The importance of sport
EVER wonder how significantly less off we'd all be if as a society we didn't have sport to enjoy. Imagine the awfulness of that.
I couldn't help but think about that on Sunday morning as I drove to Castlebar to help out with the preparation of the admin work that needed to be completed ahead of the arrival of the 250 women (and one or two men!) who had opted to run in the mini marathon for the Cystic Fibrosis Association in Mayo.
It was a wonderful occasion. Everyone was in great spirits and looking forward with relish to completing the 10k.
Some were running, most were planning to walk the route, and some were doing a combination. But none of that mattered. It was about the occasion and the taking part.
Fair play to everyone who organised it. It must have been a mammoth undertaking and I can only imagine the amount of hours of work that went into it.
The entire event demonstrated just how important a role sport plays in all of our lives. Here we are, at a time when everything is going pear shaped all around us in terms of our economy but sport allows us all to forget it all for a while at least.
That was why what happened in Castlebar last Sunday was so important. For a few hours at least, entire families could forget about their woes and enjoy the simple things in life like fresh air, sunshine and exercise.
Life doesn't get much better than that. Well done to everyone and here's to next year.
THERE was a fair old race last week to see who could occupy the highest spot on the hill of moral ground in the aftermath of the Real Madrid/Barcelona Champions League semi-final.
Jose Mourinho was their target. He was 'bad for football', according to Liam Brady, though just how, he didn't properly explain. He just kept repeating himself.
OK, I know what he meant.. He has never really liked Mourinho since he described Wenger as a 'voyeur' (hard to blame him there, I suppose) and he pinned a lot of the blame for what happened at the Bernabeau on Mourinho and his tendency to antagonise people.
Somehow, in the midst of all this campaign to demonise Mourinho, Barcelona has managed, in the main, to escape censure. Of course the genius of Messi helps in that the Barcelona players did regard but most of the diving, the simulation and the intimidation of the match officials.
Don't get me wrong, Mouinho can overstep the line at times, but he made some valid points about the decisions that nearly always go the way of Barcelona.
Remember the key one in the Arsenal game this year when van Persie was sent off or the time at Stamford Bridge when somehow the referee failed to give any one of four clear-cut penalty decisions to Chelsea.
What happened in the aftermath of the Chelsea game was that Drogba did his famous rant and that conveniently took the heat of the referee and Barcelona.
Something similar happened last week when Mourinho said what he said and instead of analysing what happened in the game, the media attention turned to what was said afterwards.
The Portugese serial winner might be better advised saying nothing after the game tonight. Hard to see that happening though.