In the small hours of the morning that followed the violent squalor of Lansdowne Road, February, 1995, there was a heavy downpour that invited the half-whimsical thought that perhaps some of the worst of it might be washed away.
You can do no better than invade the most vital moments of your destiny, gather together the best of your talent and strongest of your will. Cristiano Ronaldo collected the Ballon D'Or last night not as a gift but an absolute right.
If we still had a sliver of doubt, Alex Ferguson has been kind enough to remove it. He has told us, by the somewhat dismissive route of going on American public television, what it's all been about. Guess what? It's all been about Alex Ferguson.
Already the rave reviews are tumbling in for David Peace's latest football confection, Red or Dead, a version of Bill Shankly's life, and one of the most fulsome of them concludes: "This isn't a book about the way things were or the way things are. This is about the way things should be."
You can almost touch the band of anger around the young golfer who so recently captivated the world. In the politest way Rory McIlroy makes his point as precisely as he might drill, on one of the better days he is so desperate to rekindle here at the 142nd Open, a perfect drive into the heart of the fairway.
In all the pressure on England to prove that they have the credentials not only to be significant contenders in next year's World Cup but the nous and the spirit to make it there, there was at least one question to encourage a hint of optimism.
No doubt it will take a lot more than a near flawless Champions League final to make us believe that football is near to the rehabilitation of a seriously battered image. However, the world's most popular game is entitled to at least one concession.
One way or another, Sergio Garcia has been picking a fight with Tiger Woods for 14 years now but he doesn't seem to learn, does he? Some guys don't only have your number, they can pretty much claim outright ownership.
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