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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Cycling in north Dublin, concussion and ACL injuries - some of this week's best sports writing

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1. “On 29 January 2011, 14-year-old Ben Robinson played rugby union for his school. After being treated three times for blows to the head and sent back to the field on each occasion, he collapsed and later died in hospital. Behind his profoundly tragic story is another of a sport in denial, where authorities at all levels dither over treating concussion while all the time, players grow stronger, heavier and the hits get ever bigger.”

Take the time to read Andy Bull‘s story on the Guardian website about an issue that effects lots of us.

2. “Sideline interviews are bland because when they aren’t, the journalist gets accused of being a “work-experience girl” as Matt Williams put it following Ireland’s loss to Argentina in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Sinead Kissane asked Eddie O’Sullivan the only question that could possibly matter at the time. His team had just been routed and sent packing from the competition. The viability of his tenure had to be questioned. When it bounced back to Setanta’s studio (TV3 and Setanta had a joint-rights arrangement) Williams tore into her for asking O’Sullivan about whether he’d stay on as Ireland coach.

That the form has reached a point where a question like Kissane’s is deemed an exception is rooted in how journalism and media as a whole, not just sports, have evolved.”

Action81′s Emmet Ryan ‘is mad as hell’.

3. “We go up around the Naul, the Nag’s Head and those places, but we change it as much as we can. On Thursday night we have our social spin which is around 30km up around Howth, where we’ll have a coffee and leg it home. I often say that Clontarf CC… the CC is for coffee club. There’s not a coffee shop in North County Dublin that doesn’t hate us coming in,” he laughs. “Forty lads all paying for cappuccinos separately… out of plastic bags. I used to always give directions by pubs. Now it’s coffee shops. Cycling’s a real sociable thing. In the past year I’ve had 113 people in my life that I didn’t have last year. It’s great.”

Gerard Cromwell chats to comedian PJ Gallagher, founder of a new cycling club in Dublin, for Stickybottle.

4. “To be honest, it doesn’t look like much. It’s short, just over an inch in length, and stubby, about half an inch wide. It is white, slick, and striated like a cluster of angel-hair pasta. It isn’t rubbery, and it doesn’t have much elasticity. In fact, you wouldn’t give it a second thought — not until it self-destructed, which it occasionally does, always at the most inopportune of times. And then you wouldn’t think about much else but that gremlin that now sits at the centre of so many of our games.”

With Derrick Rose and the Gronk latest high-profile victims in the US, Grantland’s Neal Gabler asks why ACL injuries are seemingly on the rise.

5. “About 4,400 miles from Spain, Ray Hudson is calling a Real Madrid game the way he always does: off a television screen in a tiny soundproof room in South Florida. Free from distractions, he delivers his analysis in the thick Geordie accent of his native Newcastle, and it is as ludicrous as it is informed, as grandiloquent as it is sharp-eyed.”

The New York Times meet the voice of soccer in the United States.

‘I would be happier if Brian stopped playing’ – Dr Barry O’Driscoll

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