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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

The Kiss, Croatia and Clones: Get into the week's best sportswriting

Stay in and treat yourself to some of the best things on the internet this week.

1.People who worked in sports dressed more casually than their counterparts. They followed games on TV or radio and cheered if their favorite team scored. Everybody rooted against overtime, which just messed with their deadlines. “And slow pitchers,” said Klein. “Jesus…”

The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis pays tribute to a one-time ‘palace’ of sportswriting in the LA Times.

A merchandise seller makes his way to the venue Source: Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

2. “He’s a sports journalist,” he said. “He works for the Sunday Times.”

“I took a breath. So did the driver. He then informed us of an article in the paper years previously that put him in a certain place with certain people, resulting in the discovery one morning of a certain device strapped to the underside of his car. He also added his determination that the author of said piece would one day be subjected to fierce vengeance.”

Still with The Times, Michael Foley lived to tell his tale of Clones and can’t wait to get back.

3. “It needs investment in infrastructure, education and grassroots. It needs pitches and coaches across the country and a plan on how to harness its evidently extraordinary deep pool of talent. It needs to ensure that the Modrics and Lovrens of tomorrow can come through without first having to sell their soul to the likes of Zdravko Mamic.”

Technical excellence and a World Cup final appearance don’t make Croatia a model for other countries to follow, writes Alex Holiga for The Guardian.


A decade before that photo, I’m 19 and crying in front of mum.

 ‘What is it? What is it?’ mum said.

 ‘I’ve got a girlfriend.’

 ‘Is that it?’

 ‘Is that it?! Is that not a big thing?’ I thought.

 I don’t know why I thought it was going to be a big deal. You just look at the world around you. Ten years ago, it wasn’t that widely accepted. At least I didn’t feel that it was.

 So, I was nervous. It was a big relief when Mum, watching me cry, said, ‘That’s just silly. Keep going!’

 It was all good. She thought I’d lost my driver’s licence or something!

 It was even OK with my Pop, who I was a bit nervous about.

 He just said, ‘Mum told me about the thing.’

 I said, ‘What’s the thing?’

“He said, ‘You know, the thing.’

Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki tell Players Voice ‘what happened after The Kiss’.

5.  ”During the summer window last season, I got a phone call from an agent to let me know that Lomanu Lualua was interested in a move to our league. Lomanu, I was told, was a very religious man and the best church in Ireland for practising his particular faith happened to be in Galway — and that is why we were his first port of call. I did a bit of research, which included a look at his Instagram page, and decided that his best days appeared to be behind him.”

In The Times, Shane Keegan takes us inside the Irish transfer marker with not a Jim White in sight.

6. “Actually, there was one other thing uniting them all. Tickets for the final started at £340 and went up to £830. Throw in flights and other incidentals, and even if you subsist on crisps and sleep on hostel bunks, there’s no way of getting to a World Cup final unless you’ve got a few thousand pounds up your sleeve… the World Cup likes to see itself as a celebration of humanity in its entirety, a travelling circus where all can come and be transfixed. In reality, it’s more like a giant spinning wheel, where the closer to the hub you get, the more impossible it is to ignore the stench of money, real and implied.”

Jonathan Liew of The Independent caps off the World Cup in style.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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