Every Day … EVERY DAY … Is A Great Day for the Irish

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone.

And I mean everyone.

So put everything aside that divides us, leave all the world’s troubles in the gutter to be picked up by the street sweepers after the parade, and let’s celebrate our life on Mother Earth.

That’s what my dear mother, the late Florence Riley Fineran, would want us to do today. Mom didn’t see Black and White. She saw all colors. She didn’t preach hate. She loved. It’s as simple as that.

And Momma Flo would add:

If we can do it for one day, we can do it for a week.
If we can do it for a week, we can do it for a year.
If we can do it for a year, we can do it for a decade.
If we do it for a decade, we can do it for a century.
If we do it for a century, we can do it for all eternity.

So enjoy this day God has given us, enjoy it with family and friends if you. If you can’t, say a prayer for them. Enjoy a Guinness or two (or three or four, but make sure you have someone to get you off the floor and into a taxi). Enjoy some corned beef and cabbage, especially the kind the late Florence Riley Fineran lovingly made for her family every March 17.

And have consideration for those around you, if you get my drift.

The greatest fight … 9 minutes and 58 seconds … ever filmed. From John Ford, who won an Oscar for its direction, “The Quiet Man,” 65 years and still going strong. Check it out tonight at 9:30 EST on the Turner Classic Movies channel. Guaranteed to make you laugh, make you cry and to make you Irish for the rest of the day.

The Notre Dame Victory March played yesterday in Buffalo when the Irish men’s basketball team survived a valiant Princeton effort for a 60-58 victory. Today on St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, Notre Dame plays UMass Lowell in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament at the TD (yick!) Garden. Tonight, the Irish women’s basketball team, coached by Muffet McGraw herself, open NCAA play against Robert Morris on their home hardwood in South Bend. Faith and Begorrah.


Now the Irish are known for their sense of humor and we often take our time telling a good story. Here’s one I came across and hope you enjoy.

Two men were sitting next to each other at a bar. After a while, one guy looks at the other and says, “I can’t help but think, from listening to you, that you’re from Ireland.”

The other guy responds proudly, “Yes, that I am!”

The first guy says, “So am I! And where abouts from Ireland might you be?”

The other guy answers, “I’m from Dublin, I am.”

The first guy responds, “Sure and begora, and so am I! And what street did you live on in Dublin?”

The other guy says, “A lovely little area it was, I lived on McCleary Street in the old central part of town.”

The first guy says, “Faith and it’s a small world, so did I! And to what school would you have been going?”

The other guy answers, “Well now, I went to St. Mary’s of course.”

The first guy gets really excited, and says, “And so did I. Tell me, what year did you graduate?”

The other guy answers, “Well, now, I graduated in 1964.”

The first guy exclaims, “The Good Lord must be smiling down upon us! I can hardly believe our good luck at winding up in the same bar tonight. Can you believe it, I graduated from St. Mary’s in 1964 my own self.”

About this time, another guy walks into the bar, sits down, and orders a beer. The bartender walks over shaking his head and mutters, “It’s going to be a long night tonight.”

The guy asks, “Why do you say that?”

“The Murphy twins are drunk again.”


The greatest Irish-American athlete? According to Conan, it’s Shaquille O’Neal.

Came across this piece done by comedian Conan O’Brien shortly after he replaced David Letterman on the “The Late Night” show on NBC. You will particularly enjoy references to the Kennedys and famous Irish Americans.

Many of you did not have the privilege to read the musings of Jim Murray, the late, great sports columnist of the Los Angeles Times. The man was a genius with his pen, notebook, typewriter and computer. Some of my favorite columns he wrote were after Notre Dame-Southern California football games in Los Angeles – he wrote those as if he was eavesdropping on a conversation between two Irish men at a bar.

“The Word” (Jim Murray, left) and “The Voice” (Vin Scully).

There are collections of his best columns … Best? Everything James Patrick Murray wrote was the best, Period. He won a Pulitzer, for God’s sake. Those collections are available on Amazon.com. I urge you to get one. I’m also going to save up my pennies for the book, “The Poet: The Life and Los Angeles Times of Jim Murray,” written by Steve Travers, a USC grad (I won’t hold it against him).

Just before he died, I got to know Jim, who loved covering the Indianapolis 500. Just before the race, we started to walk to the first turn so we could see the green flag start – 33 cars making a left turn at 200 miles an hour. Jim decided he didn’t want to make the complete trip, so he asked me to stop at a big oak tree halfway there. As he approached it, he saw a friend of his, a fellow golfer at Bel-Air Country Club near Hollywood.

“John,” he said to me, “meet Jim Garner.”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, my old friend. Miss your one-liners.

On Oakland, Calif.: “Oakland is this kind of town: You have to pay 50 cents to go from Oakland to San Francisco, but coming to Oakland from San Francisco is free.”

On New Jersey: “Its principal export is soot.”

Los Angeles “is underpoliced and oversexed.”

His famous lead for the Indianapolis 500: “Gentlemen, start your coffins.”

UCLA basketball coach John Wooden “is so square he’s divisible by four.”

On Merlin Olsen: “He went swimming in Loch Ness and the monster got out.”

On Billy Martin: “Some people have a chip on their shoulder. Billy has a lumberyard.”

On Sandy Koufax: “Sandy’s fastball was so fast, some batters started to swing while he was on his way to the mound.”

Tommy Lasorda “is as noisy as a bowling alley.”

Willie May’s glove “is where triples go to die.”

“Don Quixote would love golf. It’s the impossible dream.”

Someone please find us a translator …

To be played as you get sleepy early in the morn on March 18.

Aren’t they always?

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.