoken English, but does have vulgar subtitles.

Irish food: better than you think!

I was surprised when I traveled to Ireland and found that corned beef and cabbage was not a staple there. Growing up, I was used to that being the annual family dinner on March 17. It is more of a poor Irish immigrant meal than a genuine Irish dish.

The food in Ireland is pretty good, reallly. The coastal towns have fresh seafood (it’s an island, after all). Everywhere else there is high quality, fresh beef and lamb. Everywhere you go, you see tons of cattle and sheep dotting the landscape.

It’s all very hearty stuff. For a cold day like today, I’d recommend a beef stew, made with Guinness.

Oh yeah, you want to know about the drinking

It’s a stereotype that Irish love drinking, but it’s not without basis in fact. Guinness is iconic, of course, but I’d like to focus on whiskey. Whiskey originated in Ireland, with the name deriving from uisce beatha, the Irish phrase meaning “water of life.”

The famous brands are Jameson and Bushmill’s. The best Irish whiskey I’ve ever had was Midleton Very Rare. That one is over $100 a bottle so for something a little more economical, I’ll recommend Green Spot:

Slainte

I find that Irish whiskey falls between the peat flavor of Scotch and the sweetness of bourbon. Green Spot has that distinct smoky flavor you expect from Irish whiskeys, but is smoother than most. It’s quite pleasant, and can be found at liquor stores in Columbus.

You promised us hockey content

So I did!

First, there was a documentary that claimed the Irish invented hockey in Canada.

Ice hockey is not very popular in Ireland. Here is the reaction of some Irish watching hockey for the first time. Enjoy them trying to pronounce “Anisimov” and trigger warning: Bob gets scored on here:

As Fletcher mentioned in Cannon Blasts earlier this week, former Canucks goalie Alex Auld traed places with an Irish hurling star. Here is the entire episode. It’s a very fun watch:

Look for former Blue Jacket Manny Malhotra teaching Lee Chin how to skate and shoot.

Want to see more of hurling? Sure you do. Here are highlights from last year’s All-Ireland Final:

Hurling is a sport with 2000 year history. Legends of Irish myth like Cu Chulainn are said to have played. Irish golfer and broadcaster David Feherty once said hurling was like “lacrosse mixed with first degree manslaughter.” I’ve always said that hockey goalies are insane, but I think hurlers may be even moreso.

Take a trip

I made a trip to Ireland 2 years ago with my family and it was the greatest experience of my life. I felt very at home over there. The people are so warm and welcoming. The landscapes are stunning. I was not prepared for just how green the land was.

While visiting Cahir Castle, I could not pass up a chance to take a picture with a cannon, that I could someday share with all of you at The Cannon.

Have a fun, safe St. Patrick’s Day holiday

Do any of have any family traditions for this? Any good recipes? Any preferred Irish whiskey or beer?