Posts Tagged ‘ San Francisco ’

NFL: Football Returns As Packers Seek To Topple Seahawks

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It’s back. That other kind of football. The American one, where they throw the ball, wear all those big pads and make tackles with the velocity of lorries in fourth gear. The NFL never really goes away, because the draft has developed into a huge event with build-up starting the morning after the Super Bowl, and then pre-season training starts months in advance of the regular season. It is remarkable how the NFL has managed to be a year-round sport even though they only play for four months of the year. Maybe that’s why it is such a relief to have regular competition back now.

Thursday night will see the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, kick the year off with a home game against the Green Bay Packers. No team has won successive Super Bowl’s since the Patriots in 2004/05, but the Seahawks were clearly the dominant side in the NFL last season. Although they have lost some talented guys, they look well positioned to reign once more. Continue reading

Irish Born Star Looking Forward To Croke Park Classic Homecoming

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Ahead of the inaugural Croke Park Classic, an American Football game between top college sides Penn State and the University of Central Florida at the end of August, we caught up with Irish-born kicker for UCF, Sean Galvin.

Sean Galvin was about fourteen years old when his family left the hometown of Bandon, fully immersed in the traditional GAA ways. “We rivalled Clonakilty and the likes around there. I was always into the hurling. Big into Diarmuid O’Sullivan. Sure he used to work in Bandon there for a while, doing construction work up there. The O’hAilpÌn brothers and Joe Deane and all them, they were my heroes growing up.” He hasn’t lost the accent, either. Continue reading

NFL: Seahawks And Broncos Battle For Super Bowl XLVIII Success

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Welcome to the greatest sporting spectacle on Earth. The Super Bowl is the annual main event of the NFL, a glitzy and glamorous affair with huge hype, much analysis and a farcically long half-time show (this year featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers). At some point, a game will also break out. And this one should be a cracking encounter, with Peyton Manning bringing his outstanding Denver Broncos offense to meet the Seattle Seahawks and their top ranked defence. Here, we look ahead to the game and preview some of the factors that could decide the game.

Denver Broncos versus Seattle Seahawks (kick-off Sunday, 23:30)

The bookies have had a tough time trying to decide who the actual favourite is for this game, which sounds about right as both teams are very strong in their own right. While Denver have blown away many opponents as Peyton Manning has broken all sorts of passing records during the season, Seattle arrives with a power house of a defense that is capable of matching up with and taking on the Broncos strong receiver corps, with their own tough-talking gang of defensive backs known as the “Legion of Boom”. This is the clash where both teams strengths will meet, and if either side can gain an advantage in this area it would make it a very tough game for the other to win. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Conference Championships

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We are one week further down the road in the NFL Playoffs, and are considerably lighter now, having let go of the collective bulk of the Panthers, Chargers, Colts and Saints. At this point, as you would hope by Conference Championship weekend, we are left with the very finest teams in the NFL. On Sunday, the AFC will be settled between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, while the NFC title will go to the winner of the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco Forty-Niners. As much as it’s great to win your conference and receive the trophy that comes with it, the Conference Championship really is just the final hurdle to get over on the road to the Super Bowl. Here is our preview of the Conference deciders. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Divisional Round

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Last weekend saw the elimination of the Packers, Bengals, Chiefs and Eagles from the race to the Super Bowl. It did go to show that the suggested changes to the playoff system in future years would be absurd, as it brought about two good games, one great one and one frankly absurd comeback win. Twelve top teams getting the chance to compete for the Super Bowl seems like the right fit, and it would be a shame to see the level of post-season games be diluted in years to come. Whether that matters if more money could be made with changes is an entirely different matter.

This weekend sees the winners of last weekend (Colts, Saints, Chargers and Forty-Niners) progress to the next round, where their reward is to play against the top two sides from their respective conferences. Scant reward, a game against one of the Broncos, Patriots, Seahawks or Panthers, who will be coming off of a week’s rest. But everyone left standing is in with a shot of going to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII. Here, we review the games taking place this weekend, which will set up the conference deciders. Continue reading

NFL Playoffs: Wild-card Round

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The regular season has now ended, and the twelve teams for the playoffs have been settled. While Denver, New England, Seattle and Carolina get a week to rest up, the other eight have to go straight into battle this weekend for the right to play one of them. Here, we examine the fixtures taking place this Saturday and Sunday, and try to predict (in a decidedly unscientific manner) who is likely to emerge, and who will be going home after a one-and-done showing. Continue reading

Ireland Welcomes One Millionth American Visitor Of 2013

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The one millionth American visitor to Ireland this year – Leonie Higgins – arrived in Dublin this morning. She flew in from JFK with her husband Jim. To mark the milestone occasion, Tourism Ireland and Aer Lingus offered the couple two return tickets just before they left JFK for Dublin – for a future visit to Ireland.

The Irish-American couple, who live in Montgomery, in upstate New York, travel to Ireland regularly to attend the races at Punchestown and to play golf. However, this is their first time to spend Christmas in Ireland. Continue reading