Proud I was yesterday. Proud of the sport I have most played and loved since I was ten years old. In this current sporting age of the winner takes it all, huge money, individuality and ego, yesterday’s events at the K club in Ireland were a stunning ray of sunshine and hope. True, it was still about winning and losing, but there were bigger themes at work. At the centre of much of this was Darren Clarke, who, despite the loss of his wife Heather a few weeks ago to cancer, was literally playing his heart out.
The camaraderie, compassion and overall understanding of ‘this is just a game and we know what really matters’ were huge. How fitting today that Arsen Venger has made a statement about how much football could learn form the spirit that was upheld between the European and USA Ryder cup teams. Good for him. And Darren. All that weight coming down off those big shoulders at the end of his singles game and massive contribution, through tears and the realization that a nation, a huge crowd and his mates on both sides would make the world a different place for him if only they could. That is what gets us through, some of us anyhow, and I think Darren will be ok. For me this was a moment that transcended a sporting occasion, though it was wonderful that it was brought about by such an event. It was like the most beautiful cello solo, a great poem, the height of a U2 or Springsteen show, that moment when it becomes, well, yeh, spiritual. Some might be skeptic and that’s fine, but for me this is the very essence of it all. It is why we rage against darkness and fumble our way on the path. Most of all, it gives me huge hope, it really does. It fuels the fire in the belly that keeps me going. Thanks guys.