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28.09.2016, 23:30◄ last page     

BLOG: The new season is back and Tom's fine art of handball literature is back too. Check what the ehfTV commentator has to say in his blog split in two parts.

Time and tide wait for no man

Is it a new season already? Where does the time go? I guess for all of us time is cyclical.

We are born to rock but forced to work; our free time is something precious to hold onto. As teachers we do it; awaiting the holidays, as workers; we await the weekend, as people involved in sports, it’s game day, travel, rest, game day, travel, rest until there is some down time somewhere along the way.

I have always tried to grasp each new day, to find something good in it, to live my life, not as if it was my last day, but to at least feel that it was beneficial in some way. But no matter what way you approach life, it still seems to slip through your fingers like grains of sand in an hourglass.

I know what you’re thinking! Here comes a Shakespeare quotation!

It’s Chaucer!
“Time and tide wait for no man”

When I look in the mirror I don’t see the young guy who started out on a handball road over thirty years ago; long hair, good shoulders, everything still pointing in the right direction.

Ok, I’m, not the wreck of the Hesperus, yet, but those old bones creak a little. As someone once said you know you’re getting old when you groan sitting down and standing up. How right they were.

But before you think I’m writing my obituary, this is more about that new beginning; the cycle starting again. The same youthful fervour I felt when a new season was beginning as a player. The hopes and dreams that stretched out before you in limitless pastel colours. The shapes and patterns that might or might not be.

Every player is the same and the symbiosis between players, coaches and teams of sports people is like an unseen web that interlinks us all. And we all feel the same. Jesus, another year over and in the same breath, this could be the best year ever.

You know, the face that looks back at me in the morning is not a guy I always want to talk to. He’s a little harder, a little more conservative. Whereas once I was Robert Baratheon, all steel and fire, now I am more like Stannis, iron and unbendable (That’s one for all you GOT fans).

Every so often I want the young guy to jump out and say, hey I’m back. He struggles to get out, but life and my age don’t always allow me to act like him. Still the young and the old guy know that handball is the anchor of my life. It seems like it has always been there.

The EHF in its wisdom has seen fit to allow me some time off, to still stay involved and yet to supplement the experience for all of us by bringing two wonderful Irishmen on board to do MOTW with me.

Chris and David are as steeped in handball as I am and knowing their personalities they will bring an even better level to proceedings. I would hope that everyone across the world will extend to them the same support they extended to me.

At least when they walk into Zagreb arena at some future date, the club's manager Ante Ancic won’t be saying:

“But you’re Irish, what do you know about handball”. Still one of my favourite all time moments and I wish Ante all the best in the coming season with his young lions.

You know I think we make the best commentators. I really do. We come from the same gene pool as some of the greatest wits of English literature; Wilde, G.B. Shaw, Swift and latterly Roddy Doyle. We think quickly on our feet and a quip is much more entertaining to us than a serious piece of information. But don’t let the “slick patter” fool you for behind the ease and the comfort is the hard work borne out of long hours of research.

The fact that three Irishmen will present the CL now, reminds me of that dreadful movie “Alexander” directed by Oliver Stone. Because he was trying to show all the different city states that existed in “Greece” at that time, he decided to bring English speaking actors from all different accent bases to play the various states.

So from now, whenever you hear the Irish accent, it will immediately place you in the Champions League. It’s a kind of Pavlov’s dog’s moment, you hear the anthem, you hear the accent and you will be immediately transported to the arena for MOTW.

Read the second part of the blog here

TEXT: Tom O'Brannagain, ehfTV commentator

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