Friday 21 October 2016

Sinead Kissane: Your new year horror-scope and how to survive sport in 2016

Published 02/01/2016 | 02:30

'2016 brings with it great opportunities for success but also opportunities for failure' Photo:Depositphotos
'2016 brings with it great opportunities for success but also opportunities for failure' Photo:Depositphotos

Just in! Here is the Irish sports fans' horoscope for 2016: the new year starts with a sense of excitement and foreboding as 2016 brings with it great opportunities for success but also opportunities for failure.

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The levels of anxiety don't decrease as the year moves on so you'd better get used to it. You will find yourself in situations where your heart beats so fast that you wonder whether supporting the Republic of Ireland at the European Championships is good for you at all.

The rise before a major soccer championship will be followed by the inevitable fall, so why bother letting yourself become a nervous wreck?

There is no let-up as the summer progresses so follow the lead of Katie Taylor, who barely seems to break sweat in times of pressure even when she is boxing for Olympic Gold Medal Number Two. For more information, please call the stress-inducing, high-cost telephone number attached.

Affairs of the heart in 2016

You need to move on and get over that man because he's not coming back to you. C'est fini. He's headed for sunnier climes on the French Riviera for a few years so there is no point reminiscing about the good old times and don't delude yourself either that there are plenty more fish in the sea because there will never be another leader like him.

The talented lock who will take over from him in the Irish second-row is injured at the moment too. Ugh. Please don't call for any more information as you're really screwed on this.

Finances in 2016

The picture is a bit unclear but it looks like an unexpected lump sum of cash will fall your way, which means the trip of a life-time this summer.

Actually, it's AIB offering loans of €30,000 to fans who want to go to France for the Euros. Please be aware of Ireland's recent economic past, proceed with caution and speak to all members of your family before any decision is made. Please don't call for more information as you will need every single cent you have to pay back the loans.

Relationships in 2016

Trust is going to be a big issue for you this year. The likelihood is that you will be cheated on and fooled again. Four years ago you were sold a big fat LIE. Keep reminding yourself with affirmations that you are more resilient this time.

So for god's sake, when the athletics starts up at the Rio Olympics don't believe everything that you see. For more information, do your best to track down Seb Coe. He's probably dining out with the Russians as we speak.

Okay, so the above is more horror-scope than horoscope. But 2016 is going to be a year loaded with all kinds of emotion and experiences.

Here are a few worthless tips on how to survive the brilliant craziness that is coming our way.

Fans' Survival Guide to Euro 16

It was a question we used to bang on about to Joe Schmidt in 2015: how is he going to manage the public's expectation and pressure on the Irish team going into the Rugby World Cup? There's no need for this question to be asked of Martin O'Neill before the Euros because one man can't control a nation's hopes.

Much better to ask Roy Keane. He knows all about controlling the mood of our country during a major tournament.

But seriously, how are we going to do this? Will we learn from the rugby and not go into over-hype mode and instead act like we're cool connoisseurs of all this major championship qualifying lark.

Do we go into the tournament expecting nothing, which will help break the fall of the inevitable disappointment and let-down?

Rubbish. Isn't hope the best part of being an Irish sports fan? If we lose that, we lose our sense of enjoyment. Delusion can be a powerful experience. As tough a group as Ireland are in, I think we can do something special in France. What could possibly go wrong?

Fans' Survival Guide to the Olympic Games

Remember how the summer of 2012 was initially all about the Euros? Then came the flop. Then we feasted on the London Olympics. Katie and the boxers showed we can rule the world.

But we also let the Olympics consume us, from the artistic gymnastics to the women's K-2 500m canoeing.

Come Rio in August, you will be babbling on about the intricacies of the rear double scissor on the pommel horse.

Nothing brings out the sports obsessive in us like random Olympic events.

What about how we will consume athletics after what we learned about the Russians in 2012 with their cover-ups and cheating? Russia needs to be made an example of. Chuck the Russians out of the Olympics and see how every other country reacts then.

The palate cleanser for us in Rio will be our own medal contenders like Rob Heffernan, Annalise Murphy, the boxers and a golf team which can definitely hit the podium places. A Rory McIlroy plus Shane Lowry possible line-up doesn't require delusion when it comes to dreaming about success.

Fans' Survival Guide to coping without Paul O'Connell in the Six Nations

We're going to miss O'Connell's leadership more than we missed Brian O'Driscoll's.

And we're not quite sure what kind of after-kick to expect after what feels like the longest hangover in Irish sporting history.

With so much gloom around (except for Connacht and Ulster of course) it's easy to forget that we're going for a record third Six Nations title in a row.

Maybe that's why there was such a reaction when O'Driscoll tweeted that Ireland could do a lot worse than going with Garry Ringrose in the opening Six Nations game.

Maybe we need to put our hope into new talent to cover over what we've lost. But maybe we also need to rationalise that we still have great players with a head coach who will surely learn from what happened at the World Cup.

Maybe 2016 won't turn out as well as we hoped it would. But maybe it won't turn out as bad as we feared either.

Happy New Year.

Irish Independent

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