Sporting takes in brief

After a busy summer of sport, Michael Bergin takes a satirical look at the Premier League, F1, and the GAA.

Premier League

The English Premier league returned this month, before it didn’t due to the Queen’s passing, though at the time of writing, matches have just resumed for Gameweek 7. An eventful few weeks have seen Erling Haaland score more goals than there are home fans at the average City game, Arsenal reclaim top spot in the rankings of most deluded club in London, and Liverpool sign the clearest serial killer you’ve ever seen, and stick him up front.

Away from the big clubs, Manchester United have decided to bankrupt basically anyone who ever decides to bet on them, as they continue to be that team that will knock three past Arsenal, then turn around, bend over, and say “come and get some boys” against Brentford.

Steven Gerrard is doing his best to play the simple man who looks clever, while Frank Lampard is playing the simple man who looks simple. If I were in either one’s shoes, I would seriously be giving my LinkedIn a brush up.

Tottenham have had a rather impressive start to the season, though true to form, nobody cares, they will inevitably bottle it, and a cheeky 5th place finish never hurt anyone, now did it.

Chelsea, still numb after their Champions league win over 12 months ago, decided to fire their manager, not for any particular sporting reason, but just to feel something again.

Nottingham Forest have been the surprise package of the promoted teams, with their manager Steve Cooper proving a likeable character on the sidelines. They will not last long.

Finally, an act of international terrorism we can all get behind occurred at Molineux on Saturday, when Nathan Collins channelled the spirit of 1916, and performed a Chun-Li flying bird kick on Jack “Tan” Grealish. Excellent work, comrade. You have served your country well.

Formula 1 

The Formula One season returned from its summer break in late August, a period full of relaxation, enjoyment, and holistically spent leisure time, unless you have had anything at all to do with the Alpine Formula One team. This vehicular representation of the nation of France had its ass completely schooled by a driver who still has spots, Oscar Piastri. After it was announced that Piastri would drive for Alpine in 2023, he immediately declared on social media that he had not signed a contract, would not be signing a contract, and had no intention of driving for the dastardly frogs in the future. Sacré bleus. 

While everybody was busy laughing at the French, everyone forgot to laugh at Ferrari, who have now joined the Catholic Church in the list of intransigent Italian institutions that have destroyed young men’s careers. Charles Leclerc increasingly looks like the only sane man in an asylum, and has perfected the “Shut-up-Carlos-I-don’t-care-about-Lando-Norris” stare.

Meanwhile Daniel Ricciardo has taken up the figure of Jenny from Forrest Gump; really cool when you’re younger, but as you get older, becomes increasingly like Jenny from Forrest Gump.

Alfa Romeo have designed a brand new car that can drive upside down, just not for very long and definitely not around corners.

George Russell remains as the only driver on the paddock who plausibly still believes in Santa Claus, though if he finishes outside the top five in any of the remaining races, Toto Wolff has said he will break the news.

Max Verstappen is that guy who shows up to fancy dress day at work in a shirt and chinos. Yes, we get it Max, you’re fast. Think about the Queen.

Finally, the world of motorsport did get some bad news over the summer, as four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement. Anyone who wins so much that they get booed automatically belongs to a different category of racing driver. Auf Wiedersehen, Seb.

GAA

A fine summer of Gaelic games saw Limerick take home the Liam McCarthy cup for the 4th time in five years, an achievement made all the more astounding when you consider that JP McManus also ran a golf tournament this summer.

Kilkenny have entered a new era, with Brian Cody announcing his retirement after 24 years of management. 10 days of mourning were declared in Kilkenny, with doctor’s appointments and hospital procedures being cancelled, and a 16-hour queue forming along the Nore for those who wished to pay their respects.

It was a case of Déise Vu in Waterford, as the greatest Napoleon complex in hurling, Davy Fitzgerald, was appointed as the latest man to steer the Titanic. Tipperary are completely in the denial phase of a breakup, insisting that they “never even liked hurling anyway”, though you can only really pity a county whose sole contribution to modern Ireland is the 2 Johnnies.

Away from the small ball, Kerry marched home with the Sam Maguire, after a thrilling final against Galway, the first watchable football match that I have seen since at least 2015.

For the first time in a long time, Dubs have tasted repeated failure. In a sporting sense anyway. I’m sure Dubs taste failure in every other sense all the time. Mayo have reached a level of pain beyond human comprehension. There are men who were tortured in Vietnam, that would rather another six-month stay in the Hanoi Hilton, than to have their hearts broken to “the green and red of Mayo” once more.

To conclude, the Sunday game also bid farewell to Pat Spillane, who is one of the few Sunday Game panellists who could hold their own with Joe Brolly and Ekin-Su all the same. He will be missed.