By Ray Hamill
The weekends are a killer for me this time of the year, but sure what can you do?
Being a sports fanatic is like that sometimes. It’s rarely easy. It takes dedication, commitment, endurance, passion, and even a little insanity.
I mean, if you’re gonna cheer for a team, you may as well do it to the best of your ability, right?
And that sometimes means a very early start – or a very, very late finish, depending on your perspective – if you’re going to try and follow games taking place halfway around the globe, some eight time zones away.
Like the English Premier League which starts as early as 4:30 in the morning in California. That’s right at the point of no return. Do I stay up late? Do I get up early? There’s really no right answer.
Or hurling, the great Irish sport, or Gaelic football, the other great Irish sport, whose games begin as early as 6 or 7.
That kind nullifies one of the great benefits of the weekend.
But at least we now live in a golden era for sports fanatics. An era where it’s a whole lot easier to follow most of these sports. (That’s a subject I talked about in my most recent book, Help, My Horse is Drowning!, a humorous look at the world of sports and how it impacts us on a daily way.)
There was a time when I would have had to walk 10-20 blocks in the early morning to watch the big games from home vis satellite in a bar. And that was only if I was lucky enough to live in one of major cities with a large enough Irish population.
These days all I have to do is walk the 10-20 feet to my couch where I can watch pretty much any sport I want from anywhere in the world.
Tell me it’s not a wonderful world we live in.
And on particularly tough mornings, I don’t even have to walk that grueling 20 feet to my couch. I can watch them from the comfort of my bed instead.
This Sunday I’ll be at it again. Waking bright and early for another big showdown.
This time, it’s the All-Ireland Hurling Final, the showcase event of the greatest sporting spectacle of them all.
It’s been an exciting season and the final should be a culmination of that, with little to choose from between the two teams, Galway and Waterford, neither of which has won a championship in a generation or more.
It’ll be an early start alright. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.