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Topics - Eamonnca1

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Too soon? Yup. But I'm going to stick my neck out and pick Cory Booker.  A lot of parallels with Obama. Young, smart, media savvy, black, good stories to tell (didn't he run into a burning house and save someone?), progressives like him, bipartisan work ethic (working with Rand Paul to fix the mass incarceration crisis), and by the time 2016 comes around he won't have been in the senate long enough to have picked up a dodgy voting record. He's denied that he's going to run of course, but so did Obama at this stage of the game. Hillary has too much baggage and too many skeletons in and out of the closet. Booker's a better bet IMHO.

General discussion / Intriguing sports that you don't see much of
« on: June 16, 2014, 04:57:46 AM »
Canadian football.  Look at the size of that field!

They have 3 downs instead of 4. If a field goal goes wide and drops into the (huge) end zone, a defending player can catch it and run. There's a yard between the teams at the line of scrimmage, which seems to make it a lot more open. Apparently they favor smaller players who can move quickly.  Anybody here ever watch it?

Bandy. Look at the size of that rink!

11-a-side on a rink the size of a soccer pitch. 45 minutes halves. Looks like great stuff. I've always found ice hockey a bit cramped, myself. This gives the players a bit of room to spread out, reminds me of how I always preferred outdoor soccer to indoor because there was a bit of room to play.

GAA Discussion / My hurling prediction for the weekend...
« on: June 06, 2014, 04:20:53 AM »
Sticking my neck out here, I don't usually do predictions because when you get them wrong you can look a bit ridiculous...

Hurling is going to appear on British television at a decent hour, with a British-friendly presentation and a positive spin put on it.  Interest in hurling is going to explode (or at least steadily increase) in Britain and it'll be a sensation.

Stuart Byrne column: Iím delighted Keelyís í42,000 moronsí comment has sparked debate

Stuey believes giving LOI players a profile and moving away from summer football are two moves which could attract fans.

IíM GLAD TO see that last nightís discussion on Soccer Republic about the recent friendly between Shamrock Rovers and a Liverpool XI has sparked some debate, especially on Twitter.

Dermot Keely said ď42,000 moronsĒ attended the game but I think the point he was trying to make was that a hell of a lot of people were effectively going to watch a reserve team. It sounded like he was finding it hard to understand that.

Thereís a big difference between paying to see Liverpoolís first team and a second string of youngsters and fringe players. But because it was in the Aviva Stadium and the Liverpool Ďbrandí was attached to it, there was a novelty about the match and the people came out in their droves.

It must be frustrating from Dermotís point of view ó being born and bred in the League of Ireland. Even for myself, seeing that many people go out to watch a reserve team when we canít get them to their local team is disappointing.

I would hope that last nightís programme can encourage more debate because we just donít talk about it anymore. There is no attempt to get into the minds of these people or plan to find out why more donít support our league.

Getting a reaction is great and I want fans to say what they feel so we can try and understand and move on from there.

There simply hasnít been a big enough effort made to encourage new fans in my opinion. One of the last measures of note I can remember was a television ad from four or five years ago which was funded by the FAI and featured an old man walking around an empty Dalymount Park reminiscing about the past.

It looked horrendous and might as well have been saying: ďIf youíre over 70, come watch the League of IrelandĒ. It didnít appeal to young fans, it didnít appeal to families, and there was no attempt to make a connection.

We need to give profiles to players in the SSE Airtricity League. I would love to see more interviews like the one with Chris Forrester on Soccer Republic last night. That creates a link between the supporter and the player.

You look at rugby and the GAA and how they profile their best players ó the likes of Bernard Brogan, Colm Cooper, Brian OíDriscoll, Jamie Heaslip.

In Irish football, the younger generation have no interest in the players because all they see is the likes of Steven Gerrard on advertisements. We need to start getting players on billboards, television adsÖ whatever.

You heard one of the fans talking last night about how he went to a League of Ireland game ten years ago and recalling how it was lashing rain. Is this guy for real? He went along and all he could think about was the weather. Does it not lash rain over in Anfield, no?
People perceive the League of Ireland to be something that itís not and weíve got to change that as well as a hundred other things. At the moment, we are doing nothing and the longer it goes on the more theyíre going to think that way.

We need to show them players like Chris Forrester and say: ďHave a look at this goal, look what this guy can doĒ.

You could debate it all day but there certainly are areas where we can improve. As a player who isnít long out of the game, helping LOI players to become role models for kids could be a start.

Iíve mentioned it before but summer soccer isnít doing us any favours either. We could be talking about this in 10 years and nothing may have changed because things take time, especially when you consider the mess Irish football finds itself in at the moment.

If there are changes you can make immediately or within a year, I would point to going back to playing during the old season.

We think about football between September and May in this country. When it comes to the summer months, itís the GAA, holidays, BBQs, going to the pub on a Friday. They donít associate the time of the year with going to a football match.

I felt as a player that when we changed to a summer season, the crowds would not be there in May, June and July. Itís a cultural thing. We donít live a country where the weather is always nice so when it is, we tend to do other things.

For me, reverting back to the old season is a start and I think we need to go from there.

