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A Different View

Ever-changing football fashions in the wacky world of sport

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Patrick O'Reilly with his installation Thorn at his exhibition in The Shed at Galway Docks for the Galway International Arts Festival. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There was a time when togging out for football wearing different colour boots would have been a sign of abject poverty – or at the very least an indelible source of embarrassment.

You might as well wear your underpants instead of football togs, because this would represent no greater mortification.

And yet if you enjoyed the World Cup ­– and some of us are still suffering withdrawal symptoms – you’ll know that the notion of footballers wearing two boots of different colours is now the coolest thing on earth.

The difference, of course, is that they came that way – not that your mother went looking in the seconds section of some sports shop to find two matching size eights in any style and colour you’d care to imagine.

Indeed there were superstars wearing what could only be described as knitted boots in Brazil – very sophisticated crochet, by all accounts, but knitting nonetheless.

Back in the day, knitted boots were something your maiden aunt made for your new-born baby – but then again Alice bands were for Irish dancers and pony tails were for girls.

Most of us in middle-age can remember the jaw-dropping amazement that greeted Gerry McInerney’s return from an American sojourn with a pair of white boots, which he went on to wear with such distinction in Croke Park in that half-back line of all half-back lines alongside Keady and Finnerty.

It was just as well that the Kinvara man was one of the outstanding hurlers of his generation, because he also matched the white boots with a brown tan and swashbuckling style that wouldn’t have looked out of place if he was playing for Brazil.

He may well have inspired a generation to turn their backs on black boots. And that’s where the problems started.

Because it’s fine to be different if you’re very good but if you stand out because you’re rubbish, it’s not a good idea to underline your incompetence by dressing differently as well.

I can recall that deadliest – in every sense – of full-forwards, Colm O’Rourke of Meath, when he had retired and was dabbling in the world of broadcasting for the first time.

He saw Mayo’s giant midfielder Liam McHale take the field at Croke Park wearing another pair of white boots and Colm – being of older stock – wouldn’t have been more exasperated if this giant had come out wearing a dress.

“Back in my day,” he exclaimed, “you’d love if a fella came out to mark you and he was wearing white boots….”

He didn’t have to say much more, but the clear insinuation was that he was fair game if he was so stupid.

Colm didn’t quite come from the era when boots came over your ankle and looked more like something a miner would wear into the pits with metal studs attached to get you a grip on the grass.

But he might as well have.

Not that the changing fashions of sport stop there either; why, for example, do players wear short sleeved jerseys with body warmers underneath – why not just wear long sleeved shirts from the start?

And then, after a goal, you are treated to sight of a multi-millionaire footballer pulling up his jersey to reveal an off-white vest with a message written in marker by men who could afford to hire the monks who did the calligraphy for the Book of Kells – what’s that all about?

They proclaim in marker that they love their wives, and yet a week later there’s a tabloid tale of them with some glamour model in a hotel room, armed with a phone to provide the photographic evidence, both that they mightn’t love their wives so much after all and they don’t wear vests in real life either.

If we’d known back in the day that the height of football fashion would one day be wearing different coloured boots and vests covered in ink, we’d have been more cutting edge that we’d ever imagined.

Except we’d never earn two hundred grand a week for it.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Betting on the thrill of the chase can come at a cost

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

I’ve never understood betting but, just as I’ve never understood astrophysics either, I’ve plenty of time for those who do. Just because I don’t or can’t do it doesn’t make it an unusual pursuit.

But betting to me was always just a few quid on a fancied horse or backing your county to win the All-Ireland or your favourite football team to win the Premiership.

You might be a proud new parent who believes that the new arrival will one day go on to play for Ireland or Galway – and unless you’re perhaps Joe Canning, you will easily find a bookie who will lay you odds of 500/1 that it will never happen.

Nearly two decades ago now, Rory McIlroy’s dad Gerry placed a £200 bet on his 15-year-old son winning a Major – and ten years later, he walked away with a £100,000 windfall when Rory won the British Open at Hoylake in 2014.

In 2006, the family of Chris Kirkland won close to £10,000 when the then-Liverpool goalkeeper played for England in a friendly against Greece. Twelve years earlier, Kirkland’s father Eddie had placed a bet, as part of a syndicate, that his son would win an England cap before turning 30.

Perhaps even more optimistically, the grandfather of Fulham winger and former Liverpool star Harry Wilson pocketed £125,000 after placing a bet that his then-infant grandson would go on to play for Wales – which he duly did well before he’d left his teens.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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

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

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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

Caught by online fraudsters – and rescued by the bank

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Somewhere in a supermarket in Australia last week, a person or persons spent €57.88 of my money on food or drink and charged it to my Visa card. Hours later they then repeated the exercise at another branch of Coles, the Melbourne-based multiple – but then their mini-spree came to a shuddering halt.

In truth perhaps, they probably didn’t leave home at all; they may not even have been anywhere near Australia, instead carrying out their shopping online around midday local time – and again for around the same amount an hour or two later.

But then the fraud department of Allied Irish Banks put a halt to their gallop and during the wee small hours inquired if I had somehow made it from conducting an evening online transaction in Galway to buying things from a supermarket in Melbourne, in the process inadvertently breaking the sound barrier while I slept.

And when I replied that indeed I had not, my Visa card was shut down and the prospects of the intrepid Australians buying some serious kit from my pocket disappeared quicker than snow on the outback.

Not alone that but AIB refunded the money these people had spent without my knowledge, allowed me to take a few bob out of the bank without a card – but with ID – and then sent on a brand new card this week.

The embarrassing part was having to confirm that online purchases in the run-up to the Aussie shopping spree were legit; it’s like having a list of misdemeanours read out in court.

There was nothing accusatory in the tone of the nice woman from the bank, who merely inquired if indeed it was me who had gone twice to Mace the previous day; if I’d also bought an album online and paid a monthly subscription for a digital newspaper.

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

What your taste in music says about your own state of mind

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Dave O'Connell
Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

As Elton John once said, sad songs say so much. But now it turns out so do Adele songs or classics by the Beatles – because surprise, surprise, the music you listen to reflects your state of mind.

That’s what a group of psychologists in Toronto spent their time discovering recently – a reality most of us could have told them for free.

The psychologists divided people into four groups with different approaches to relationships – the rejection-feeling ‘anxious’’ group; the negative and cold ‘avoidant group; the confident ‘secure’ group, and a mixed group.

The boffins then assessed the lyrics to 7,000 different songs based on their variously secure, anxious, or avoidant content, then asked a test group to pick out their favourite tracks.

And they came up with the bleedin’ obvious – song lyrics are a window into your state of mind; they discovered that people who are insecure in their relationship listen to a lot of Adele. Perhaps because you may remember she had her biggest hit, Someone Like You, about a break-up.

Other songs that inspire strong feelings, often sadness, include Joni Mitchell’s Blue; Bill Withers’ Ain’t No Sunshine; Neil Young’s Philadelphia, and Ray Charles’ Georgia on My Mind – just in case you’re looking to take it down a notch this New Year.

On the other hand, those who prefer the Beatles’ upbeat Love Me Do are more than likely to be very secure in their relationships, according to the University of Toronto study.

And just for the record, here are some of the songs for happy people, who are secure in themselves and in their loved ones around them.

At Last by Etta James – which sounds more like entrapment than true love, as does I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher – and Wouldn’t it be Nice by the Beach Boys, not to mention Whitney Houston’s 1999 hit I Will Always Love You, which is actually a Dolly Parton song from the early 1970’s. It’s just that Dolly doesn’t give off that same sense of security.

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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