1. “Jerry Sandusky grew up in Washington, Pennsylvania. His father headed the local community recreation center, running sports programs for children. The Sanduskys lived upstairs. “Every door I opened, there was a bat, a basketball, a football somewhere,” Sandusky has recounted. “There was constant activity everywhere. My folks touched a lot of kids.” Sandusky’s son E.J. once described his father as “a frustrated playground director.” Sandusky would organize kickball games in the back yard, and, E.J. said, “Dad would get every single kid involved. We had the largest kickball games in the United States, kickball games with forty kids.” Sandusky and his wife, Dottie, adopted six children, and were foster parents to countless more.”
The New Yorker describes how the former Penn State assistant coach played the ‘lovable goofball.’
2. “There’s something special about Donegal and Mayo fans. The atmosphere is just inclined to be that bit more raucous with these folk from the west. Of all the games this writer has been to in the last couple of seasons, a couple stand out for atmosphere because of these fans.
“Donegal v Kildare, the 2011 All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park. For 50 minutes of normal time, this was a stinker of a game to watch. But as the Tir Chonaill men began to claw their way back into this game one finger-length at a time during the second halves of both normal and extra time, the atmosphere charged.
“Like a young child winding up the back wheels on a toy car, you knew the energy release was coming. For those lucky enough to witness it, a growing frenzy accompanied each score in the 1-12 to 0-14 win.”
Shane Stapleton sets the scene ahead of today’s clash at Croker.
3. “Simon Kuper is the author of Soccer Against the Enemy, Soccernomics, Soccer Men, and just now published for the first time in the US, Ajax, the Dutch, the War, an account of the surprisingly complex intersection between soccer, the Holocaust, and everyday life under German occupation during World War II in the Netherlands.
“Ajax is an absorbing, thoughtful read, driven by a moral intelligence not typically found in sports books. Kuper interviews aged survivors of the war from every imaginable side—ranging from Dutch Jews who hid from the Nazis, sporting-club members who staged their own ousters of Nazi collaborators after the war, and athletes dragooned into playing for Hitler’s national side—and digs into previously unexplored wartime archives like a seasoned historian.”
4. “A quick quiz question to start, nothing too difficult. When was the first time a visiting Ryder Cup team travelled to the USA kitted out in nice suits, ones that weren’t made from garish offcuts and didn’t fall apart at the seams? Answer: 1983, when Tony Jacklin became captain of Europe, and ordered the men in charge to stop being such tightwads, and book some bloody seats for the players on Concorde while they were at it. 1983!
“It should come as little surprise, this being the case, that Great Britain’s preparations for the inaugural Ryder Cup, at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts in 1927, were a risible shambles. Getting to the States in the first place was quite an effort for Ted Ray’s men. The magazine Golf Weekly launched an appeal to raise the £3,000 required to send the Brits stateside, but only 216 of Britain’s 1,750 golf clubs put their hands in their pockets to donate. In the end, the magazine’s editor George Philpot, and garden-seed magnate Samuel Ryder himself, had to chip in a grand to make up the shortfall. The players were sent over on the RMS Aquitania, a six-day cruise over a choppy ocean. Arriving with wobbly sea legs and stomachs to match, they were immediately whisked off to get paggered on fizzy booze at a reception at a nearby country club.”
The Guardian looks at six pre-1960s Ryder Cup battles.
5. “The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United has become almost unique in its intensity since the Premier League’s balance of power shifted from Merseyside along the M62 in the early 1990s.
“The two cities do not simply share a sporting rivalry but also a cultural and industrial one – something mirrored most starkly in the relationship between two of world football’s greatest clubs.
“Covering one of my first meetings between Liverpool and United at Anfield in 1988 I got a close up view of then manager Kenny Dalglish carrying his six-week old daughter Lauren in his arms while enraging counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson in the tunnel by suggesting a radio interviewer might get more sense interrogating the baby than his fellow Scot.
“It was a snapshot of the fierce competition that has always existed between Liverpool and United but the incident now falls into the category of mild banter given what has become, and few would dispute this, an increasingly poisonous relationship between the supporters in recent years.”
The BBC’s chief football writer Phil McNulty on the biggest rivalry in English football.