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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 16 January 2021

ROG gets out of Dodge and more of our favourite sportswriting from the past week

After you’ve walked the dog and devoured a rasher sandwich, put your feet up and get stuck into this lot.

Netherlands v Sweden - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Semi Final - Stade de Lyon Netherlands players celebrate after booking their place in the 2019 Women's World Cup final. Source: EMPICS Sport

“Nothing demeans a Women’s World Cup more than the tendency to velcro a wider meaning on to everything that happens in it or around it. Over the past three weeks so much of the babble around the matches has been shot through the prism of comparisons with the men’s game when really the difference is fairly basic. The Women’s World Cup is basically the men’s tournament but with more thinkpieces.”

Malachy Clerkin expresses his views on the potential impact of the Women’s World Cup in the Irish Times.

PA-37580657 Spectators at Wimbledon's Centre Court. Source: Nigel French

“Wimbledon attendees — be it first-timers, fairweather fans or firm afficionados — are, it seems, automatically bestowed with a different sort of knowledge: equal parts giddiness, star-struckness, smugness and self-awareness. A knowledgeable Wimbledon crowd on Centre Court, at any time, is essentially 14,979 people who absolutely cannot stop themselves saying ‘Oh, I love this bit!’ when you’re watching a film they have already seen eighteen times.”

– The galleries at Wimbledon are put under the microscope by The Telegraph’s Adam Hurrey.

Imago 20190702 USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe. Source: Imago/PA Images

“It would be ridiculous to the point of laughter, if it wasn’t so gross. (And if his legislations and policies weren’t ruining the lives of so many innocent people.) And then what’s legitimately scary, I guess, is like….. how it’s not just his tweets. Because now suddenly you’ve got all these MAGA peeps getting hostile in your mentions. And you’ve got all these crazy blogs writing terrible things about this person you care so much about. And now they’re doing takedowns of Megan on Fox News, and who knows whatever else. It’s like an out-of-body experience, really — that’s how I’d describe it. That’s how it was for me.”

– Sue Bird, girlfriend of USA soccer star Megan Rapinoe, writes for The Players Tribune about her partner’s verbal fracas with President Donald Trump. 

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Kiril Afansev and Kevin Sheehy Kevin Sheehy (right) taking on Kiril Afansev at the National Stadium in February 2018. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“Boxing helped keep Kevin, like thousands if not millions of others, on the straight and narrow but it was up to him to seize this, something he did with both gloves. The boxer who once ran and hid from this interviewer was back giving a talk to his old school, Scoil Iósagain, just a few short weeks ago, giving up his time, even bringing young kids to train at St Francis’s Boxing Club. Kevin was just 20 years old. He was soon to become a father for the first time. His fiancée, Emma, whom he had been with for five years will never marry her childhood sweetheart, their daughter will never know her father beyond the stories that we all will continue to tell.”

–’s Joe O’Neill pays tribute to the late Kevin Sheehy.

inpho_01498539 Ronan O'Gara's time with the Crusaders is nearing an end. Source: INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

“We have lived in a city traumatised by the mosque massacre last year, a tragedy that brought out the best in humanity in response to the unspeakable evil in society. People always say professional sportspeople live in a bubble, but that murderous afternoon scarred and marked everyone in the Crusader organisation. That they have lived through that and retain the capacity to be professionals down to their bootlaces is an inspiring thing. But it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Jess and the kids depart with me on Wednesday, back to France, and onto the next adventure in La Rochelle.”

– Writing for the Irish Examiner, Ronan O’Gara prepares to bid farewell to Christchurch before taking up his new job in France.

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