Our love/hate relationship with sport

It’s been another rough week for Pat. Or Tom. Or Ger. Whatever you want to call him, you know him well anyway.

Our love/hate relationship with sport

It’s been another rough week for Pat. Or Tom. Or Ger. Whatever you want to call him, you know him well anyway.

A great dread came over Pat around half nine on Wednesday evening as an horrific, unthinkable vision loomed large in his mind’s eye: Liverpool completing a Premier League and Champions League double.

The prospect never felt more real and he skipped the local altogether. He could imagine the jubilation and the goading. The same shit that has made WhatsApp unusable.

If he has to see Klopp do that pneumatic drill goal celebration again, he’ll gawk. Thought Rodgers’ hand in the pocket salute was bad. And don’t start him on Ronnie Whelan or Steve McManaman on BT. He doesn’t remember pressing the red button for Fanzone.

It was a bad week all around. Schalke, what a joke. Why doesn’t anyone try a leg against City? Then Aubameyang with the mask. Typical Arsenal. A wonder he didn’t take a selfie.

Then there was Declan Rice’s award. Typical FAI. Typical journalists. Pat can’t decide if he’d prefer Rice to never win another cap or to cost England a World Cup.

It’s a pity, because he always had a soft spot for West Ham. Where are they now in the table? Still only 11 points above the drop zone. Wouldn’t it be magic if they somehow went down.

At least Forest lost during the week. Martin O’Neill would be unbearable if they went up, though it was galling to see John Terry celebrate. Rangers out of the cup too — doubly sweet because of Stevie G.

It’s hard to keep track of all the teams Pat dislikes. And why. There’s a good few hatred derbies, classlessicos, every season where it’s Hobson’s choice.

Newcastle, because of the Spanish waiter. Leicester now, due to Rodgers. There’s historic enmity with Blackburn. And he saw Sunderland slipped up too during the week. He’d love to see them marooned in League 1 for another year, for some reason.

Not forgetting Dundalk. Suppose they won last night. You’d swear they invented football. Hopefully Troy Parrott is decent, but he wouldn’t mind seeing the U21s ship a few beatings to quieten Kenny for a while.

Pat knows well why he hates Tipp.

Hurling is destroyed anyway with all this tippy tappy stuff — let it in, to feck — but there is nothing worse than Tipp when they are going well. All those flicks. Harlem Bogtrotters, the arrogance pouring out of them. And that Tom Semple’s field, home of hurling bullshit. Their backs will be riddled in May, please God.

And don’t talk to him about Ruby. That put the tin hat on the week.

For all the hype about this massive sporting weekend, will any of it be worth watching?

Pat hasn’t much interest in golf, but he’ll keep an eye on the Players, hoping that McIlroy bottles it again. He’s another lad cut from the same cloth as Ricey, buttering his bread two sides.

He’d love to see Dirty Leeds lose this morning. Be nothing worse than have them back in the Premier League.

And hopefully Galway bate Wexford out the gate later on, soften Davy’s cough for a while.

The rugby crowd sicken his hole, especially the Leinster crowd. He used to follow it back in the day, but hasn’t seen anyone beat a man since Simon Geoghegan.

But this nonsense with the roof is typical Wales, same way they shafted us over the World Cup. He nearly hates the Welsh as much as the English. The only problem with beating them is letting England win the Championship. It’ll stick in his craw to hear Eddie Jones crowing.

Pat wouldn’t open the curtains to watch the Gah, these days, the handpassing has it ruined.

And he has no idea who Cork are playing. But it would be nice to see that Kerry crowd bet tomorrow, all the same. Of course they got your man off for the final. Another stroke.

Watch the Formula One? You must be joking. You’d be as well off out the South Link looking at traffic. But hopefully Lewis Hamilton gets his comeuppance this year. He’s some sickener.

Suppose there’s no chance Swansea would muster something in the Cup today. No doubt City will get a soft spotter in any case, if the need should arise.

He’ll stick on the box anyway, on the off chance. And no doubt he’ll hear from the brother within seconds if anything goes wrong for United at Wolves tonight.

The two haven’t spoken since the nil-nil at Old Trafford, when they nearly got stuck in each other. They mightn’t survive a Champions League semi-final.

The only thing they can agree on now is the young fellas, and how they just don’t get it.

Pat can’t get any sense out of his lad yet. If he can coax him away from Fortnite at all, it’s all about Messi and Ronaldo.

He wants Spurs gear because of Harry Kane, but he’s obsessed with Mo Salah too. He loves Johnny Sexton and he pretends to be John McGrath at hurling training. And Sean O’Shea at football.

He hates nobody. When is he going to pick a team to support so he can appreciate the true joy of sport?

Sport passes bribery test

The good people of America may not have been terribly shocked to learn this week that wealthy parents have been cheating the system to gain their kids a privileged education.

Though the fact it was the FBI breaking this news, having busted a $25million scam, has got their attention. The Feds have taken an interest, since 2011, in a little bit of bribery here and a bit of test result fabrication there, as well as the odd sham charity, as America’s super rich cut corners to filter their offspring into elite universities, to keep the golden circle turning.

And some of the USA’s most prestigious sports programmes have been drawn into what they are calling “the largest ever college admissions scam.”

Again, it may not entirely rock America to the core to find college sport hasn’t been doing everything strictly by the book. A long and colourful history of rewarding ‘amateur’ players by whatever roundabout means necessary has seen to that. But there has certainly been some imaginative chicanery here.

Among the highlights: a woman admitted to an elite rowing crew based on a photo of her using an ergometer and a wired payment of $50,000; a $250,000 donation to admit a football punter whose only kicking experience was in the picture his dad had photoshopped; $200,000 for a water polo recruit who togged out only once in the gear he’d bought on Amazon; and 2,150 shares in Facebook changing hands, approximate value $251,249, to get one girl admitted to a soccer programme.

Rogue coaches rather than the unis themselves are in the frame. When none of these ‘athletes’ actually played the sports they’d been ‘selected’ for, having taken somebody else’s place at University, injuries were typically used as the excuse.

Which at least provides one silver lining to this age-old tale of meritocracy manipulation. As far as the Feds are saying, you might be able to bribe your way into college, but no amount of money will get you your game.

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