US comedian Josh Pray backs Kerry in replay after epic All-Ireland final
Social media personality went viral after watching his first hurling match last July
US comedian Josh Pray (centre) pictured with Dublin fans outside Croke Park. Photograph: Josh Pray
Sunday’s All Ireland final was “like the greatest sporting event times 25”, according to American social media personality Josh Pray.
A video by the US comedian in which he reacts with amazement on seeing a hurling match for the first time went viral last July, attracting over 140,000 views on YouTube.
His bewilderment at the sport, and that “everything about hurling seems like it hurts”, earned him a call-up for the All Ireland football final from Tourism Ireland and the GAA.
Like most fans at Croke Park on Sunday, Mr Pray wasn’t disappointed by the final.
“It was heart-pounding. If you could take that in a form of medicine, you’d wake from the dead.”
Look who we've teamed up with today - celebrity US comedian and top GAA fan, Josh Pray! Josh will be sharing blogs and videos on Ireland and Gaelic games with his millions of fans everywhere @officialgaa @CrokePark @GoToIreland pic.twitter.com/IsPM6Y05Ez— Tourism Ireland (@TourismIreland) August 31, 2019
He will not be at Croke Park for the replay “because of the 18 hour flight” but he added, “I would love to be back there next year. I want to go to the hurling finals.”
Although he was backing the Dubs before the match, he was much quieter about his allegiances in the stadium, saying “I had to remain neutral for the sake of peace”.
And he has switched sides ahead of the replay, predicting “I think five from five may come to an end. Kerry played with more speed, more desire, more attack. Kerry’s gonna come out on top, that’s my prediction. If they don’t, do not quote me on it”.
Playing in America
Thanks to his enthusiasm for the sport, Mr Pray – who has an audience of two million on Facebook – claims that some of his followers are trying to find opportunities to play Gaelic games in America.
During his brief visit to Ireland, Mr Pray also poured and sampled his first Guinness, watched a hurling match and met the Round Tower GAA club under-16 football team in Clondalkin.
However, just as he told viewers of his original video that he was “not tough enough to play hurling”, he won’t be taking to the football field anytime soon. “I don’t think I could play football. I don’t have the lungs for it.”
Having weighed in with a confident prediction for the replay of the football final, Mr Pray was less forthcoming about the other great GAA debate of the summer.
“I don’t know if it should be called a hurley or a hurl. Whatever the Gaelic association want, they can decide. If they want to call it a ‘hurl-bat-stick’, they can do that.”