If ever a body of sports followers were routinely smeared in broad strokes by the same tar brush, it is the supporters of Irish League football.
If ever a body of sports followers were routinely smeared in broad strokes by the same tar brush, it is the supporters of Irish League football.
It took about 90 minutes yesterday to sell 60,000 tickets for the rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves at Wembley on May 31.
The soap opera returns. It is hard to remember a Formula One season starting in quite the same circumstances as this one.
It was in bewilderment and curiosity that I caught the beginnings of the Stephen Nolan radio show yesterday morning.
Rumoured moves to extend the Cheltenham Festival, which starts next Tuesday, from four days to five must be resisted.
Alan Pardew is the second longest serving Premier League manager. Only Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been at his club longer than Pardew, in charge of Newcastle since December 2010.
At GAA Congress, words mean everything. Every year there are a couple of dozen recommendations the Rules Advisory Committee propose as motions.
The atmosphere at Big Two games between Glentoran and Linfield in recent years has not been what it used to be.
Can you remember your dreams? We dream some crazy stuff – I'm not prepared to discuss mine in the public domain.
I accept a majority of people in the UK supported the war in Iraq and the one still going on in Afghanistan.
Forgive me – just this once – but I have to say 'I told you so'. Roberto Mancini's job wouldn't have been saved if Manchester City had won the FA Cup, a fact confirmed by the club's chief executive Ferran Soriano, and it didn't matter that Stoke avoided relegation: Tony Pulis was going anyway.
Now that really was a proper game of football on Saturday night, wasn't it? How often do you see that kind of intensity and fitness in the Premier League, with so much goalmouth incident and goalkeeping brilliance? Not very often, I'd bet.
When I left the DW Stadium this day last week -- how vain is it to lead 'your' team out at Wembley and name the stadium after yourself? -- I really didn't give Dave Whelan (pictured) and his Wigan side the remotest chance of winning the FA Cup. They'd been shocking against Swansea. Just goes to show what I know ...
There is no need to put on dark glasses. I’m going to disappoint any readers of the column expecting a tirade of abuse from me about Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sometimes, I really don't get Chelsea fans. Last Thursday night, as their team reached the Europa League Final, the popular song around Stamford Bridge was 'Jose's Coming Home', a cute variation of that 1996 hit 'Football's Coming Home' ... to England for the European Championship of that year.
At different stages over the course of the summer, Tyrone in particular have been accused of actually coaching cynical play.
The officers in all four provincial Councils remind us from time to time of their heavy work-load, particularly in areas relating to the promotion of football and hurling at grassroots level.
There is growing concern within the GAA over the implications of long-term injuries which players sustain on an ongoing basis.
Let's cut to the chase here. All the refereeing inadequacies which have blighted the championship season appeared to be encompassed in Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final between Tyrone and Mayo.
Some county championships may be still in their infancy but already it would seem that a number of the traditional big guns are destined to sample more success in their respective counties.
When, oh when, are we going to get consistency in the administration of discipline within the GAA?
The wheels certainly came off the Donegal wagon in dramatic fashion on Sunday.
The loss of Jamie Clarke is undoubtedly a big blow to Crossmaglen Rangers in their bid to remain as Armagh champions – and that's just for starters.
There is a theory doing the rounds that Dublin manager Jim Gavin is rubbing his hands in advance of what is suggested as being a trouble-free run-in to the All-Ireland title.
How much sleep do you think Rory Best got last Saturday night? Part of it may have been the adrenalin of a final; it is always difficult to settle after a big game particularly when you have come so close to winning.
Yes, it was so disappointing but there was absolutely no shame in Ulster's performance at the RDS.
It must have been something in my waters when I wrote last week that I thought Jonny Wilkinson's boot would play a key role in a Toulon victory in the Heineken Cup final.
Given the ups and downs throughout a season there must be a real sense of satisfaction when you see your team standing tall on top of the league.
Wow. Warren Gatland has always had the ability to shock and surprise, and his Lions squad is no different.
As soon as Joe Schmidt threw his hat in the ring for the Ireland job, there was no need for headhunters or Keith Wood on the interview panel. The job was his.
So it looks like Leinster coach Joe Schmidt is the clear favourite for the Ireland job.
it is hard to describe the level of disappointment at Ulster's loss at the weekend to Saracens.
There are iconic images in sport that are a photographer's, television producer's or viewer's delight.
In the good old days it was Kirkistown and Aghadowey where the majority of pre-season shakedown tests took place, but how times have changed, with a plethora of Irish talent currently basking in the Spanish sunshine at Cartagena.
