Dave Hannigan

At half-time in last Friday’s game between Spain and the Netherlands, my 14 year old son Abe rose from his chair, picked a soccer ball up in the hallway and headed outside to play. Through the window, I watched him curl a shot into the giant goal that stands just to the left of our mailbox and then I decided to join him. Fifteen minutes later, I returned to my armchair, a heavy breathing, sweaty, middle-aged mess. I am 43 years old. I should know better but this is the magic of the World Cup. It brings out the child in all of us.

For that fifteen minutes, I was transported back in time from a street in a Long Island town to a patch of green grass in the Cork suburb of Togher, a hallowed venue we lovingly called “the bog”. That was where, at half-time in just about…

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