Why is sport so important to us?
Is it because we make it so important to us?
Something so silly and worthless, but at the same time so vital.
What’s that all about?
The Game is a multifaceted reflection on sport. It is part memoir, outlining Tadhg Coakley’s time as a player and fan, and how sport has shaped his life. But it also tackles sport on a universal scale – the good and the bad – and its immeasurable influence on our world.
For fans, sport can be all-consuming. Indeed, we are consuming sport in ever greater gulpfuls, often blindly. It has a dark side; it is rife with corruption, sexism, homophobia, nationalism and a raft of toxic masculine behaviour, and Coakley interrogates his own attitudes on each of these fronts.
On the other hand, sport builds all manner of valuable connections and communities, and in sport – as in art – people can forge their own identities with grace, imagination and the possibility of what may be. This duality is one of the most fascinating aspects of sport.
Written with warmth, openness and keen insight, The Game is an entertaining and thought-provoking meditation on the uniquely intense highs and lows of loving sport in today’s world.
Tadhg Coakley is from Cork. His debut novel, The First Sunday in September (2018), was shortlisted for the Mercier Press Fiction prize. His second, Whatever It Takes, was chosen as the 2020 Cork, One City One Book. Tadhg’s short stories, articles and essays have been published in The Stinging Fly, Winter Papers, and The Irish Times, and he writes about sport for the Irish Examiner.