MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Somewhere in a parallel GAA universe...

Hi Joe,
Thanks for the mail and sorry it took so long to reply. Getting ready for this
All-Ireland is actually more of a pain than I’d thought.

Granted I haven’t played in one before, but how big a deal can it be, really? The manager told us to keep a low profile, the flute, but the vet up the road asked me to stand in for a picture with the new bloodless emasculator he’s launching, so I did.

How was I to know the photo would get 8,000 likes on Twitter?

We were told to stay off
social media, but I’m a hoor for the retweets. As soon as someone starts dissing Conor McGregor I’m in there like a shot, bang. They can say what they like about my GPS stats in the last quarter, but hands off The Notorious, brother!

He was the reason I got into it the other morning with some goon down at the coffee shop, actually. You might have seen the video on Facebook, this guy asking me who I thought I was - just because I got out of the house for a chai latte! He’s lucky I only busted his nose (Between ourselves I think I might have cracked a knuckle but it’s hard to tell with the swelling.)

I don’t believe all this guff we got about staying out of town, which was part of the reason I headed in along in the first place. As far as I’m concerned I can’t discuss the game enough: I get a kick out of every randomer who stops me on the street and asks the same old questions time after time. I’m giving them the same old nonsense in return: what harm is there in that?

I’m pumped we’re staying in Dublin the night before the game, though in all honesty it’ll be tight for me to make the train up with work. Some of the lads must be made out of sugar and spice, they’re taking a couple of days off to take on water and rest ahead of the weekend. As far as I’m concerned it’s the perfect time to be front and centre with the job - you have a profile for a few weeks, why not make the most of it?

Though having said all of that, I won’t be taking on any overtime that week. I’m not a glutton.

It’s a while since I was in Dublin, mind you. The last time myself and herself checked out this new Mexican street food gaff. I can’t remember the exact location, I had a barrel of porter on board by the time we fell in there, but I’m sure if I retrace my footsteps I’ll find it again.

Granted, the two of us had dodgy tummies for a week afterwards, but once you build up a tolerance sure you’re grand. As long as I get the double-rare lamb kebab digested by 11 o’clock the night before I’ll be ready for road.

Jones’s Road!! (Lol).

I forgot to tell you, a few of the other players are taking up their own pillows to the hotel!!! Did you ever hear the bate of that!!! I had to stuff the weekend schedule they printed for us down my own throat to smother the
laughing when I heard that.

‘Oh we’ll be able to sleep better,’ ‘the pillows in the hotel mightn’t suit us, we need a good night’s sleep that night of all nights’.

As long as the WiFi is good in the hotel and I can get into Netflix I’ll be happy. I’ve the second series of House of Cards to catch up with, and with all my focus on preparing for the final, the night before is about the only window I have for a good binge-watch.

See you in Copper’s after the match!

Best Sean.

PS: Call to the hotel the night before if you’re stuck for a ticket, I’ll see what I can do.

PPS: On second thoughts let me know where you’ll be drinking that night, I might slip out altogether.

PPPS: I’m fierce confident.

Get ready to find out The Story Of Hurling

I’m not sure what your highlight was from the launch of RTÉ’s autumn schedule last week, but given where you are in the paper, one announcement may pique your interest.

The Game: The Story of Hurling is a three-part documentary which will air next year, and the title tells you everything you need to know. Disclosure: your columnist is involved peripherally but, more pertinently, knows the makers well.

Crossing The Line Films is the outfit which brought you the acclaimed recent documentary, The Farthest, about the Voyager space probes, and wildlife series such as Wild Cities. Serious operators for a serious project supported by the GAA; I’ll let you know more nearer to transmission time.

All about the money with McGregor millennials

A thought just on McGregor-Mayweather (no, don’t turn away).

Pal of mine made a good point about the millennial love for MMA and McGregor and so forth: for all the talk about a huge pay-per-view payday, anyone of his acquaintance looking forward to the bout over the weekend was watching an illegal stream, not buying it in.

It’s interesting that a generation who’ve grown up paying for nothing in the way of content have continued in that vein with their hero. I know there are vast generalisations in that statement tarring swathes of the population, but lookit, what else is a column for?

Next generation of tennis stars hit new heights

Interesting missive from The New York Times about the impact on tennis of... taller players.

Michael Steinberger produced some arresting statistics for the men’s and women’s game, starting with the demise of Martina Hingis’s career in the face of giants such as Lindsay Davenport and the Williams sisters, and moving on to the skyscrapers now populating the men’s game, including a 19-year-old who tops out at 6ft 10ins.

The ramifications Steinberger identified are striking — parents now wonder if their kids will grow tall enough to be competitive in the sport, and whether they should dedicate their lives to tennis if they won’t grow past six feet.

But most interestingly of all, he isolated the official heights of some of the biggest names in the sport: Rod Laver, 5-8; Jimmy Connors, 5-10; John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, both under six feet. Martina Navratilova, 5-8, Chris Evert 5-6 and Billie Jean King — 5-4½.

If you’re a height-obsessive like me, it doesn’t get any better than that kind of detail.


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