I need to make a bucket list — things to do and see in sport before Death’s bony index finger gestures me towards that great, chalky sideline in the sky. Time running out. Must type quickly.
1. I reckon I have one World Cup left in me. I’ll be 32-ish around the time of the tournament in Brazil but I’ve never been fitter. The yoga is working wonders and I’ve cut down on the Wham bars.
2. Attend the Olympics, the Super Bowl and the World Cup final. If none of these events take place over the next few months, watch some clips on YouTube.
3. Take on Billie Jeane King at the Houston Astro Dome in a repeat of the Battle of the Sexes match. Win.
4. Be that guy who stands behind a TV sports reporter and mouth obscenities at the watching audience.
5. In the same vein, do a ‘wacky’ dance when you’re shown on the big screen at Croke Park.
6. Corner Jonny Sexton upstairs in Coppers and tell him where he’s going wrong with his kicking.
7. Corner Tommy Bowe upstairs in Coppers and warn him never to talk to/dance with my girlfriend again.
8. Sit on the beach at Lahinch until Paulie shows up with his surf board, having landed up after Munster training. Wait ‘til he’s togged out in the wet suit and looking forward to a quiet afternoon on the waves, as is his wont. Follow him past the wash, paddling quietly behind and then proceed to ‘drop in’ – as is the lingo – on every wave he chases. Observe how he reacts.
9. Watch this Spanish football Eamon Dunphy’s always talking about – over a cerveza with the great man himself.
10. Learn how to make a hurley. Break it off a dressing-room table-top.
11. Apply for a video analysis job in any number of sports. I need to get more use out of the Sky subscription.
12. This one might take some planning. Follow the dancing priest to his local supermarket. Then when the man, who disrupted Grands Prix and Grade One horse races with his jigs, pushes his trolley down the biscuit aisle, jump out in a kilt and hamper his progress with some high-kicking moves.
13. Be a ball boy at Wimbledon. I sent a letter off to Jimmy Saville a few decades ago on that score but have yet to receive correspondence on same. Unprofessional.
14. Play a round of golf with Barack Obama. You may not believe me but I did actually write several letters and tap out a number of emails to the White House. And knowing how the West Wing works from seven series of Aaron Sorkin’s drama, I also wrote to his press secretary, the chief of staff and his personal secretary. Months ago I read the basketball-mad POTUS had invested in a set of clubs and had a new found interest in the game – as do I. There was also plenty of speculation that the President would visit these shores during his first term. So I chanced it. He hasn’t replied as yet — but I get daily emails from the West Wing on health spending and other minutiae; what’s the craic Barack?
15. Require medical attention because of a sports injury.
16. Make it onto the MNS couch between Roddy and Dave Barry.
17. Check down the back of the Sunday Game couch for a few of Spillane’s All-Ireland medals.
18. Rick Reilly once asked the renowned American sportswriter Jim Murray if he kept a few extra columns in the bank for days when he had ‘the flu or a tee time or an incurably blank computer screen.’ “Of course not!” he replied, “What if I die one ahead?” Get one in the can anyway, for the days when Obama won’t answer your calls.
19. Interview Tiger Woods in monosyllables and see how he likes it.
20. Get into the All-Ireland final parade. I spent the day with the Artane Band on match day once but they wouldn’t leave me tog out because a) I only play the ukulele and b) I’m a galoot.
21. Ask Trap a single question in fluent, accented Italian — which I’ve learned phonetically from cue cards — and then watch what happens when he responds.
22. Remember that Jim Carrey movie in which he says yes to everything that’s asked of him? Or ever hear about those people who try to live without spending a bob for a year or eat only bodice? Well I’m going to follow Paul Galvin’s fashion advice. To. The. Letter.
23. Pamplona. Chase the bulls (see No 15).
24. Fishing with Big Jack.
25. Write the book my mother warns me never to write.
26. When the stewards are urged to go to their end-of-match position with that dramatic shout-out at Croker, run down the steps in a Batman outfit.
27. Get Jose Mourinho’s help picking my Fantasy Football team. I don’t understand where I’ve gone wrong.
28. Find the perfect conker.
29. Reclaim Cyril’s sombrero for those who died at the Alamo.
30. Party like it’s 1999 and watch every frame of the Snooker World Championships instead of studying for my mocks.
*Send luxury food hampers, boutique store vouchers and assorted – but expensive — gifts c/o the Examiner sportsdesk.
* firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @adrianrussell