DUBLIN --I won't try to hide the fact that there are some very cool aspects of my job. One is that through the years I've had an opportunity to travel to countries that I might not otherwise have had a chance to visit, mostly for Olympics, other international sports, NFL and college football games. Georgia Tech's opening game against Boston College in Dublin, Ireland, was my first visit to the Emerald Isle.
Now, the problem with traveling for work is that you seldom get a chance to actually tour the sites, unless you couple the trip with a vacation, which I've seldom been able to do. But I did manage to see "Phantom of the Opera" in London when I was there to cover a football game, and I skied in the French Alps several mornings before starting my work day at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville.
On the flip side, I've also been to Starkville.
I've done several goofy "Digi-Blogs" in the past from various events. Here's some shots from Dublin. You won't see a ton of classic tourist destinations because if I took time off, Ken Sugiura said he would out me. And you don't upset Ken Sugiura. The man is like a ticking time bomb
Here's my traveling partner already in the gate area. This is what Ken looks like when he loosens up. Notice the shirt is untucked.
It never looks like on the plane in my row.
It looks like this.
Doesn't a stopover in Paris sounds great? Ah, the lights of Paris.
OK, onto Dublin. Our hotel sat in the middle of a district called Temple Bar. To be clear, there are no rabbis or cantors in Temple Bar but there are several pubs that seemed to morph into houses of worship in the evening. This is what it looked like outside my hotel in the day time.
And this what it looked like outside my hotel at night. Yes, those are human legs carrying the sign.
So when your wife says, "You smell like a distillery!" but you say, "No way!" because you actually spent all day in a museum -- and you have witnesses!
Ken and I decided to go check out Aviva Stadium. It's only five years old. It replaced Lansdowne Road Stadium, so see Atlanta -- we're no worse than Dublin when it comes to tearing down stadiums. Well, if you ignore the fact Lansdowne opened in 1872, long before the Cobb County Commission came into power.
For those who think they can't make it the last 50 feet to the stadium gate.
So we went to a soccer game because that's what crazy sports writers do on the road ....
... and Bono of U-2 showed up. Actually, he did a video tribute for a retiring soccer player.
This guy will be playing my video tribute when I retire. (via Derby Evening Telegraph)
One of the best photos of the week was this discovery by Ken: Shirts that said the football game was between "Georgia" and "Boston." This went over very well with Georgia fans. Tech fans, not so much.
As the week went on, vendors tried to get better. Here's one that sold the old and corrected scarfs, but the very ends adjacent to the logos on the new ones still said "Georgia." A kind woman asked me, "Do you think people won't buy it?" She played on my emotions. I bought one.
When in Ireland do as the ... dumb Americans do. So, yeah, I looked all over for a leprechaun and discovered the National Leprechaun Museum.
OK, seriously? This is the leprechaun in the NATIONAL LEPRECHAUN MUSEUM?!?
But I did find this guy, who assured me he was real. Never mind that he had taken off his head.
I never would've thought anybody in Ireland would care about the Greyson Lambert vs. Jacob Eason debate at Georgia. And then I saw this. Oh yeah, it's Eason time.
Weekend Predictions opened a satellite office at this BoyleSports sportsbook outlet in Dublin. It filled two qualifications. This was one:
This was the other. My new friend Nadine agreed to take over as Weekend Predictions' director of corporate sales for the U.K. (She's very shy and did not want to be photographed.)
This is the Ha'Penny Bridge over the River Liffey. There's a bronze sculpture of a woman in the river called "Anna Livia," which is the name of a character in "Finnegans Wake" by James Joyce. Given Joyce's several dalliances, Dubliners have dubbed the sculpture, "Floozie in the Jacuzzi."
It was time to eat (fish and chips).
And eat (Irish stew).
And ... no.
I also opened a remote office at a corner table at the Bad Ass Temple Bar. The pub manager ordered me to get behind the taps and pose for this shot, and title it, "America's Most Wanted." When I asked if he wanted to stand next to me in the picture, he responded, "Why the (bleep) would I want to do that?" OK, moving on.
Yes, I bought a shirt.
This is Trinity College, a beautiful little campus that on this day unfortunately lost a bit of its charm with tents set up for an American football pep rally. Trinity College has an American football club team, which I didn't see play but I'm pretty sure has a better offense than LSU.
This is the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity (aka Christchurch Cathedral), which was founded almost 1,000 years ago. There is a bar and a cafe in the cyrpt called, "The Crypt Cafe." I wish I was making that up.
OK, time for the game. Somebody took a wrong turn at Sheboygan.
The view from above. You wouldn't know it from the picture but it was cold and drizzly and it was an outdoor press box. (Feeling sorry for me yet? Didn't think so.)
Here's Team AJC just before kickoff. (We stood for the National Anthem.)
And here's us several hours later after a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call for our flight home. I slept a quality three hours. Ken stayed up. Strangely he looks more rested.
- Justin Thomas rescues Georgia Tech -- with his arm
- Short takes on Georgia Tech's opening win (or escape)
- Game day: In any country, Georgia Tech needs to be better
- Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets win (but Lilly pulls an upset)
- A solution to satellite camps: Hold them in Ireland
- Until there's football in Ireland, I had a more important mission
- Foreign land couldn't be worse for Georgia Tech than U.S. was last year
- Reading between the lines on Smart's "No News For You" news conference
- Weekend Predictions: It's 'Sack Schultz' time, suckers -- win prizes
- Falcons reminding all: These games don't count
- Predicting Georgia Tech's season: game-by-game (from AJC special section
- Keanu Neal injury 'minor' but Falcons can't afford any bad news
- (Full Q&A) Chipper Jones likes Braves' future but says moves needed
- (Blog) Chipper Jones: Braves need moves but he likes future (and being back home)
- Eason will be Georgia's best QB but that doesn't mean he's best now
- Will Turner Field be Eden for Georgia State football?
- Ryan Lochte wins 'pariah medley' -- loses all 4 endorsement deals
- AP poll got it right but Dogs, Jackets will rise (and watch out for LSU)
- What does future hold for Braves' starters -- and Roger McDowell?
- Turner Field plans would be closer to 'dream' if they included Braves
- Preseason Overreaction, Week 2: Ryan, offense ease 'fears'
- Part of Braves' future (Swanson) arrives -- everybody please breathe
- Can Falcons' pass rush finally put Bryan Cox in a good mood?
- A-Rod may join Bonds in Miami? It seems so wrong but so right (UPDATE: Never mindl)
- Bill Curry knows: Georgia Tech needs a unifying presence for A.D.
- SEC correct to give Maurice Smith waiver, now it's time to junk rule
- Julio Jones rarely lost at Alabama, and he's tired of losing with Falcons
- Preseason Overreaction, Week 1: Matt Ryan is the No. 3 QB (kidding!)
- Maurice Smith: The player who caused Nick Saban to surrender
- Georgia Tech was dysfunction junction under Mike Bobinski
- Mike Bobinski won't be leaving Georgia Tech in great shape
- Paul Johnson is at his best when people expect the worst
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.