George Hook's blog

'For rugby fans, this is as good as it gets.' George Hook is optimistic about Ireland's chances in the Six Nations Championship

31/01/14 at 09:26 AM | 0 Comments

The pot simmers over a cauldron of fire as six hungry nations sharpen their knives in anticipation of battle. Here, on the eve of this great tournament we lie in wait, resting our bodies and saving our energy for the madness that is to come. The players will carry us on the shoelaces of their boots during each of the forthcoming five rounds of international rugby; we will crunch and squirm with every tackle and celebrate and roar with each magnificent try. At the end of it all, one nation will rise in glory. One nation will stand alone as champion while the rest will look on in envy and regret.  Yes my friends, the Six Nations Championship is upon us once more and for rugby fans, this is as good as it gets.

The support of interested parents is vital to a young athlete, says George Hook, but at what point does nurture become torture?

24/01/14 at 10:49 AM | 0 Comments

Gary Player, one of the greatest golf players of all time, has a fascinating theory on sporting excellence. The South African believes that nature and nurture will only take a talent so far; but hard work and something else indescribable, 'it', will stand a person apart from the rest of the field.

The 78 year-old contends that only true champions will ever get to discover what 'it' is and even at that, most will struggle to put 'it' into words.

Player's advice, though stern and abrupt, is to be respected. The nine time major winner had to scrap and fight for every ounce of his success in one of the toughest disciplines. He knew the difference between success and failure, between becoming a legend and being cast aside as an 'also ran'.

The bars we set for ourselves are constantly moving, says George Hook, so how can any of us be truly happy?

16/01/14 at 10:26 PM | 0 Comments

The moral in the famous story of the Tortoise and the Hare didn't appear out of fresh air. The hare, in his haste and naivety, sprints off to try and win a race while the sturdy old tortoise trundles along at a slow and steady pace. We all know what happens next. The over confident Mr Hare takes a rest by the side of the road while the tortoise continues along at his own rhythm, eventually crossing the line to win the race. Children listening to that story take the most obvious lesson away: finish the job no matter how far in front you are and never allow yourself to get too cocky.

'Just say yes!' George Hook on making making the most of 2014

10/01/14 at 08:38 AM | 0 Comments

One of the funny things about superstition is that it only holds power over a willing vessel. If a person gives no weight to superstition, it cannot be allowed to work.

Another other funny thing about it is its unlimited potential for variation. For example: if I absolutely believe that bad luck will strike me if I walk under a ladder, and nothing particularly bad happens for a period of time, the scope to attribute that ladder incident to bad luck will continue until I find sufficient cause to justify my belief.

If I walk under a ladder tomorrow, and then happen to lose my wallet next year, can I reasonably expect to connect the two incidents? The stronger the belief in superstition, the more scope there is to check it off, no matter how random, or lose the connection.

A generation of kids is being shackled because of our compo culture, but Ireland has a worthy hero, says George Hook

19/12/13 at 07:06 PM | 0 Comments

Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, take a bow. Last week, the President of the High Court threw out a case taken on behalf of two-and-a-half-year-old Robyn Behan by her mother Vanessa. The Behans decided to sue a fast food restaurant in Dublin over an injury that their daughter suffered on the premises back in September 2011.

Robyn, 11 months old at the time, got her finger stuck in a sugar dispenser at an Eddie Rockets store in Blanchardstown. Despite several efforts by staff on the premises to remove the finger from the dispenser, Robyn was taken to hospital where a surgeon managed to set her free. The girl's mother told the court that her daughter suffered extensive bleeding during the incident and still has a small laceration on the end of her finger.

Maybe I'm just a grumpy old cynic, says George Hook, but can a gorgeous twenty-something really fall in love with an 88-year-old man?

13/12/13 at 09:39 AM | 0 Comments

Why do birds...suddenly appear?

Every are near?

It must be the old spice, love. 

You have to hand it to Heff. When it comes to the fairer sex, that man has the stamina and appetite of a rhinoceros. Sure, the years are catching up with the Playboy magnate these days and the twinkle in his eye ain't quite what it used to be, but he still looks pretty good for a man just shy of his 88th birthday. His wife looks swell too, and so she should, at 27 years-of-age. 

That's right, you read me correctly. Hugh Hefner's wife, Crystal Harris, is 60 years his junior. If that needs putting into context for you, the man is old enough to be her great grandfather. Hefner's eldest daughter, Christie, is 34 years older than his current wife, Crystal. Still, according to a recent interview, the married couple have never been happier.

The right move in governance is rarely the easiest route to self-preservation, says George Hook

13/12/13 at 09:40 AM | 0 Comments

It is exhausting, listening to the lies they tell. I often wonder if succeeding in politics is wholly reliant on a person’s ability to spin a yarn. Yes / no... up / down... left / right... feed the idiots whatever you like. The truth is out there somewhere, but confuse them enough times and no one will ever discover it. And above all else, never give a straight answer.

The latest game of musical chairs in Dáil Éireann smacks of complete and utter desperation. I could almost smell the waft of false charade floating from my television screen as Colm Keaveney and his once sworn enemy pirouetted on the plinth in front of the Irish media. Brothers in arms they were; bold as brass and not a care in the world. Smile for the cameras lads? Butter didn't stand a chance.

As the light at the end of the tunnel begins to brighten, a Christmas power cut would spell disaster for the economy, says George Hook

29/11/13 at 02:12 PM | 0 Comments

The greatest army generals appreciated the power of perfect timing. Alexander the Great, William the Conquerer, Julius Caesar and George Washington owe their standing in history to the fortune of timing and the ability to make the right move at the right time. History books also document the long list of casualties that resulted from an aggressive play at an inappropriate moment. The great Napoleon Bonaparte lost his untainted legacy to a bold move at precisely the wrong time.

Fifty years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the world still grimaces in memory of what happened

22/11/13 at 10:49 AM | 0 Comments

Fifty years ago this week, the United States recoiled in horror at the news that President John F Kennedy was assassinated in cold blood. The charismatic and popular leader was shot dead in broad daylight on November 22nd 1963, as his car drove through the streets of Dallas on a presidential visit.  

Kennedy was struck in the neck and head by two bullets from a lone gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas bookstore depository. He died in a blaze of violence with his wife Jackie sitting only inches away. The sight of the president slumped over the back seat of his car, covered in blood, is one of the most disturbing and gripping images of our time. His death and the man behind it continues to divide a nation.

In the superficial world of television, where beauty is power, I am amazed that I still have a job, says George Hook

15/11/13 at 10:34 AM | 0 Comments

I could probably do with a tummy tuck. My swimming routine has fallen by the wayside in recent months and at my stage in life I find it hard to refuse a bowl of ice cream after my dinner. I'm not a big drinker but I certainly love my food. The tummy has responded accordingly and my belly has reached the stage where it will not comply with the latest fashion trends.

This isn't a bad thing; I was never made for skinny jeans. Not that you'd find me queuing up in BT2's with a couple of pairs of Diesels to try on, but if I ever lost my marbles and fancied such a whim, you can bet your last penny that the damn things wouldn't get past my knees.

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