Tuesday 25 June 2019

Paul Kimmage

John Kavanagh: ‘Just after the Khabib fight, there were a bunch of incidents in the GAA and a referee was attacked on a soccer pitch and it was almost like the MMA gods had sent them to me’ Photo: David Conachy

Paul Kimmage meets renowned MMA coach John Kavanagh - who gives a passionate defence of his sport and most notorious pupil 

Two years ago, on the morning of my first visit to the Straight Blast Gym (SBG) on the Naas Road, I scribbled a last-minute warning in my notes. "The danger of interviewing John Kavanagh is that it becomes all about Conor McGregor." His book, Win or Learn had just been published and it was obvious, reading it, that Kavanagh was a seriously interesting man and I resolved not to make it...

Floyd Landis. Photo: Getty Images

Paul Kimmage talks to Floyd Landis - He won the Tour de France, then lost it for doping, and it almost cost him his life 

Almost eight years have passed since November 2010 and my last interview with Floyd Landis - a magazine piece for The Sunday Times and a 30,000 word Q&A with a classy, and ballsy, website called NYVelocity. The total cost was three writs, five years of harassment from a Swiss court, and 18 months as an unemployed writer when I lost my job. But here's the thing: Floyd was worth it.

Conor O’Shea says he has no interest in ever coaching Ireland.
Photo: James Crombie

'I love my country too much to do it' - Conor O'Shea tells Paul Kimmage why he never wants to coach Ireland 

What happened to all of our great rugby folk? They used to be the bravest, toughest and brightest people in sport but they're as bad as footballers now when it comes to playing dumb or diving for cover. I've almost given up trying to interview them. They're fine when you're tickling their tummies or plugging their hair gel or moisturisers, but confront them with a simple truth and they start...

Alejandro Valderde in action during last year’s Tour de France. Photo: Getty Images

Paul Kimmage: Who should we cheer - the guy who never wavered on doping or the guy who can't make up his mind? 

Whenever anyone asked Jericho why he was a mathematician - some friend of his mother, perhaps, or an inquisitive colleague with no interest in science - he would shake his head and smile and claim he had no idea. If they persisted, he might, with some diffidence, direct them to the definition offered by G. H. Hardy in his famous 'Apology': 'a mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a...

Rory McIlroy listens to caddie JP Fitzgerald's advice on trying a daring punch shot during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National last Sunday Photo: David Cannon/Getty Images

Paul Kimmage: Caddies sometimes get it spot-on 

"If you listen to them on the course, you often hear Rory asking, 'What happened there?' More than once I've heard JP saying something like, 'OK, hit a soft draw with a six-iron off that tree.' And I've immediately thought, 'This ball is going over the green'. And sure enough, it does. So you have to wonder. I see Rory up close only occasionally, and I know he's going to hit the ball over the green when his caddie clearly doesn't. It makes no sense." - Golf Digest, April 2017

Dermot Gilleece with Joe Carr's Green green jacket in Sutton golf club. Photo: David Conachy.

Paul Kimmage: 'Nobody can comprehend what it's like' - Ireland's players and caddies tell Masters inside story 

Two letters. On February 1, 1967, a lawyer called Robert Tyre Jones Junior from Atlanta, Georgia, sent a typewritten letter to a businessman in Dublin called Joseph Benedict Carr. Mr Tyre Jones Junior - or Bobby, as he was known - was the best amateur golfer in history and the founder member of Augusta National Golf Club. Mr Carr - better known as JB - was a three-time winner of the British...

Rory McIlroy will not represent Ireland in the Olympics

Paul Kimmage: Why it's never easy to tell it like it is 

For years he was aimless, a lost soul in life, always searching through the emptiness yet never finding the right path. How could he move forward when all signs kept pointing to his past? So, a few years ago, Alexi Grewal rounded up a scrapbook from his victory at the 1984 Olympic Games road race, and the rest of the memorabilia from his cycling career, and threw them in the trash. “I lived through that once and I needed to move on,” Grewal said. “It was a weight.” — Scott Reid, The Orange County Register, August 2009