Ireland and Northern Ireland: not the same thing. Geographically, they’re right there next to one another, and they both have “Ireland” in the name. Historically? It’s a lot more complicated. So perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us when Northern Ireland’s current favorite son, U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, doesn’t automatically adopt everything in the Republic of Ireland as his own.
That still didn’t prepare us, though, for McIlroy’s response on Dan Patrick’s show this morning as to whether Guinness has contacted him about a potential sponsorship yet:
Heineken?! Not the worst stuff in the world or anything, but…eh. Sure, Northern Ireland isn’t the exact same thing as Ireland, but it isn’t the exact same thing as the Netherlands, either. And fine, maybe Rory just isn’t a dark beer guy…but there are so many others to choose from. And for all the historical differences between Ireland and Northern Ireland, let the record show that when Guinness tested out a new product last year, it did so in two regions of the world: Malaysia, and…Northern Ireland.
There’s a plus side to this, though. McIlroy just gave very public praise to Heineken. Heineken is one of the world’s biggest brewers. They’ve got big bucks to play around with, and will no doubt take notice of this talented, likable young man’s fondness for their product. Maybe Guinness won’t be approaching McIlroy anytime soon, but doesn’t Heineken kind of have to? And if they do, if we were McIlroy, despite the many potential hangups involved with sports personalities endorsing alcoholic beverages, we’d be listening good and hard.