Sporting autobiography season is really ramping up with Brian O'Driscoll's book set for release this Thursday.
O'Driscoll's new book takes us from his earliest days, sitting in the back of the car arguing with his sisters to his new life as commentator and analyst. Along the way, we get a very illuminating insight into his mindset, both on and off the pitch. Paul Kimmage certainly felt it a wrench to have to let go of the project. Here are six of the best little titbits to whet your appetite for the upcoming release.
The 'Northside knacker'
When O'Driscoll played soccer with Coolock, Donaghmede and Donnycarney lads, he put on his best Northside Dub voice...
On the train on his first day of school in Blackrock, he changed tack on threw on his poshest accent.
It didn't stop oe of the lads on the train dubbing him a 'northside knacker'
We need to talk about rugby nicknames
Nothing seems to annoy anti-rugby people (those who speak of egg-chasing and what not) more than rugby nicknames. One can almost hear them now ironically emphasising these nicknames in an exaggerated D4 accent, their faces contorted in disdain.
O'Driscoll's book is unashamed in its copious use of these nicknames, to the point where any player who is referred to by their full name in these pages has a right to feel insulted.
I get across the gain line in midfield, place it for Murr, and when I turn he's over the 22 and putting Trims in for a second try, under the posts.... Ferg comes on for Darce, then Basteraud runs straight at Sexto and knocks him out cold.
O'Driscoll did not say 'Do you know who I am?' to a bouncer in Coppers
His exact words were 'Sorry - you know me right?'
The bouncer wouldn't budge and directs him downstairs.
'I've achieved more than you'
O'Driscoll failed to win either a Junior or a Senior Cup with Blackrock College. This is supposedly a deeply scarring experience for any Blackrock kid, of the kind that might even require one to attend counselling in later years.
However, O'Driscoll doesn't seem overly perturbed all those years later. In his final year in 1997, Blackrock trailed Clongowes 16-14 entering the final moments, and Brian had four, yes four, pops at a drop goal, all of which drifted wide.
In 2001, with 15 caps and a hat-trick in Paris under his belt, one reveller from Grafton Street saw fit to remind O'Driscoll that he had something that he 'will never, ever fucking have.'
'A Junior Cup winner's medal'. The lad proceeded to unbutton the top of his shirt and dangle the medal in front of O'Driscoll.
'I've achieved more than you', was the youngster's final line.
2007 World Cup
The book covers one of the great mysteries of Irish sport - just what happened to the Irish team at the 2007 World Cup. And it contains a line which captures perfectly the frustration of that month.
It's like we've spent the best part of four years preparing to be tested at the highest level, then some imposters have gone in and sat the examinations.
The Big 'O'
For the hat-trick in the Stade de France, O'Driscoll made a strange gesture with his hands in the shape of an 'O'. People speculated as to why he was doing it. Was a tribute to someone recently deceased? An ex-rugby coach?
Well, no. A friend of O'Driscoll's sister, Oran Malone was fond of being referred to as the 'The Big O'. And in Buck Whaley's one night (where many a plan for an Irish sporting triumph was hatched) O'Driscoll was urged, by the man himself, to 'give a shout-out to the Big O' the next time he scored a try for Ireland.
Poor Oran told the story to everyone he met but, alas, no one would believe him. He has finally been vindicated.