|Thirteen Sports related memories
- One of my earliest sporting memories, you know, apart from playing three and in in the park, or kerbs by the kerb, is radio related. Who’d have guessed in this modern age of televisual delights, HD-mebobs, youTube footage, bittorrented goodness and all the rest of the technological greatness that is modern sports-watching. But then again, I am almost ancient now, approaching my third decade. Mein gott! the wrinkles… So back in the day, they had this device known as a radio. Whereby you could listen to people describing things that happened in front of them.
I’m guessing I was quite young, because I know we were on holiday in Enniscrone, camping and that was why I wasn’t watching on the telly I’m thinking 8. But that may be a purely random number pulled from the ether Right, eight years old, in the car, listening avidly to… showjumping. Yes, the Dublin Horse Show’s Nations Cup competition. I don’t remember who won, but I think we may have Whatever. Winners or losers, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that I remember it, and lo, it was good.
- Another barely recalled sporting moment, which isn’t really a moment at all, more like a collection of memories, is of All-Ireland final day. Now back in the dim mists of time when I hadn’t the vaguest of interests in sport these two days meant only one thing. No telly to watch. Because in those days there was no such thing a families having two tellies. Not a chance boys, nor did children enter into the equation when the parents wanted to watch something. So All-Ireland Sundays involved waiting for the sport to end. If it was a wet summer then that would involve sitting around, popping heads in doors, and gradually watching bits of the game. Or if it was good weather, then that meant you could play outside til the game was over, and you could always tell, because sunny days meant glare on the screen, and All-Ireland days were the only ones important enough to allow the curtains to be pulled during the day to facilitate telly watching. So roller-skating around the house, or whatever else, you could tell the moment the game was over by spotting that the curtains to the sitting room were now open.
- And now a real actual sporting memory: Watching Simon Geoghegan play rugby. I can’t give you a specific match or year, but sometime between 1991 and 1996 would be my best guess. This was when I started to get into rugby. As I’ve mentioned before, de mudder was always a rugby supporter, but I could never see the point of a game where you had to through the ball backwards and one of the main ways of advancing was to kick the ball into touch. Seemed boring and pointless to me. But what with there only being one telly in the house you sorta had to watch those Five Nations matches, and Geoghegan always stood out. And of course once you start watching and understanding the game then it is fairly easy to appreciate the sport.
- The Dublin-Meath GAA encounters of the early 90’s. They seem to have spent the entire summer playing each other
- Donegal winning the All-Ireland in 1992, beating Dublin. I’m not really sure why this sticks in the mind. I know I was supporting Dublin at the time, but it was still nice to see Donegal win. Living in Sligo you don’t really get too many sporting greats around, so seeing a neighbouring county do well is always nice.
- Euro ’88, I was in 4th class. I think. And such was the soccer-mania that qualifying for the European championships brought about, we had more than a few art classes where we did nothing but colour in flags or draw the footballers. Course, there was one fella who was so enthusiastic that when Euro ’88 was over he promptly set about preparing for Euro ’89 before being laughed out of the classroom as everyone explained about there being four years in between championships.
- And I couldn’t mention the Euros without mentioning the World Championship, and Italia ’90. The glory days of Irish football. I was on my yearly holiday in Tip when we played Italy. Fully confident that we would lose against Italy, but that didn’t dampen the excitement. And of course then I was proved correct when Scilacci scored that goal. But we didn’t really care. The team had gone there and done us proud. Okay, so they didn’t technically win a single match, but that didn’t bother us.
- Watching Barry McGuigan, I have no idea who he was boxing, or when this was, but I do remember staying up late watching on the Granny’s small telly. I can’t even remember if this was a fight he won. Not much of a memory, but I was maybe 6 or 7, so you’ll have to make do with hazy memory.
- Michelle Smith winning in the Olympics. Great while it lasted, but now totally, and deservedly overshadowed by the sample-tampering/whiskey in urine incident.
- Cian O’Connor winning the gold medal in showjumping. Okay, another drug incident. But until the drug story came to light it was a great achievement.
- Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough in the 1992 Olympics. I’m not even a boxing fan, but look, three boxers have already been mentioned here.
- Brian O’Driscoll scoring three tries against France. In Paris.
Asked for a comment on the field after the final whistle, Keith Wood, the Irish captain, was too happy for words. “Woooooooooo,” he screamed into an interviewer’s microphone.
Look at him, all young and unfamous, awww.
- Ireland V England in the Six Nations 2007. Croke Park, historical day and all that. The emotion of the anthems. The final score. Best rugby memory in a long while.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
- Selena Kitt
- The Flatland Chronicles
- Pistols, Passion & Potions
- the screaming pages
- (leave your link in comments, Iâ€™ll add you here!)