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Monday, November 25, 2019 8 comments

I'm getting old...


A few things, beyond the obvious, made me feel old lately, so the other day I licked my pencil, grabbed a trusty 3x5 card and wrote down some notes in cursive to prove my point.
  • I listened to an NPR story on the radio (it was an Internet radio, so do I get 10 bonus young points?) about a family inviting Amazon's Alexa each evening to the dinner table as a way to "improve conversation amongst their kids."

  • (Some of my life-long friends will get a kick out of this one.) The youngsters I trained with at the new job and I went for a drink on a recent Friday. It was nice to hang with them for a few hours, shoot the breeze and get to know them all a bit more. At about 7 p.m., we all prepared to go our separate ways when the conversation turned to what time they'd all meet up later that same evening... I just laughed and hurried to catch the tram home.

  • Rumors from the long-timers at work swirled this week when the Christmas party was announced. Apparently, it's to be held at the same place as last year, at a big hall that's very cold, I've been told...and my first thought is not to forget to bring an extra sweater -- and maybe a beanie?

  • My neighboring colleague turned 50 last month. I told her we're now the same age, only I've got a half-year on her. She nodded, I nodded back and it's never been mentioned since.

And most sadly.....

This guy's response to Peter Shilton's tweet is hilarious, and I was about to forward it to lads at work to show them I'm cool and do Twitter and stuff...

...and then I realized none of them were even born in 1986 when Shilton was the England goalkeeper during the 1986 World Cup when Maradona scored with the infamous "Hand of God."
Monday, November 18, 2019 6 comments

Ireland v Denmark - the Game

·         Hola, I'm reporting live! (for me) tonight in the final part of my recent IRL v DEN series.

·         Tonight, is the10th anniversaryof the “Hand of Henry,” but don’t get me started!

·         Real “Cup Final” atmosphere as DEN needs only a draw, but we need a win.

·         Even the Irish President was nearly late to the game with the heavy traffic.

·         I’m listening to RTE radio 2, so we’re going old school here tonight…

Photo Credits: Getty Images and RTE SPORT

·         And, it’s GAME ON!

·         Great, feisty start by Ireland, nearly a penalty in the first minute

·         Thomas Delaney (he plays for Denmark!!) off injured by the 12th minute

Thomas Delaney (not the Lad in Green)

·         16th minute… Denmark have a free kick, but make a mess of it.

·         Crowd starting to get a bit anxious, as am I.

·         Couple of corners for DEN in a row it seems like, but no real danger.

·         2nd DEN player is subbed… bunch of wusses, if I may say so.

·         33rd minute and a first chance for IRL, but kicked right at the keeper

·         IRL pushes a little more, but no real chances.

·         DEN have a dangerous free kick, but it comes to nothing.

·         3 mins added to the end of the first half, and IRL gets the first corner

·         Shuite. Nothing happening there either.

·         Ref blows the whistle. That’s it. An OK first half, but IRL could have done better.

·         I’m off for a beer! Back in 15-ish mins

·         Second Half

·         I don’t know how sports reporters do this on the blogs and things. It’s hard to eat dinner and have a pint while writing notes at the same time.

·         And, the 2nd half is off (burp. Excuse me.) One change for IRL, otherwise, it’s still the same lads on the field.

·         Thoughts on the first half… not too bad, but now IRL must still win to automatically go through. If we don’t, IRL faces a 2-leg playoff in March and me nails—and liver—can’t handle that.

·         IRL get a quick free kick, and a good one, but it’s cleared. Only 559,001 minutes to go… the stress!

·         Corner for IRL, and a good header ends with a second corner for IRL.

·         Good to see them using that old “Buy one, get one free” move… and Jaysus, we nearly scored!!

·         Throw for IRL this time and it’s cleared by the damned Danes, and off we go up the field.

·         Good work by IRL, though, and may I shout with abandon, “Come On You Boys In Green!!!”

·         Crowd are back in it, and it’s super great to hear the songs from the stadium.

The Aviva.

·         IRL has more of the ball in this early start of the 2nd half, but the Damnation Danes remain a threat.

·         First yellow card against IRL, and the crowd immediately start calling out his name, loving that it was a strong, legal tackle. Didn't get his name, as I ran to the jax as I really needed to pee. (I didn’t think anything would happen and feel very guilty, but understand the game must go on, my weak bladder be Daned!!)

·         And, it's a must stronger performance from IRL this half as I try make up  for my faux pee.

·         Unfortunately, no streakers of either gender have made it on the pitch to further liven up the crowd.

·         58 minutes gone. 0-0 to Ireland and the dangerous Danes remain happy with the result.

·         Corner! To IRL, and the crowd are loving it, as is your rugged reporter, reporting.

