Picking sides

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

In a World Cup year and with the major finals across most major European sports fast approaching, Declan Hughes offers his thoughts on how neutrals can decide which side to pick.
In my last piece I discussed provincial allegiances. This topic was inspired by a question posed to me by a player, Irish international Leah Ewert [...]

Ice Hockey’s knowledge war hits the playoffs

Friday, April 18th, 2014


With the Stanley Cup Playoffs under way, Zoe Coleman McNair looks at the struggle for acceptance of advanced stats in the NHL and breaks down the match-ups.
In 2012, the LA Kings barely scraped into the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and proceeded to practically cruise through the playoffs, only dropping four games before winning [...]

The WWE and the GAA aka the 2020 vision

Monday, April 14th, 2014


What does scripted sports entertainment have to do with Gaelic Games aside from the obvious cynical digs? Oh nothing, just the road map for the future of broadcasting. Emmet Ryan explains.

The debate over the GAA’s deal with Sky didn’t take long to move on to the obvious question of what happens when the next deal [...]

Coffee with Creed: Episode 3 – Rocky III

Thursday, April 10th, 2014


Like we could pick any other scene for the title image. Welcome once again to Coffee with Creed, our analysis of race and politics in the Rocky movies.

Emmet Ryan is joined by Paul Fennessy of TheScore.ie to discuss the contrasting portrayals of Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang in the third instalment of the Rocky saga. [...]

Coffee with Creed: Episode 2 – Rocky II

Monday, March 31st, 2014


In the second part of our series looking at race and politics in the Rocky movies, Emmet Ryan is joined by David Neary to discuss Rocky II.

This was the film where Apollo Creed, willingly or not, simply had to play the villain. In this episode we discuss how this was managed along with the change [...]

Coffee with Creed: Episode 1 – Rocky

Monday, March 24th, 2014


Welcome to a new series here on Action81.com. Coffee with Creed takes a look at race and politics across each of the Rocky movies.

Over the course of each episode I’m joined by a guest to discuss how these issues were addressed in each of the Italian Stallion’s movies. The title is named for the unique, [...]

Is provincial loyalty really a thing?

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

While rugby makes it easy for sports fans to associate with their province, the lines are far more blurred elsewhere in sport. Declan Hughes discusses his experiences.
In early February 2014 I was at the under 21 Intervarsities hockey tournament being hosted at Grange Road home of Three Rock Rovers, and had just witnessed Ulster dispatching [...]

Neil Francis, you’re not helping

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Neil Francis appeared on Off the Ball on Newstalk on Sunday along with Eugene McGee to talk about Joe Brolly’s column in the Irish Daily Mail on Sunday about Donal Óg Cusack, the retired Cork hurler who was the first GAA player to come out. Francis, winner of sports columnist of the year at the [...]

A tale of two hockeys

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Declan Hughes went to two games of hockey on opposite sides of the Atlantic with rather different atmospheres. From Belfield and the Bell Centre, here’s how Declan experienced his two favourite hockey teams.
When I was 3 years old my parents emigrated to Canada. The city they chose was Montreal. An unusual choice given, Montreal is [...]

The cold reality facing Michael Sam

Monday, February 10th, 2014


Michael Sam, the SEC defensive player of the year, could be the first openly gay player in NFL history. The road ahead for Sam is filled with the irrationality of those in power. This isn’t going to be fun.
To use American Football parlance, Michael Sam has a lot of upside. He was named defensive player [...]