Every writer remembers their first paid commission – mine’s was for a piece for ice hockey magazine Powerplay.
For €30… which gives you some kind of idea how long ago that was.
I think it was an interview with a hockey player from the Balkans where it’s more popular than here in Ireland.
And the player had fled the war-torn region which I had the pleasure to visit this Autumn.
And saw that as it should be the passions were now being contained to the football pitch and the ice rink….
Ice hockey is the world’s fastest sport, and my reporting career in that sport was equally quick.
In fact you’ll find my part in the Bracknell Bees story merits but a footnote of a footnote.
Still I have kept up my interest in the sport of which renowned American scribe AJ Leibling wrote:
‘I went to a fight last night and an ice hockey match broke out.’
But it took until this year for me to pick up a stick in anger in Anaheim under the nose of their mascot Wild Wing…
Best check out Visit California www.visitcalifornia.com.
While ice hockey has struggled to get a skatehold in the south of Ireland our friends in the North are all over it.
Belfast’s SSE Arena will be host to the Friendship Four 2019 American College tournament on 29-30 November.
It will be the fifth consecutive iteration of the contest, the only collegiate tourney outside the US.
Now American collegiate sport is another ball (or puck) game and its adherents are fanatic.
Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com have held a biennial American Football match at the Aviva, home of Irish rugby.
Which I took the Scary One and Daddy’s Little Girl to a few years back.
And where I got talking to some fanatical Gridiron fans.
It wasn’t for the Scary One who asked me during the third quarter if it was in the rules to throw the ball forward!
Princeton, Colgate, Northeastern and the University of New Hampshire will compete for this year’s Belpot Trophy.
And you can be one of the 20,000 spectators… visit www.friendshipfour.com.
You might even see The Son and Heir there who has been at the heart of my Belfast jaunts… Belfast Chilled.
An everyday adventure at the Grand Central Hotel with its seahorse symbol which anchors Belfast.
SEE YOU ON THE RINK