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My nephew, but nine years of age,
Appeared on the Cup Final stage
Last week. He held fast to the dream
To lift the trophy for his team.
But sadly it was not to be
As Woodlawn went down to Clonee.
At three-two down they were on top.
The constant pressure did not stop.
They hit the woodwork, then they skied
An open goal both high and wide.
And then, to rub the salt right in,
Clonee notched one more goal to win
By four to two right at the end,
When Woodlawn chose not to defend.
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Young Emmet bore the cruel defeat
Quite well. The torture was complete
When told ‘twas proper to applaud
The winning team with their reward.
With lit bit deep, young Emmet clapped,
Nowhere to run and hide. Quite trapped.
And when the Cup was lofted high,
I knew he felt the urge to cry
And sob and rail ‘gainst fickle fate.
But no, he kept his face set straight
And did not once resort to wails
That losing finals oft entails.
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And, while the New Man of today
Is taught in the new-fangled way
That “crying brings its own release”
And serves to foster “inner peace,”
To me, it seems that floods of tears
Should not be shed amongst your peers.
I have no qualms ‘bout private grief,
Where crying brings its own relief,
But Terry’s tears left me quite cold,
Somewhat unseemly to behold.
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Did Smithy sniffle? Bremner bawl?
Did Chopper ever cry at all?
And did Gentile sob and wail
And leave a lachrimonious trail?
No, these were men. Their hurt ran deep
As Terry’s but they did not weep,
But faced the world with stoic stare
That gave no trace of their despair.
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And, up and down the land, will kids
Now take defeat with moistened lids,
And bawl and shake with trembling lip?
And is it now good sportsmanship
To cry like babies when you lose,
Not give the other team their dues,
Not try to gee your teammates up
Because you haven’t won the Cup?