What's the story with Irish soccer then? Is the FAI only focused on the international team and doesn't pay much heed to the domestic league? 

If the marketing is as bad as this article says it is, why is it so bad?  Is the marketing function being micromanaged by an organization that doesn't do marketing very well or doesn't understand why it's important?  If they hired a marketing agency or got their corporate sponsors to take care of it would they get better results?

Would a merging of the IFA and FAI* lead to better competition?

*I know, I know, "unlikely in the foreseeable future" and all, but humour me for the purposes of this discussion.

GAA Discussion / US colleges national championship 2014
« on: May 20, 2014, 08:39:45 PM »
Montana Grizzlies HC are making the local TV news again. They're one of many teams heading for New York this weekend for the nationals.  For the first time this year it'll include football.  The numbers are looking big already:

7 hurling teams.
5 football teams.
39 games.
2 fields.

Considering there were only three hurling teams and no football teams at last year's event, this is a significant jump.  The reason for this little growth spurt is the organization of collegiate games in the Northeast where most of these football teams are based.  Montana and Cal deserve credit for making the long journey, about 3000 miles in the case of Cal, 2,300 miles in the case of Montana.  Cal will break the world record for the longest distance travelled to a game by a collegiate hurling team.

General discussion / So...
« on: May 15, 2014, 08:22:58 AM »
"So" at the start of a sentence is starting to piss people off.

My question is, why do free staters end so many sentences with "so"? What does it mean when they do this?

GAA Discussion / New GAA championship ads
« on: May 12, 2014, 09:26:08 PM »
Is it just me or are these lame and unexciting?

General discussion / Films you haven't gotten around to seeing yet
« on: April 15, 2014, 03:49:55 AM »
Blazing Saddles
The Wizard of Oz
The Big Lebowksi

GAA Discussion / The assisted lift, or whatever it's called
« on: March 24, 2014, 06:08:39 AM »
When Rugby players do a line-out, nowadays they have a body to get in there and help them jump up higher.  Up he goes, and the man behind grabs him and lifts him up higher.

How come this has never been adopted in Gaelic football?  Is it because in the heat of the moment when a kick-out is coming in there's no time to get in position and get such a thing set up?  Hard enough for one man to get in position never mind two?  If that's the case then how come there always seems to be at least three or four players gathered up around the spot where the ball lands?  Would there be too much jostling going on to let it happen?

General discussion / The latest annoying social media trend thread
« on: March 20, 2014, 02:55:33 AM »
Today it's make-up-free selfies.  FFS.

GAA Discussion / Ground hurling v ground Gaelic football
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:41:45 PM »
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on football, so these questions are out of curiosity.

In hurling, if the ball's in front of the goals (your own or the opposition's) it's customary to "pull on it" and just hit it on the ground because it's quicker.  In fact trying to pick up the ball right in front of your own crowded goals is frowned upon.  The skills of ground hurling are revered in the GAA and a lot of time is spent practicing them in training.

In Gaelic football, every time I've seen someone kick the ball on the ground the reaction from the sideline is always "pick up the effing ball, this isn't soccer."  I've never heard a hurling coach roaring "pick up the effing ball, this isn't hockey!"

Is there a tactical reason for this or is it a cultural aversion to soccer?  I've seen situations in Gaelic football where I think it would be better to just kick the ball directly on the ground, but it seldom happens.  I once saw a footballer getting boxed in on the end line with the ball at his feet, and he did a soccer style dribble to get out of it before picking up and scoring. Nobody saw that coming. Surely some of the skills of soccer have their uses in Gaelic football? Are players being pressured into avoiding the use of potentially useful ground-based skills for ideological reasons?  Or is football different enough from hurling that different tactics have to apply?

General discussion / Iconic sporting images
« on: March 01, 2014, 03:34:45 AM »
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GAA Discussion / The untapped global potential of Gaelic games
« on: February 27, 2014, 06:49:40 PM »
(I've asked a moderator's permission to post this per Rule 7, he was okay with it)

This thread is to plug my book, Waiting to Launch, The Untapped Global Potential of Gaelic Games.

Gaelic games have been played outside of Ireland since before there was a GAA to regulate them.  While other games such as soccer, rugby and cricket went on to become globalized sports enjoyed by millions of people and watched by billions, Gaelic games did not.  They remain largely confined to one country with only a small following elsewhere, chiefly among communities of Irish emigrants.  How did this happen?

This book is in three parts.

Part 1 is a personal account of the author's attempt to bring hurling to a broader audience in the United States.

Part 2 is an examination of how today's globalized sports came to their dominant position after having been codified in England, and compares their fortunes to those of Gaelic games.

Part 3 makes the case that the GAA needs to change its approach to the worldwide dispersal of Gaelic games in order to be more ambitious, and includes a series of radical proposals aimed at achieving a more globalized audience that is not limited to small communities of Irish emigrants or their descendants.

It will be available as an eBook from Amazon shortly, and hard copies will be available later.  In the meantime, head on over to the website where you can read a sample chapter, and gimme a like on the Facebook page.

General discussion / Necknomination
« on: February 02, 2014, 03:32:01 AM »
I don't approve of this meme.

That is all.

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