All-Ireland Final weekend is always busy for Emmet Ryan but with BallinEurope.com joining the 81 Media family, it went to another level. Here are 36 hours in the life of our editor.
10am Saturday morning – DCU
Back in an alma mater for a conference. Performa Sports have one on performance analytics in sport. I wolf down a breakfast roll on the way in, down a latte, and take my seat. Lisa Fallon is scarily alert for this hour of the morning, she’s good but yikes.
Second cup has been downed. Garry Cahill brings us to the tennis courts to give a demonstration of how they track player performance. The amount of detail he shows is only slightly less impressive than the freakish power on display from the 13 year old player participating in the demo. I have rarely felt so old without being hungover. Grab coffee number three on the way back inside.
Conference is over. A quick stop in Vice Coffee to add more fuel and it’s off home for Serbia vs Italy in EuroBasket. The loser misses out on the World Cup next year.
4.30pm – Rathmines
Parked in front of my PC, I watched the Serbs tear Italy a new one in the opening quarter. Italy never recover. Blog post on the match goes up within seconds of the final buzzer. Manage to get another short one up before the buzzer up during timeouts.
Eibhlin makes soup for dinner, knowing full well the next few hours will be the only rest I get until Monday. Resting constitutes watching College Football.
9.30pm – Bowe’s
As promised to Mayo fans, especially Willie Joe, I join them for a pint on the eve of the big one. Mike Kelly says no-one is worried about the minor game although that could be because everyone’s more focussed on the senior. As I exit TL from Twitter recognises me “Where’s my video?!!!”
10.30pm – Doheny & Nesbitt’s
I arrive at Kevin and Francesca’s engagement party ahead of Eibhlin and down three more pints. It’s a terrible idea considering the early start tomorrow but not as bad as my insisting on getting Abrakebabra afterwards.
1am Sunday – Rathmines
Watch the prelims of UFC 165 and fall asleep on the couch.
Wake up to see a message on my phone from Messiah J, the rapper, with team news for Dublin. Take a note that Mannion’s hamstring is iffy.
Eibhlin sees me going in and out of consciousness and asks when I need to be up. I tell her 10.30.
Yeah I’m up. Shower and head up the road for some groceries. By the time I’m at 161 Café it’s nearly time for it to open, decide to hang around for the 5 minutes.
Greg you are amazing. As he opens the door of 161 he turns to me and says “It’s already being poured.” Go in, down the latte.
Finally have breakfast at home and then tear into writing a preview of the EuroBasket final. Break down some match-ups; embed a video by Coach Nick.
Order a cab on Hailo but Jaysus he goes right into the heart of the traffic. Get to Croker just as the minor match is starting.
1.25pm – Croke Park
Coffee number two of the day in my hand I’m surrounded by Ulster folk, which is a gift when taking notes as I don’t have to worry about fans of Mayo or Dublin leaping up and knocking my pen or pad flying.
Minor game is done; coffee number three of the day is being ingested. The hard work kicks off in a few minutes.
Well the Messiah was wrong about Mannion not starting but he’d be proven half right soon enough.
Mannion goes off, enter Eoghan O’Gara. That earns Messiah J a link to one of his songs.
It’s half time so I count up the shots made/missed and tweet it out.
Ciaran Kilkenny has been muck; I turn to Seamus Kennedy beside me and say he’ll be taken off for Rock on 42 or 43 minutes.
Damn I’m good. 42nd minute substitution, Dean Rock on for Ciaran Kilkenny.
How do you not go for goal in that situation? Full time and Dublin have won. Fire off a few more stat tweets before getting the final bits of video from the day.
6.20pm – Spar on Baggot St
The heat was murderous and it took me the guts of an hour to cross the city on foot. The fourth coffee of the day and eighth of the weekend goes down. Feeling it now by the next three and a half hours are big.
6.45pm – Rathmines
I dive straight into writing Tactics not Passion on the final. I’m a good 20 minutes behind schedule but Eibhlin once again comes to the rescue by making dinner. The TV is to my right and I’m replaying clips of the game to make sure what I write is right.
Tactics not Passion has been posted and shared. 1,600 words done just in time for tip off of the EuroBasket 2013 final.
The legal stream’s website is having fits. This is pretty much the worst thing that can happen. The less legal alternatives are having issues too.
Some hero of humanity in Lithuania has spotted the problem and added an extra stream to handle the overflow traffic. This gets me through until half-time. The official stream is finally back online and working for the second half.
The final is over and once again I’ve got the report up seconds after full time. Much as I wanted the game to be competitive, the relative one-sidedness meant I could write most of it during timeouts in the second half. We’re done; it’s time to get some pints. Ok cans, I bring a few cans with me.