Beijing 2008, LEGO style

A group of LEGO enthusiasts from Hong Kong have constructed their own version of the Olympic venues from Beijing 2008.

By the looks of it, they’re made mostly from fairly common LEGO pieces and as a result, they’re both highly impressive (as it anything made from LEGO in my opinion) but also refreshingly simple. Far too many modern LEGO kits have pieces in them that are all to realistic, taking the fun out of it for me.

Source: SlashDot

Irish Wife Carrying Championships

They say that you learn something new every day. Today, that something new for me was the existence of a sport called Wife Carrying. Here, a male contestant carries his female team mate over an obstacle course in as quick a time as possible. Several styles of carrying are used, including piggyback, fireman’s carry (over the shoulder) or Estonian-style (where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders, holding onto his waist).

Whilst it is predominantly a Scandinavian sport, the inaugural Irish Championships were held in Co. Kerry earlier today as part of the Sneem Family Festival, with the winners going on to represent Ireland at the World Championships in Finland next July.

Source: RTE News

Enhorabuena a España

Many congratulations to Spain who have just won the European Soccer Championships. They beat Germany 1-0 in the final at the Ernst-Happel stadium in Vienna. This is their first international trophy in over 44 years and only their second major tournament win ever.

They were good value for their win in my opinion, having been the only team to win every game they played, the team that scored the most goals throughout the tournament and the team with the top scoring player of the tournament (David Villa).

I was also proud to see Liverpool F.C. striker Fernando Torres score the winning goal, with no less than 3 other Liverpool players in the Spanish side (Xabi Alonso, Álvaro Arbeloa and Pepe Reina).


Victory for Hughes in Fantasy Sporting Role

Congratulations to Paul Hughes who has emerged victorious in the 2007/2008 edition of my Fantasy Soccer league. Paul’s team Ruckus FC held their nerve in the final few games of the season to score a narrow 8 point victory over Karl Spratt, a former winner. The winning points tally was 1,872 and beats the previous record by an impressivea 90 points.

The lack of clean sheets as well as the Didier Drogba sending off in the Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea (in which both contenders had two players from each team) killed any chances of a shock victory for second-placed Ian Brady.

What was interesting about this years competition was that, not unlike the real thing, there was only one point separating the top two teams going into the last Premiership game of the season (and a mere 5 points between them prior to the Champions League final). Also, with the exception of one Chris Gallgher, every one of the top ten teams this year were managed by former colleagues of mine from Eurologic and every one the winners from the other divisions are current colleagues of mine at TSSG.

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Who is Levan Tskitishvili?

I’ve seen some pretty unusual footballing surnames in recent years but Levan Tskitishvili can boast one of the better ones. Well, when I say better, what I really mean is “really hard for me to pronounce”. Even after my ninth attempt, I’m not sure I got it right. Admittedly, this probably has a lot to do with my lack of Eastern European linguistic talents and Levan would almost certainly struggle with many of Irish surnames too.

In any case, if you are interested, Levan Tskitishvili is a Georgian footballer that the English soccer club Birmingham City recently tried (but failed) to sign as one of their players.
Source: BBC Sport

Fantasy Football 2007/2008

It’s that time of year again and I’m delighted to be running my 9th annual Fantasy Football competition for the 2007/2008 season.

Once again, there will be no entrance fee this year which means that there will also be no prizes so all you are playing for is the pride of winning. However, if you would like to organise a mini league amongst your friends or colleagues, just let me know and I can arrange this for you. Of course, if anyone wants to sponsor the competition, I’d be more than happy to accept your generosity 😉

Here are the details …

  1. Visit to pick and submit your team
  2. Team value must not exceed €50.0 million and must use 4-3-3 formation
  3. Must not pick any more than 2 players from any club
  4. The closing date for entries is 12.30pm on Saturday, August 11th 2007

You can enter as many times as you like.

Thank you for your time and the very best of luck to wall those who enter!

Where were you Manchester United?

I must admit that was totally shocked at the poor performance put up by Manchester United in the Champions League semi-final against AC Milan last night. I don’t think anyone saw this coming, not even the great Johnny Giles or even Sir Alex himself.

After such a crushing defeat of AS Roma just a few weeks ago and an excellent performance against Milan just last week, I really thought they had the measure of the Italian clubs. I fully expected them to go after Milan from the start, giving them no time on the ball, and generally hounding them all over the park, just like they had done so effectively against Roma.

And so the All-Premiership final is not to be yet again as we will see Liverpool play AC Milan once more in a European Cup final, this time in Athens, Greece. Milan will be out to revenge their embarrassing defeat in the 2005 final of the same competition and Liverpool will certainly not want a repeat of the first half from that game (where they were 3-0 down at half-time).

It certainly has the potential to be another classic and I, for one, cannot wait for May 23rd.

The Mighty Reds march on to Athens

Well I am positively out of finger nails to bite after a thrilling finish to a truly great night at Anfield as Liverpool FC tonight went through to their second Champions League final in 3 years. The Mighty Reds defeated Chelski 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out after winning the game in 1-0 on the night (and drawing 1-1 on aggregate).

Jamie Carragher was once again immense and held off the usual onslaught of Drogba play-acting. On balance, I think Liverpool were good value for the win – they certainly created more chances in the second half. It was also great to see Robbie Fowler make an appearance. What a finish it would have been if he scored the winner!

Of course it is true that we have won nothing yet but that’s talk for another day. Tomorrow we will find out who me meet but tonight, gentlemen, I salute you!

Proud to be a Deise

Today was a truly memorable and historic day for Waterford Hurling as they claimed their second National Hurling League title … a whopping 44 years after claiming their first. What makes the victory even sweeter though is that fact that they beat a Kilkenny team and denied them their third title in a row in the process – sweet!!!

Most impressive was the late, strong finish put up by Waterford – something they had not been known for in the past, especially against teams like Kilkenny (Cork and Clare too). Sure, we have beaten teams well in the past (from time to time) but usually had a strong lead much earlier in the game. But in this instance, the teams were still level at the start of injury time and to see Waterford put in such a determined, dogged final 4 minutes was very, very pleasing.

There was also some great point-scoring from both teams througout the game but the injury-time point by Eoin Kelly was just brilliant – the way he whipped the sliotar on the half-volley from so far out and still managed to put it over the bar.

It was our turn …

Click here to read a RTE’s summary of the day’s events.

Roy meets Roy

If you get a few minutes, check out these classic interviews with Roy Keane on the Today FM Breakfast Show. They are particularly brilliant because, in the last one, the interviewer is also Roy Keane (otherwise known as Mario Rosenstock, the voice behind most of the characters from the Gift Grub sketches).

In all there were 3 interviews but the last one is the best (in my opinion):

  1. Ian and “Gift Grub” Roy talk about meeting the real Roy Keane
  2. Roy Interview – Part 1 (serious)
  3. Roy meets Roy (hilarious!)

Superb Radio!