Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose

Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose

We saw the full spectrum of masculine sports behaviour over the past week or so.

First up the demeaning of a young female Norwegian soccer player, Ana Hegerberg, by a boorish (male) French DJ, Martin Solveig, when – at the high point of her short but very distinguished career – he thought it acceptable to ask her to do a suggestive dance (presumably for the delectation of all the men in the room).

With Nordic sangfroid she declined the offer and turned away – showing the grace and steel with which she earned her Ballon d’Or. Showing the idiot up for what he is and what he represents. Continue reading “Sunshine or Shadow – We Men Must Choose”

Some Articles and Reviews in The Irish Examiner

Some Articles and Reviews in The Irish Examiner

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately.

Instead, I’ve been finishing off a crime novel. Honestly.

I’ve also been writing some book reviews and sport-related pieces for The Irish Examiner.

Here’s the proof (I haven’t been slacking), in reverse chronological order. Continue reading “Some Articles and Reviews in The Irish Examiner”

Admiration, Wonder, Joy.

Admiration, Wonder, Joy.

Sport is about emotion. I’ve said this before. Other things too, but mostly emotion. And sometimes the emotions aren’t good but we seek them out anyway. We make ourselves vulnerable to them, we put ourselves out there. We let ourselves be open and exposed. Not a common stance for men. We stick our unprotected heads above the parapet in the full knowledge we could get our blocks knocked off. Continue reading “Admiration, Wonder, Joy.”

England v Belgium – We’re Never Really Neutral

England v Belgium – We’re Never Really Neutral

An English novelist, a wonderful writer whom I greatly admire, Tweeted yesterday after Germany were knocked out of the World Cup. He wished there was a word that would denote one taking pleasure in another’s misery. Haha, very good.

And fair enough, too. The English have suffered a lot over the past 12 years, not winning one knockout game in any championship. Meantime, Germany only went and bloody won the last World Cup in the Maracanã, claiming their fourth in all. Three more than England. Continue reading “England v Belgium – We’re Never Really Neutral”

Who I’m Cheering For in World Cup 2018

Who I’m Cheering For in World Cup 2018

Karl Ove Knausgaard, in his book Home and Away: Writing the Beautiful Game, shares a series of letters with his friend Fredrik Ekelund about the 2014 World Cup. In his first letter he says that he will always cheer on Argentina and Italy in such competitions. And he does this because both teams are traditionally cynical, they never do ‘anything beautiful for the sake of beautiful, only if there is some outcome.’ And the fact that they can do so, but hold back, appeals to something deep in side him. Continue reading “Who I’m Cheering For in World Cup 2018”

A United Fan Watches Liverpool in the Champions League Final

A United Fan Watches Liverpool in the Champions League Final

Sitting in the sunshine, in the back garden, on a Saturday afternoon. Listening to Leinster, on the radio, win another European championship. And, as a Munster man, wondering what emotions I feel about that.

Looking forward too, to watching Liverpool in a Champions’ League Final against Real Madrid, this evening. Well, not looking forward, in case they win the bloody thing. Me, being a proud Manchester United supporter since the heady days of one skinny Irishman, George Best, back in the 1960s – himself later to play for Cork Celtic, not so skinny. Continue reading “A United Fan Watches Liverpool in the Champions League Final”