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A Different View

At the end of the day it’s a sporting cliché

Dave O'Connell

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Young Galway supporters at the Leinster Hurling Championship semi-final against Kilkenny at O'Connor Park in Tullamore last Sunday.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The World Cup coverage may have rammed home the point, but it’s long been obvious that footballers – and indeed sports people of all ilk – have an unhealthy preoccupation with the end of the day.

Not in the way Van Morrison sang about the end of the day, when we give thanks and pray….this isn’t actually to do with a cycle of daily life at all.

But in interview after interview, these Sporting Gods preface every second sentence with the phrase – and every other sentence begins with the word ‘obviously’.

In fairness to ‘obviously’ however, it can be seen as a moment to gather their considerable thoughts or perhaps to emphasise the point. At the end of the day, on the other hand, is a sort of modern equivalent to ‘when all is said and done’ – but it doesn’t have anything to do with dusk or, indeed, night.

Its use is often followed by the name of a sports pundit – or better still his nickname in the quintessential old pals act – as in: “at the end of the day, Gary” or “at the end of the day, Gilesy”.

Then it’s joined to a breathtakingly obvious fact: “At the end of the day Garry, football is a game of two halves,” and if you really want to reinforce your point, conclude your insight with ‘no question about it’.

Of course Eamon Dunphy can inject life into his analysis with the odd ‘f’ word, but that’s better than ‘I must be honest here’ – as though you’ve been lying heretofore – or ‘You’d have to say….’ when what you really mean is ‘I have to say’.

But we all know there’s a whole language to sports punditry that’s known only to those who practice very hard at it. Muck of the time it’s designed as a way to pretend you’re actually saying something critical when you’re really saying little or nothing at all.

So, star players are always ‘arguably’ the best players on the field, as though arguing over it someone strengthens your stance.

And one of the ways to win a football game is to play better than anyone could expect of you – as in, you give it 110%. Because to play to your full God-given potential is somehow never quite enough.

Good players, incidentally, will always step up to the plate. Which is fine if you understand the rules of baseball, but otherwise it suggests they’re forever eating big dinners, when they should really be watching their diet.

There’s no end to the sporting insights you can glean from players and pundits alike – gems like ‘a win is a win’, ‘we came here to win’ and ‘goals win games’.

Some games as ‘must win’ games – as thought others really aren’t – and good teams know that it’s never over ‘til it’s over….although occasionally the manager might concede that they simply ran out of time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Obituaries; the story of a life – told at the death

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Younger people think newspaper obituaries are just for older readers – a kind of version of the line about the elderly reading the death notices to check if they’re alive for another day.

How short-sighted they are, if that’s their take – because obits can be among the liveliest, most entertaining parts of the paper.

They take different tones of course; we tend to be more respectful; more of an appreciation than a critique, and normally written with the permission and oversight of at least a family member.

Those writing for a national or international audience tend to be less circumspect in their analysis of a celebrity’s lifetime – in part for the very reason of their fame.

In other words, the person must be well-known or at least at the head of their field, in order to justify an obituary in the first place – and therefore it’s in effect an evaluation of their life and legacy; the story of a life, told at the death.

That doesn’t mean it has to be reverential or funereal in tone; an injection of humour or context is important if it’s to properly reflect the life and contribution of the subject.

Take a few recent opening paragraphs, marking the passing of these people who ranged from household names to half well-known – like this socialite who was largely famous for being famous and for knowing other famous people.

“Marguerite Littman was beside the pool at the Hotel Cipriani in Venice with Tennessee Williams when a cadaverous girl came shambling past wearing a bikini.

“‘Look, anorexia nervosa,’ Littman said to her companion. ‘Oh, Marguerite, you know everyone,’ came Williams’s reply.”

And it may be apocryphal but it’s still funny – but more critically, you’re suddenly hooked to learn more about a woman you’d probably never heard of.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Don’t turn up your nose at those smells making Covid comeback

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There are few things in life that epitomise the joy of anticipation better than opening a brand-new book; the smell of the crisp pages, beautifully bound to reveal its story in your hands and your imagination.

Equally, when you think of a summer’s day, it’s the smell of fresh cut grass that most often springs to mind; the mere thought of it is enough to bring a smile to your face through your mind’s eye.

The association between summer and fresh cut grass is so strong that one band, the Hot House Flowers, built an entire career around it, releasing the same song over and over again.

There are other smells of nature that heighten the senses in summer of course – newly mown hay for a start – and at other times, you know you’re in farming country when the smell of freshly-spread silage wafts in through the car window.

Our eyes may be the most critical of our senses in that, without them, life is a whole lot more difficult to lead – but smell is the sense that can lift you to a higher place.

Think of the aroma that escapes from a bakery or a cake shop; it can have you salivating when you’re not even hungry.

And we all know why so many coffee shops have extractor units that diffuse the smell of roasting coffee beans out onto the street; the Pied Piper of Hamlin wouldn’t work any better in getting you to literally follow your nose.

There’s also the other side of smells – and it’s not just silage.

If you want to quit drinking, for example – or more precisely, to give up drinking nights out – just set yourself a mission of dropping into a pub first thing in the morning, before it’s spic and span and ready to open its doors to the public.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

Steering clear of mirrors to deny the ageing process

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Only occasionally do you realise you’re actually getting older, because – unless you’re supremely vain – for the most part you’re looking out from yourself, not at yourself.

And then you walk past a mirror or a glass doorway and you think you’re being followed by a balder, fatter, older man – until the penny drops that you’re looking at yourself.

There’s another way to track the years as they fly by; just look at the writing on birthday cards, or more precisely the ones from your kids or young relations.

They start off with a stick man and graduate to a spidery scrawl before there’s a first stab at joined-up writing, evolving eventually to perfectly-formed adult sentences.

And yet you still think you’re not getting older.

I have nieces and nephews who send little video greetings for birthdays and Christmas – and that provides an ever starker reflection of the reality.

Again you go from shy little ones barely, mumbling a happy birthday, to teens with broken voices booming out a message to the big man!

As your age approaches your IQ, you often struggle to remember exactly how old you actually are – and the fall-back for many is to use their kids as a counter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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