After a seven-year sabbatical, one of Ireland's best known and well respected figures within local motocross, Stevie Mills, will make a return to local racing circles with his Risk Racing Russell's Yamaha by M&T Team this coming season.
EIGHT-times TT winner Ian Hutchinson and fastest-ever newcomer at the Manx event Josh Brookes have been thrown a potential TT lifeline – after SMR Yamaha team sponsor Milwaukee Power Tools has 'sportingly' decided to reinstate their support for the factory-supported team at this year's event.
Former Honda and Norton team manager Barry Symmons has put together an impressive list of top class stars for his forthcoming Pro Test at Cartagena in Spain taking place from March 6-9.
Pata Honda World Superbike star Jonathan Rea will celebrate his 27th birthday on Sunday just three weeks before the opening race of the 2014 WSB season at Phillip Island in Australia on February 23.
Londonderry based International Road Racing team owner Wilson Craig, says he may 'sit out' the big three internationals if he cannot secure a potential podium candidate to ride in his colours this season.
Scottish ace Keith Amor is delighted to be making a return to racing at next year's Isle of Man TT Races, but said his main goal, is to settle an old score with new KMR team boss Ryan Farquhar.
Nico Mawhinney has been awarded the prestigious Bertie Mann Award for his achievements in 2013 – winning both the Irish and Ulster Superbike titles at just 20 years of age.
Santa and his elves stole the Freestyle show during yesterday's Arenacross launch at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, but the big event news is that three time British Champion and popular double winner at the Queen's Quay venue, Gordon Crockard – will lead the Irish charge on January 17 & 18 at the seven round British championship curtain raiser.
One likely outcome on the Festival's second day is that the Wetherby's Champion Bumper crown will return to Ireland, courtesy of Willie Mullins.
It's the poorest Queen Mother Champion Chase for some time, especially with the non-appearance of defending champion Sprinter Sacre, although his presence would have made it a one-horse event.
Quevega has been the Cheltenham queen for five years in a row and a sixth win in the Mares Hurdle will see her set a new record of six successive Festival victories.
Northern Ireland has never qualified for the European Championship finals and on current form our hopes of reaching France 2016 are slim, especially if the Faroe Islands fancy their chances of a first international success at Northern Ireland's expense.
With Cheltenham starting on Tuesday week, there are plenty of Festival attractions to tempt those looking to have an edge over the bookmakers.
Manchester City's defensive weaknesses were once again exposed, albeit by a Barcelona team that's finding its way back to the form of two seasons ago when they were virtually impossible to beat.
Big Sam Allardyce, not unexpectedly, was made to suffer yet again as his West Ham team took another hammering from Manchester City.
Racing's top stars are on parade this weekend with Big Buck's and Hurricane Fly hogging the limelight.
What now for a humiliated England cricket team? Given a pasting by a nothing special, but focused and determined, Australian side Down Under, the Test careers of several players are lying in ashes.
The David Moyes debate is now as hollow as his team's performance in Athens this week. The jury isn't so much out as in a coma, one induced by months of failure to find a case for the defence.
If David Moyes ever manages to banish the skull's head of a future that leered at him this week, he may be grateful for one small, but vital, mercy.
You can do no better than invade the most vital moments of your destiny, gather together the best of your talent and strongest of your will. Cristiano Ronaldo collected the Ballon D'Or last night not as a gift but an absolute right.
They may be singular men but Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane have, of course, been shaped by rather more than the impetus of their own fierce natures.
If we still had a sliver of doubt, Alex Ferguson has been kind enough to remove it. He has told us, by the somewhat dismissive route of going on American public television, what it's all been about. Guess what? It's all been about Alex Ferguson.
In so many ways the FAI are damned whatever they do in the wake of Old Trap. But then they might just do something which from time to time redeems the most desperate of situations.
There was always a point when the grumpy posturing of Wayne Rooney was going to lapse into the grotesque and the absurd.
Already the rave reviews are tumbling in for David Peace's latest football confection, Red or Dead, a version of Bill Shankly's life, and one of the most fulsome of them concludes: "This isn't a book about the way things were or the way things are. This is about the way things should be."
Let's get this straight, Pepe. If Barcelona had confirmed the rumour of their interest so hungrily seized upon by you and your agent you would have beaten your pal Luis Suarez out of Anfield faster than Speedy Gonzales.
However the affair progresses, Gareth Bale will do us an immense favour if he refrains from dressing up his impending move to Real Madrid as anything other than the seizing of a quite spectacular main chance.