·         Sadly, it’s a bad corner, the ball sails over the bar, but it’s a point for IRL!!!

·         Oh wait. Wrong sport.

·         “Ole, Ole, Ole” rings out amongst the 40,000+ crowd

·         If IRL can win this game and qualify, they get to play 2 games in DUBLIN and the other one in Balboa…

·         Within the last 30 minutes… lots of IRL subs warming up, but no changes yet…

·         25 mins to go… cross by IRL and another corner to the Lads.

·          Bit messy in the box, ends in an IRL throw and the energy is changed as the Dastardly Danes mess it up and then the great, manly, brave Irishmen are on the attack again.

·         CHANCE! Ball goes over the bar, but we’re putting them under pressure!

·         2nd sub for IRL. One fellow in a green shirt coming in for another one in the same-colored shirt. The crowd go wild. Exciting stuff as my buttocks go numb on the edge of my seat.

·         Less than 20 mins to go…

·         Free kick to the Dire Danes, but IRL gently defends the box and all is well.

·         IRL push forward again.

·         The Dramatic Danes completely mess up the first chance of their game and the score is still 0-0, this time for Ireland.

·         And bloody hell… 73rd minute… the Damn Danes have scored.

·         Sigh. [Quick visit to the fridge to grab a well-needed beverage.]

·         IRL has 16 minutes, but we need 2 goals now. Yikes.

·         The playoffs in March loom large now.

·         Ireland pile on the pressure, the Lads know what’s on the line.

·         Goals are needed and the Diminished Danes are looking as shell-shocked as a Spaniard getting the bill after eating out in a Dublin restaurant.

·         Five minutes to go… and IRELAND SCORE!!!
Matt Doherty (#2) scores the equalizer!

·         Masses of churches around Ireland will be twice as busy this weekend as thousands have to pay back their “Lord, if only we can score at least one goal…. Please Lord…”

·         GAME ON….

·         But, remember, the non-Dashing Danes’ drawing still mean they go through (boo!)

·         The crowd are going nuts!!

·         All the play is now 103 percent in the Danish half (not really, but I wish!!)

·         CHANCE! IRL goes close and the Darnish defenders clear.

·         3 minutes to go… and maybe a couple added on…

·         IRL force their way forward…

·         IRISH corner!

·         Messing around the 6-yard box, but no clear shot.

·         1-minute to go.


·         I need a new beer.

·         IRL pushing forward… get a throw…

·         3 minutes left…. Another throw for IRL

·         Goes out of play… lost chance…

·         2 minutes left…

·         Crowd acting like the 12th man… egging on the Lads

·         Throw for IRL… One minute left…

·         Ball booted down the field… and…

·         That’s it... game over.

Brilliant effort by the Boys In Green - and we're not of it yet!!

·         Spirited effort from the Irish, who didn’t lose, but couldn’t get the needed second goal and will now go to the playoffs in March—again.

·         Thanks for reading along. This is your intrepid and thirsty reporter signing off.

·         See you in March and the next seance :)

Friday, November 15, 2019 2 comments

IRELAND v DENMARK (Part 2) "The Musical"


As Ireland gets ready for its MUST WIN EURO 2020 qualifier against regular foes, Denmark (BOO!), this coming Monday, the Boys In Green played a friendly against New Zealand last night.

And, the result was a 3-1 win to us.

Jaysus... We won.

Sean Maguire: Man of the Match after scoring his first senior goal for Ireland

[Takes a deep breath and a second to enjoy the moment... they don't come around that often!]

Robbie Brady back after injury woes...and wearing the Captain's armband

In honor of this silly, friendly victory, I give you "Ireland v Denmark (Part 2 -- The Musical)" ahead of the main event Monday.

If you missed Part One, where I discuss how feckin' Ireland has been my ex-girlfriend for the last 30+ years, click here.

For now, feel free to wander around the musical offerings of Irish players, musicians, but mostly Irish fans "at work" over the last 30+ years, (I sense a "team.")

The BOYS IN GREEN shorts, (but they do have green jerseys, too!)

If you're rolling the eyes and only want the 8-minute highlights, *please* watch this video to see how the fans (did you know they're Irish) even had a sing-song cleaning their own garbage after the long day of festivities.

The Irish would go on to earn the "best fans" award from the French government following the end of EURO 2016. (As they do.)

On the other hand, if you have the time, knock yerself out with some of these video clips. I know me and my adult beverage spent a good few hours "researching" as we sung along!!

Click on any song name or video to begin smiling exercises.

"Joxer Goes to Stuttgart" (In honor of the EURO 1988 by Christy Moore)

"Put 'em Under Pressure" (Italia 1990 theme song!)

"To Win JUST Once" by The Saw Doctors (Any time Ireland goes to qualify!!)

