MARIO ROSENSTOCK: “Four hours later, Roy left Saipan. And we went ‘ahhh, my God!’”
Did Gift Grub foresee the biggest saga in the history of Irish sport? It certainly sounds like it.
It may be 17 years since Roy Keane’s exit from the Irish squad on the eve of the 2002 World Cup, but it remains fresh in the collective memories of Irish people to this day.
People remember where they were the day it happened. They remember whose side they took. And we all can’t help but think of just how far Ireland might have gone at that tournament with the services of a man who, at that stage, was at the very peak of his powers.
Tensions between player and manager had begun to escalate prior to Keane’s departure, but few predicted the eventual explosive outcome that sent shockwaves through world sport.
Few, that is, apart from Mario Rosenstock, who put out what proved to be a very prescient sketch on Gift Grub on the morning of the day the shit really hit the fan.
Speaking to Dion Fanning on this week’s episode of Ireland Unfiltered, Rosenstock explained the circumstances behind the sketch, titled World Cup Classroom, and his reaction when the tension depicted in it materialised in real-life just four hours after it went to air.
“He (Keane) became such a huge public figure of interest and then, by the time Gift Grub was three years old, Saipan happened,” Rosenstock said.
“And I put a sketch out the morning (the Saipan news broke) - the morning - it was really weird. I put a sketch out called World Cup Classroom in which Mick McCarthy is the classroom teacher and everybody’s coming into class and Jason is there and Niall and everybody’s a good boy. And Roy is late:
Mick: ‘Roy you’re late’.
Roy: ‘What’s it to you?’
Mick: ‘We don’t like being late Roy.’
Roy: ‘What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it?’
Mick: ‘Roy, I’m not going to do anything about it.’
Roy: ‘So then, what are you going to do about the classroom?’
“Brrr - classroom went.
Mick: ‘Everybody, write an explanation or an essay on ‘why I’m afraid of the Cameroonians’. Roy, stay behind.’
“Right, and that was the end of the sketch. Four hours later, Roy left Saipan. And we went “ahhh my God!”
You can listen to the interview with Mario in full below.
Ireland Unfiltered, brought to you in partnership with Carlsberg Unfiltered, will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.