From the book Help, My Horse is Drowning! By Ray Hamill
14 – A narrow escape
“Make tea, not war,”
– Monty Python
They say hurling is a dangerous sport.
It’s true. I once nearly got decapitated attending a game at Croke Park.
But that’s nothing. I lose my head at lots of sporting events.
My grandfather, however, had an even more harrowing experience within the hallowed Irish sports ground. He was shot at in the middle of the field by the occupying British forces back during the Irish War of Independence. (And you thought Oakland Raiders fans were tough on opposing fans.)
But despite these notably unfortunate incidents along the way, Croke Park has usually been kind to my family, serving as a sort of shrine to the sports gods, at least the Irish ones, and handed down from generation to generation.
It is the largest stadium in Ireland – the fourth largest in all of Europe – packed to capacity with screaming fans every September for the All-Ireland hurling and Gaelic football finals, the “Irish Super Bowls,” the two biggest days on the Irish sporting calendar.
But Croke Park is more than just a stadium. It is an Irish sporting cathedral in the heart of the north side of Dublin City, and an iconic arena that transcends the world of sports. Read more
By Ray Hamill
I’m delighted to announce the publication of my new book, Help, My Horse is Drowning!, available now on Amazon and any other book sites with suitable good taste (or who don’t know any better).
It’s a humorous look at the world of sports and how it impacts us on a daily basis, told through a series of anecdotes and observations from a lifetime association with sports.
From tales of the schoolyard and growing up in a sports-mad family back in Dublin City, to NFL Sundays in the bars of Northern California, Help, My Horse is Drowning! covers a wide gamut of stories, offering intriguing insights to the history of the sports we love and more than a few observations on the lovely madness of it all. Read more
By Ray Hamill
When it comes to North American sports, there are plenty of long suffering fans out there faithfully following their team of choice and never giving up on dreams of success. But when it comes to cities that have suffered the most, nowhere compares to Cleveland.
In fact, it’s not even close.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the city’s last taste of success in any major sport, an NFL championship by the Browns in 1964, and I sure hope all the Clevelanders (yes, that’s what they call themselves) held a great big parade that day and really soaked it all up, because it’s been a long barren spell since. Read more