Former International and Manager-for-the-2nd-time-in-20-years, Mick McCarthy, also loves a sing-song

Irish Fans Sing "Stand Up For The Boys In Green" (EURO 2012)

Fans Sing "The Fields of Athenry" (EURO 2012 - when we were LOSING 0 - 4 to Spain)

The Lads Seranade the French Girl (EURO 2016)

...And they Serenade the Baby, too! (EURO 2016)

Me and a friend in Holland, circa Italia '90

Photo Credits (except the last dodgy shot) via Seb Daly and Sportsfile.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 8 comments

Lovely Writers & 30th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall


I love how the response of my recent non-post spilled onto my last post, so may I start by saying I dearly and deeply appreciate everyone who comments here - there isn't many, and you bloody all know each other - and that's probably what I should have said re. the non-post, so there you go now!

In a "Only Happens To Me" memory, I woke up this past Saturday, 9 November 2019 to the news it was the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall falling. Oh no, not again. I groaned and did my own falling back on the pillow.
9 November, 1989... I'm the one in the.... no, wait, I'm not :(

It's like this, you see. Coming in currently as #17 of the Top Twenty Regrets in my life is missing out being there when the Berlin Wall came down Thursday, 9 November 1989.

I was working at a fancypants restaurant in Amsterdam, and with no cellphones or Internet in those (simpler!) days, there was always a large, grey plastic TV mounted to the corner(s) of the bar.

These days...

As the evening progressed, there was a huge swell of positive emotion between staff and guests. Guests grabbed seats, servers helped the bartender and soon it was standing room only as we all watched history being made -- sort of in front of our eyes.

That's when one of me mates said they were going to Berlin directly after work -- and there was a spare seat if I wanted to see history being made -- truly with my own eyes.
Love these "before & afters"

And, I like a thick Irishman, said no.

It was a 12-hour roundtrip and I had a shift Friday night, so I wussed out on one of the most wonderful and peaceful uprisings ever.

Typical Koopmans.

Forgets to write posts and skips wall coming-downs. Only happens to me.

Love. Actually. Can. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019 10 comments

The 4-letter word


Bloody hell. The older I get, the more shit I forget to do - like bring a jacket with me on a rainy day (on the plain,) in Spain!

Or, when I brainfart myself past a written-ishly alarm, as I did yesterday when I "posted" my IWSG post early.

I'd scheduled the post to go live about three weeks ago, even though I'd not written a damn word. See, this lack of wordage would -- in theory -- normally scare the shit outta me and force, if needed, a fine, intelligent-lite briefing of my latest month in the world of writing.

Only I haven't had an Editor chomping down my throat for the copy-of-a-needed-article-before-the-deadline-hits for many a year. And, so I forgot.

As you do.

I only remembered this lack of delivery and loss of flowery language, (common name: "Ooopsadaisy,") while elbow-deep in the innards of my little postbox that could.

A ping from my phone with a side order of smirk announced brightly (for seven wonderous seconds) in Times New Roman 12 (double-spaced) that my latest post had posted.

(OK, I was at work, but I could have been at the mailbox.)

That's when I realized I was as thick as two planks and had posted a headline, but nothing underneath. I mean like not something small and frail and absolutely lacking in substance... Nope. I had a big fat nothing.

(Some readers probably thought I'd posted a regular blog, and after this, I have the established chops to interview for and become a great reporter for The Sun; New York Post or The Daily Mail :)

What truly warms the cockles of my cynical, writing heart is that I've had (so far) four comments from some writerly friends!!

Therefore, I'm taking a moment to appreciate the following folks for giving me a writerly boost when I hadn't a clue.

To these fellow lovers of words, I bow at the waist, and if y'all were standing beside me, I'd punch you in the good shoulder and go all Robert de Niro-y on you by saying, "You... you... you got a gift my friend..."

Sue at Elephant's Child A fantastic example on how to run a truly fun and interesting blog, and one of my favorite writing mentors (even though she didn't know it until now:)

Alex at Alex J. Cavanaugh The myth and the man behind IWSG. What more can I say!

Lee at C. Lee McKenzie A way-back-when writer buddy who stopped by perhaps looking for a few minutes of readability and was left with a moment of clarity on why she hadn't visited for so long :)

Liz at Elizabeth Seckman My lost Twinny. 'Nuff said.

Finally, as it's obviously Christmas in 47 days... here's my post:

Dear Santa,

I promise to do better for the December IWSG, and if I don't, it won't be for the lack of forward-thinking and backward planning that fills my writing days :)

Yours sincerely,


PS: Santa baby, any chance the Angels can get at least two starting pitchers for the 2020 season? Thanks. (Cookies and Irish whiskey will be available from 23:00 - 06:00.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019 5 comments


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