Fifty* random observations about the Allianz Leagues.
(*may not be 50, per se).
*Favourite league car park? The schoolyard down the hill from Pearse Stadium.
Plenty of commentary available on the Saracens salary cap controversy across the water, I see.
What’s noteworthy is a) the cohort of Saracens loyalists in the media persisting with a ‘nothing to see here’, and b) the cohort wailing about the implications of this controversy for ‘rugby values’.
Some of the latter fire is being directed by people in glasshouses who should remember ... well, you know how that one ends.
Better all round to consider the example of Billy and Lanlih Holland, who were on The Late Late Show last Friday night speaking about their daughter, Emmeline.
A heart defect meant she passed away last May at just six months old and her parents are fundraising for Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Cork University Hospital, and Ronald McDonald House (details here).
Advocating for those services while dealing with the grief of losing a child?
Those are values any sport would be proud of.
Elsewhere on this page I have mentioned the league, which is usually described as the GAA’s secondary competition. Often in the league’s presence.
This strikes me as akin to naming your favourite child while your other children are in the room, and as a result I spend idle hours wondering how to make the league more attractive, though by hours I mean actual seconds.
One innovation I might not be forwarding to Croke Park is a little development that caught my eye across the water.
The Kansas City Chiefs have made the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years, and in the game they won to get there, actor Paul Rudd was one of their “spirit captains”.
Yes, you are reading correctly.
Before their last game, Rudd joined “team owner Clark Hunt as the two men on the Chiefs’ drum deck, banging on the ceremonial war drum to fire up fans before kick-off”, reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Now, you may be sniggering about a team which has a ‘spirit’ captain, but this is relevant to us. There are ‘ramifications.’
Rudd has an Irish pub in his home and has often visited these shores; he is fond of Kerry and Sligo but his late father had planned to retire to ... Cork.
As a consequence I expect to hear shortly that Ronan McCarthy and Kieran Kingston have been contacted by a disconcertingly youthful 50-year-old with Anchorman and Friends on his CV.
The good news is that the Chiefs play in red, so at least he’s got the right colours before being formally announced as a spirit captain on this side of the Atlantic as well. Get your drums ready.
Long-time readers will recall my suggestion some time ago that Briarpatch by Ross Thomas would be worth a read, and now a television incarnation is on the horizon.
I leave it to the technologically adept to work out how to access it, legally or illegally. In a similar if somewhat more highbrow vein, a reader suggests Tom Drury as a broadly similar writer. I collected The Driftless Area and The End of Vandalism last week and will report back in due course. I did notice, mind, that The Driftless Area has already been made into a movie so if you see that do report back in due course yourself.