Following an unfortunate turn of events in recent weeks for Ireland’s most decorated outhalf, Ronan O’Gara has officially announced today his retirement from the game he has played since his childhood.
This however is not the end of O’Gara’s sporting life as he made a dual announcement today. Not only is ROG departing the game of rugby but he will be joining the ranks of the NFL with The Oakland Raiders as their first choice field goal kicker.
Of course this isn’t the first time O’Gara (born in San Diego) has been linked with a move to the land of his birthplace to play American Football. In 2003 the former Lion was reportedly being scouted by the Miami Dolphins for an estimated $12 million deal by their most famous player, Dan Marino. O’ Gara dismissed this as being only a rumour dreamt up by conclusion-jumpers when both men were seen having a coffee together in the club house of the Old Head of Kinsale’s golf course.
This time though, the NFL did come looking for real and ROG listened. However in a typical headline-grabbing move, it was to the Oakland Raiders O’Gara has signed and not the previously mentioned Miami Dolphins.
When asked why the Raiders were his chosen team the Corkman replied, “well, my favourite rapper was always Ice-Cube and he wore Raiders gear in a lot of great music videos. That’s honestly what swayed me, hahaha”.
Other factors influencing his decision was his crippling fear of dolphins he developed as a child, when a trip to Sea World turned bad. O’Gara has never spoken to anyone about exactly what happened, but even the whisper of the word Dolphin him will send him into an uncontrollable nervous breakdown, that can last for several hours.
So, the ever-interesting O’Gara saga continues, albeit in a new sport. There’s something right about a boy born in California to end his professional sporting days there.
ROG is going home.