Not for the first time we have to ask a classic question of the manager of Arsenal. However, this time we cannot anticipate, almost word for word, the answer from the man with the furrowed brow and the haunted expression.
It was supposed to be the day Rory McIlroy re-announced himself as one of the greatest – and freest – of golf talents but the more he played, the more he sank into a horror that he could not snap, the clearer it was he needed help.
You join me just after I've finished my morning session at the Cullybackey cresta run as my personal training plan for PyeongChang 2018 gathers pace.
With the tiresome hindrance that was Wales v Italy brushed out of the way, the Six Nations rugby could get under way on Saturday tea-time, as England travelled to Paris for Le Crunch.
I have received a letter from a Mr J. Inverdale Esq from Twickenham who has accused me of being anti-English and anti-BBC in the article above. Please accept my humblest of apologies.
I had just about recovered, the doctors assured me I was making good progress and that I was almost back to myself, but then it happened – a second series of Splash!
I'm not sure if it was on over the festive break or not, but The Italian Job is and always will be one of my favourite films, featuring as it does three of my favourite things – Michael Caine, totty and a bit of football thrown in.
Well done to paralympian superstar Hannah Cockcroft for being the real winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
So, the domestic Scottish football season came to an end on Sunday with Celtic winning the Scottish Cup to land them a double, which was widely expected prior to the final.
Jon Daly has become the first Irish Catholic to sign for Rangers.
With this being my last column of the season, now is the time to name my highlight - it was the return of the mercurial James McFadden to the SPL.
Reading the tributes and listening to people tell their tales of Sir Alex Ferguson over the past week has been inspiring to say the least.
The victory for Hibs in the Edinburgh derby on Sunday was only their second SPL win of the calendar year.
Picking a Manager of the Year this season has been very difficult as so many have had outstanding campaigns.
Lenny v Kenny sounds more like a boxing match than two SPL managers squabbling in the Scottish media about who should be the Player and Manager of the Year.
Af celebrating winning successive SPL titles on Sunday as Celtic manager, Neil Lennon's focus now turns towards the Scottish Cup final and into next season.
Charles Green arrived in a blaze of publicity last May as his consortium bought an ailing Glasgow Rangers, but last Friday his controversial spell as chief executive came to an abrupt end.
One day on from the massacre in Killarney, which one Kerry writer was moved to compare to the 1923 ambush in Knocknagoshel, it seemed everyone had an opinion on why and how the 15-point defeat of Tyrone occurred.
For the last four years, Cavan have been in the Ulster under-21 final. They have won the last three, beating Tyrone twice, and Donegal last year.
It has become acceptable shorthand to say that Donegal's weak defence of the All-Ireland title was somehow rooted in their casual acceptance of defeat during the National League.
TYRONE like to put together winning streaks of the McKenna Cup. And should they defeat Cavan in tonight's decider in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh (throw-in 8pm), they will amass their second three-in-a-row of Mickey Harte's reign.
The old saying has it that March comes in like a lion, and out like a lamb. February is slightly different. You think you have got away with the worst of the weather but February harbours spiteful notions.
There was an odd cocktail of bemusement and amusement outside the John Vesey Stand in Brewster Park last Saturday night.
There are no obsessives of Kerry Gaelic football – outside of Kerry – quite like those in Ulster.
ON a slow news day, the publication of an Annual GAA Report of any hue is a Godsend.
AND that's all she wrote, thought hundreds of thousands of Gaelic football fans when word came through late last week about the impending retirement of Mick O'Dwyer from all inter-county action.
Top sports psychologist Mark Elliott has urged Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill to take up his offer to help the players become mentally stronger before the decline in the national team's fortunes becomes even worse.
Well, he did it. In his final final as Linfield manager David Jeffrey came out on top.
More of the same then. Northern Ireland were appalling against Cyprus last night – another pitiful performance from Michael O'Neill's men.
UPDATE alert. Martyn Irvine, Giro d'Italia, Arlene Foster and all that jazz.
No glamour opponents, no England and no reunion with Martin O'Neill then.
When Manuel Pellegrini became Manchester City's manager in the summer, he arrived with a reputation for being a smooth operator, unflappable and calm under pressure.
It was an FA Cup thriller. As good as the last match at the Emirates was bad. If Arsenal's scoreless draw with Manchester United in the Premier League was dross, yesterday's clash between the Gunners and Liverpool was a delight to watch.
David Jeffrey was bristling. The passion that he has brought to Linfield Football Club as man and boy was oozing out of him as he stood in the tunnel at Windsor Park.
Wonders will never cease. Roy Hodgson has stood up and been counted.