My name is not important... just know I'm here to bore you all.
I thought I'd better get off my considerable ass and write my first post on Four Dicks after committing to contributing to our little project. The thing is... I've got no idea what I'm going to write about tonight, with the exception of a brief introduction to some of the topics I intend to talk about. When I agreed with Donovan and Paul to start a collective blog (with Luke to follow about a minute later), I did so because I had been thinking for a while that I'd quite like to write about sport and the other things I like in my life such as music, television and video games (although I bow to the knowledge of every other contributor to Four Dicks when it comes to gaming).
The reason it's taken 3 days to get a post ready (I wanted my first to be fairly substantial in length) is because our house is currently undergoing a bit of a makeover for the past 2 or 3 weeks and quite frankly, the place is a shambles. Nothing is where it's supposed to be, there's no kitchen, daily periods of no electricity and a living room that as of today contains nothing but our, soon to be old, t.v. and a small wooden coffee table that's about 15 inches high that managed to hold the weight of both myself and my dad as we ate dinner and watched some of the build up to the US Masters, which starts today (Thursday).
On the upside, things are looking up, by Saturday we should have a finished kitchen, a painted living room and some brand spanking new televisions, including a deadly looking 32" Sony I bought for myself. Today I bought myself a wireless keyboard and mouse so I can hook my laptop up to the TV and use it as a monitor. This is the first thing I've used it for and already I love it more than they laptop keyboard I've been using for the past 18 months or so. Logitech job. Bargain.
Most importantly these new TVs will be broadcasting a myriad of sports in HD for the considerable future, which has gotten me excited in a big big way. We've been extremely late adopters when it comes to this kind of thing and it took quite a bit of arm twisting, but it's going to make everything about watching television so much better, and hopefully give me plenty of things to write about on here.
While sport probably isn't my favourite thing in life, there aren't many things I enjoy talking, reading and writing about more. I love music, but the subjective nature of music often puts me off reading, and subsequently writing about it. Still, that won't stop me throwing in my two cents every now and again.
The beauty of sports is that everything is much clearer, but not clear enough to kill off debate. Anyone can watch a game of some sort, yet still have wildly differing opinions on why things happened in the manner that they did, as the many hours I've spent chatting shite about different sports with all sorts of people can attest to.
I enjoy following lots of different sports, but the ones I tend to be most passionate about tend to involve a pitch and a round or egg-shaped ball. Soccer, Gaelic Football, Rugby and NFL are my favourite sports but I follow many others with differing levels of interest. I'd watch a decent bit of golf, but mostly just the 4 majors and the Ryder Cup, but increasingly more and more as the years have gone on. And at various stages of the year I'd get hooked on things like Wimbledon, The World Snooker Championship and the All Ireland Hurling Championship. Since ESPN have started broadcasting for free this year, I've found myself getting into NBA and College Basketball as well. Essentially, if there's a ball, a time/scoring limit and people are competing... chances are I'll watch it.
When it comes to the four main sports I mentioned earlier, my writing will probably tend to focus on the teams I support and I can imagine I'll probably want to write most about NFL, because for the last 3 years or so I've been absolutely obsessed with the sport. It's a sport a lot of people don't get, but I love it. Everyone's accountable, it can be so entertaining, and almost every game has the potential to be fantastic. The post-lockout season of 2011 was truly fascinating and everyone lived happily ever after because my New York Giants won it all at SuperBowl XLVI (46) in early February at Lucas Oil Field in Indianapolis. And despite the short season (16 regular season game, 4 playoff games) the NFL has truly evolved into a year round league, where there are big stories all the time. I'm currently listening to a podcast featuring in-depth analysis about the upcoming college draft where 250-odd college players will be picked by NFL franchises. In some ways it can be even more interesting that the season itself. I love it.
Right now in early April its clear that soccer (I get shit for calling it that, but I was always brought up calling Gaelic Football football but I'll try not to do it so much) is the most interesting sport to keep track of on a weekly basis with Manchesters United and City scrapping away for the Premier League and the unstoppable looking Barcelona (at least in the continental competition) seeking to win the Champions League yet again. The main disappointment of this season was Man Utd's failure in Europe which was pretty hard to take. I realise I've grown up in a golden era for United and the only other years I can remember them being this bad in Europe were 1994 and 2005. Even if United win the league all anyone I know really cares about this year is how Ireland are going to do in the Euros in Poland and Ukraine. I'm not sure how they'll do but that's a story for a different day.
When it comes to Gaelic Football, the league is coming to a climax on Easter Sunday but nobody really cares about it, despite my county, Donegal, needing a victory to avoid relegation. It's all about Championship football in the summer and I can't wait. Last year Donegal came from nowhere to win the Ulster Championship and were 35 minutes away from only a second All-Ireland Final ever, only to lose to eventual champions Dublin. Again... more about that later.
This upcoming weekend promises a lot of good sport. Hopefully we have the new TVs hooked up so we can take it all in. The US Masters from Augusta will be on all weekend and should make for some exciting viewing. A lot of people (in Ireland) anyway seem to be backing Rory McIllroy, and while I hope he can win it, I've got a sneaking suspicion that Tiger Woods is going to announce to the world that he's properly back and win a 5th Green Jacket. He's been looking good lately and it'll be interesting to see how he gets on.
Something else I'm very excited about is the return of Heineken Cup rugby, with 3 Irish provinces reaching the quarter-finals. Leinster and the newly-fit Brian O'Driscoll should have enough experience to put aside Cardiff Blue on Saturday evening, but the game I'm looking forward to most is Munster - Ulster on Sunday afternoon, even if it clashes with Man Utd - QPR. Ulster have done brilliantly this year, and should be good for several years to come, but I think Munster have been here before and will progress. Watching Ronan O'Gara play rugby when he's on form is one of my favourite things and after a fairly miserable 6 Nations for Ireland, where he failed to start a game because of the emergence of Leinster's Johnny Sexton over the last 2 years, I'm sure he's chomping at the bit to prove he should be the one wearing the no.10 jersey. Personally, I think he should be the one to start for Ireland, but Sexton is a quality player and I can understand why Declan Kidney picks him for Ireland ahead of ROG.
I've just noticed how much I've written in the last 45 minutes or so... without really saying much at all. I really need to learn to reign this shit in, but I'm new to this so it's going to take a bit of trial and error. I realise this is all a bit text heavy and that everyone has stopped readinh, but from now on I'll make sure to post some pictures and video to make things a little more palatable. I'll need to make sure my ramblings are somewhat more focused in the future, rather than the stream of pish consciousness I've just thrown out of brainbox. Until then...