LIFE AND DEATH . . . AND SPORT!
It has been some rollercoaster of a week in sport. From the high indignation surrounding the Brian O’Driscoll ‘scandal’ to the surreal happenings in the wind and rain in Pearse Stadium on Saturday for the football — while the rest of the national basked in glorious sunshine — to the collapse against Dublin in the Leinster final on Sunday.
Throw in the Tour de France, another big win for Katie Taylor, G Mac winning in Paris, the Lions’ victory, the Galway Races being launched and all the thrills and spills of a GAA championship weekend and it was hard to take it all in.
We all get emotional and passionate about sport but, for the most part, we allow some degree of sanity to prevail. The nonsense over the scale of the reaction to Warren Gatland’s decision to drop Brian O’Driscoll — a correct rugby decision as it turned out — was ridiculous.
Not only should the people who go on radio shows, in particular, talking about something they know nothing about — even the bloody politicians were throwing in their tuppence worth — be taken out the back and shot but so too should those who let them go on in the first place.
Sport is about injustices — perceived or otherwise — every bit as it is about skill, preparation, and enjoyment. Of course, one person’s ‘injustice’ is another’s rationale. It is what helps keep all of us captivated.
So from the glum faces coming out of Pearse Stadium to the ‘horror’ of what happened in Croke Park — where, by the way, the better team won and the GAA is all the better for it — it can be hard to work out the life and death of it all.
Defeat often impacts more on supporters than victories. There is disproportionate level of sadness and outrage to a loss than the joy and delight of a win. I suppose that’s human nature.
Which brings me to my favourite sports story of the week, perhaps of the year.
Scott E. Entsminger was a lifelong supporter of NFL side Cleveland Browns. They, as only a team you follow can do to you, often exasperated poor oul’ Scott, who keeled over and died recently at the age of 55.
His family discovered an usual request for his funeral. He requested that six Cleveland Browns be pall-bearers at his funeral ‘so that the Browns can let him down one last time’. Class.
SIGHT OF THE WEEK: Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, with the sun on the Reeks for Munster final day. Some setting.
THEY SAID IT: “There’s a lot of people who’ve been under him who have experienced the disappointment of Brian O’Driscoll being selected ahead of them,” Lions coach Warren Gatland after leaving Brian O’Driscoll out of the Lions squad for the third Test.
IT HAPPENED ON THIS DAY: 10th July 2008: American golfer Mike Souchak died at the age of 81. He is best remembered for a 257 he shot over 72 holes — including a 60 — at the Texas Open in 1955, which remained the the lowest score on the PGA Tour for the next 41 years.