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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Lance Is Back

Astana? Astana? I've blogged about Lance before. I'm not a fan, but if his comeback brings attention to the world of cycling, in a positive way, then great. But to go to a team with the history of Astana....? Jeez Lance. You're making loving you even harder then I thought possible.

Friday, 12 September 2008

I'm A Cubbie

I love sport. If you don't know me, then you've probably gathered that by now. I hope. I am passionate. I love sport, and I love the teams I follow. Galway hurlers. Galway footballers. Galway United. Manchester United. Connacht Rugby. Kansas City Chiefs. Anyone who dons an Irish singlet. I follow them all.

I like other sports though, but sometimes I do so without following a team. I love the sport. I watch baseball, college sports in the US and can enjoy them without the manic obsession of devoting myself to one team. Tonight... I became a Cubbie.

I watched this film and, honestly, I cried. More than once. It is a piece of art - a stunning 90 seconds of video. It is the testimony of ten people, ten life-long Chicago Cubs fans. They range from 7 to 100 and all share one thing - they've never seen their side win the World Series. They are living through anguish - anguish known by Chiefs fans, by Connacht followers, by Galway United fans, by those of us who follow a side for reasons beyond the scoreboard. I empathise with these people - with Helen Kieling who has followed the Cubs for all of her life, and still hopes that she will experience the win some day, though she has all but lost her sight and hearing.

Sport gives hope. It gives pain and anguish, and pure joy. I love it. It gives me life. Watch this video - you'll understand.

Go Cubs.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Pollard Didn't Go Gillooly

I'm a Kansas City Chiefs fan. For my sins. Don't get me wrong, I love the red and gold. Love. There's a long story behind that, but feel free to ask some time.

We're set for a bad year. In fact, our high point may have been on Sunday when we lost to the New England Patriots. We will not get the same level of coverage again me thinks.

For those of you who don't know, Tom Brady is out for the season after a hit from our safety Brandon Pollard. It wasn't malicious. It just happened. It's a contact sport. I'm being neutral here. Honest. Check the hit out on nfl.com for proof. It did remind me of something though. The song below was written last year when the Patriots were invincible. It's very apt.

Explanation of title is here

Monday, 1 September 2008

The Premier League - Raging Bull Or Cash Cow?

It's transfer deadline day. Between work this morning (in Spin Southwest) and keeping an eye online since I came home, I've been keeping one eye on it most of the day. Well done the BBC!

The interesting move of the day, for me, is the purchase of Manchester City by a UAE based business group. SKY News say that these guys have ten times the money of Roman Abramovich and judging by the rumours today, they're willing to spend it too. They're just the latest club to be bought up by oligarchs - Aston Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United and of course Chelsea have all been purchased by owners from foreign lands in recent years.

I don't mind their origin. They can be English or Estonian for all I care. What does worry me is that these are businessmen, with their eyes fixed firmly on the ca$h they can make from these deals. SKY, Setanta (and increasingly foreign TV companies) have boosted the coffers of the Premier League as a whole. That money makes today one of the most fascinating days of the year, when (literally) hundreds of millions of pounds are spent on players from all corners of the world.

I worry about the future though. What happens when the bubble bursts? What happens when the owners pull out? Where will that leave the fans who have been loyal in the dark days of terraces, muddy pitches and All-English XI's? The bubble may not burst for some time - the Champions League etc. mean that the clubs have several sources of income. Yet, this will dry up in time. That's the nature of the market.

Speaking of the market, that very same commercialism has brought about these riches. It is the reason that the League is the strongest in the world. It is the reason that these oligarchs are here and, it is the reason that they cannot simply be banned/removed. The future is bright, for now, but in these times of economic uncertainty clouds will soon gather on the horizon.