World Cup 2010 Draw

Like many workplaces around the world we too are holding an office draw in celebration of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. All 32 teams went into a hat and we each got to pick 2 teams (for a nominal fee of course). However, despite having the honor of being one of the first to pick, I still managed to pick two complete outsiders, North Korea and the Ivory Coast! The first one is probably a complete write off but the latter might stand a outside chance of causing one or two upsets. That said, with prizes for top 4 finishers, I’ll not be holding my breath on either team.

Who did you pick in your workplace draw?

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Today, Wednesday, 15th April 2009 marks the 20th anniversary of the Hillsborough Soccer Disaster where 96 people lost their lives at an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, England.

I can still remember watching the tragedy unfold on the day it happened and proudly join in remembering the victims and their families today, as do Liverpool fans everywhere.

You’ll Never Walk Alone

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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Effin Eddie Cartoon Tribute

If like me, you have had the privilege of seeing, and more importantly hearing, the now infamous commentary by Eddie Moroney of the 1992 Tipperary Under 21 Football County Final between Aherlow and Nenagh, then you will appreciate this. If features some of the better (audio) quotes from the man himself, combined with a piece of editing brilliance.

Whilst the caricature itself doesn’t necessarily resemble Eddie (particularly due to the absence of his famous red cap), it more than makes up for it through the synchronization with the audio clips. Hats off to the creators of this wonderful clip.

For plenty more of the original video, just search for Eddie Moroney on YouTube.

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.