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Reflecting On A Crazy Weekend Of Sport

Mark Farrelly
By Mark Farrelly
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It ended as it started – at The Masters. Actually come to think of it, it started before that, with Pappis Cisse scoring yet again for Newcastle on Friday afternoon. But that is just a distant memory now. Most of the weekend is now a haze. It feels like we’ve all been on some sort of three day sports binge, which has brought us all together in a way that the drink never could.

Where to begin? Rory McIlroy and Fred Couples, they were there I think. They must have gone home early or something, left when the craic was only getting started. That other fella Tiger Woods was there too. Probably fecked off to meet some young one, he’s a divil like that. Don’t think any of them were seen after Friday.

It wasn’t until Saturday afternoon that things properly started to warm up. The soccer and rugby were in full swing. Celtic had just won the league, and Edinburgh beat Toulouse in one of the biggest Heineken Cup upsets ever. It’s all starting to come back to me now.

Would I be right in saying there was something about a guy and a couple of boats? Yes, somewhere in between both of Chelsea’s offside goals, a Danny Higginbotham lookalike interrupted the Varsity Boat Race. He was protesting against elitism I recall. I remember his tweet now, “A tweet to the elite your our targets now #SplishSplash is just beginning”. He can give out about the elite all he likes but at least they use punctuation, and know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.

Anyhow, back to Chelsea v Wigan. It’s hard to not to feel sorry for poor Roberto Martinez. Wigan’s miraculous survival come the end of every worry ladened season is nothing short of inspirational. Every year we write them off, and every year they defy the pundits. However, I fear that Saturday’s result could mean that this year’s relegation battle is one skirmish too many.

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Oh there’s a funny story from our weekend coming back to me now...Dirk Kuyt’s miss against Villa, ah that was hilarious alright. Ever since the demise of The Simpsons, my new favourite comedy show has been Liverpool FC. Although I do think they’re beginning to turn a corner. Their fans finally seem to be coming around to the idea that the criticism by others of their team is, in fact, not some sinister plot, but fair judgement. It’s a pity Dalglish hasn’t coped on to that yet.

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Saturday night came and with it brought the 2nd round of shots The Masters. Phil Mickelson was good banter for an auld fella, he kept us entertained for the most of the night. On Sunday morning there just enough time before mass to upload a video of Mickelson’s flop shot on the 15th. Half way through mass I start to panic, “Did I spell his name ‘Mickleson’ in that post by any chance?” Also I never remembered to check how Paul Brady and Michael Finnegan got on in the handball doubles final. How can the priest keep lamenting on about Mary of Magdalene, when there are such urgent matters to attend?!

Sunday afternoon was when we started into the hard liquor. Come 2:30pm we had Ulster v Munster, and Man United v QPR streaming on the laptop, Cork v Dublin on the TV, and the Cavan v Antrim match on the radio. Every minute brought with it a new emotion. Every tackle that Ulster put in was met with a chorus of delight, only to drowned out by cries of angst as Cavan conceded goal after goal. United won, albeit thanks to an offside that wasn’t given, and a sending off that shouldn’t have been. But what’s the point in winning the league if you can’t enrage everyone else whilst doing it?...Oh hold on a minute, where the hell was Stephen Cluxton yesterday? That fella never shows up to anything.

Arsenal vs Man City, now there was yet another highlight. Pslam 30:5 reads “Joy cometh in the morning”. I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure they meant “Joy cometh in the 84th minute, when Mikel Arteta pops up with an absolute screamer, which virtually hands United the league”.

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Then there was my 30 seconds of fame. After Balotelli’s sending off I tweeted Gary Neville’s reaction, “City’s a circus, and every time I’ve been to the circus there have always been some clowns at it”. The retweets just kept coming and coming. Within minutes they were in the hundreds. This is it; my whole life had been building up to this moment. I prepared a short speech but alas the moment passed, and we moved on to the next stop on our weekend long pub crawl of sport.

Augusta is a classy spot. It’s more like The Claredon than Copperface Jacks. There’s still a slight chance you’ll get the shift, but in truth you should just stay quiet and admire the scenery. The final round of The Masters brought our weekend together to a close, but God did we finish in style. Remember early in the night when we all shouted at the TV in unison? “Albatross! Albatross!” What an unbelievable piece of brilliance to witness, but more was yet to come. Midnight beckoned and the hardcore amongst were not floundering. Some of our comrades had ended their binge and gone to bed, but most ignored their bloodshot eyes, determined to see this out to the end.

Our commitment was rewarded. The whole weekend could be summed up in two words – Bubba Watson. It was his joy, his tears, his victory, his reward, and our shared pleasure that encapsulated everything that this weekend was about. What every weekend of sport is about. So whether you spent the last few days enjoying the action on TV, or at a county match, a club game, heck even if it was at an under 12s egg and spoon race, I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope we’ll have a weekend like this again soon dear friends.

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pic: bbcsport

 

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