Gleeson and Co are a cut above
I do like an aul' list. I realise this says a lot about the margins of my brain but there's something comforting in a chart that maps out what people are consuming at the end of a year. Interpreted correctly it can guide us to do more or less of a certain subject over the coming year, or misinterpreted it can send us all in the wrong direction.
What are we to make of the fact that at the end of 2016 five of the top ten podcasts on Off the Ball were doping in cycling or generally doping-related? Should we clear the decks and go gung-ho into the slime of all sports? All things in moderation might be the wisest course of action. For what it's worth here's my own top three sporting moments of the year.
The Robbie Brady goal features at the top of most people's highlights for a multitude of reasons. This was redemption for the fans and team after 2012. This was redemption a minute after near disaster had befallen Wes Hoolahan with a tame miss when it seemed easier to score. This was O'Neill and Keane proving the Germany win wasn't a fluke.
This was a game where the referee's decisions went against us. It was an antithesis to a lifetime of moral victories and it was a beautiful ball from McGeady to Wes to Robbie Brady to his family and a slew of beautiful images. Football was back.
Fourteen minutes into the Munster final and although the game had been great I'd found myself already subconsciously on my phone, checking Twitter and scrolling through Facebook. Suddenly, I was literally off my feet.
Austin Gleeson had just put the ball down on the '65 for a sideline and cut it straight over the bar. The fact they ended up getting hammered by Tipp could have damaged the Waterford group after the flak they took for the drawn league final. But they are made of strong stuff and should offer Tipp meaty challenges next year. Let's not take for granted that an U-21 is routinely cutting the ball over the bar from the '65 though.
And finally the kick-chase that leads to the Robbie Henshaw try for Ireland at Soldier Field against the All Blacks. It was dervish. It was Mike Tyson in his prime. It was history and it was pain, it was no more suffering.
Who doesn't like an aul' list?