Name: John Watson
Nickname: Johnny Sticks
Who recruited you? I was hitchhiking around Ireland in 1995. A guy gave me a lift from Waterford to Cork City, and when I inquired about his bandaged hand he told me it was a hurling injury. I asked, “What’s hurling?” He spent the rest of the trip telling me all about the game. I was fascinated, and he invited me to come watch a match at University College Cork. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. I thought to myself, “this is an incredible sport I’ll never get to play.” When I moved to St. Louis, I saw a small poster in Blackthorn pub, advertising for the St. Louis Hurling Club, “New players welcome.” I went out for the spring league in 2007. So who recruited me? I guess that guy in Ireland did! …or maybe that poster, which still hangs at Blackthorn. Each year, someone crosses out last year and writes the new year on it in ink. That poster is probably 11 or 12 years old, and has likely recruited quite a few hurlers.
What was your first thought when you saw hurling? See above.
When did you first decide you were hooked? See above.
Do you play any other sports? I wrestled and ran cross country in high school. Hurling was the first team sport I’d played since I played football in grade school. I’ve played a bit of Gaelic Football, but I prefer hurling to all else.
What’s your day job? Thing maker; shaper of minds; Nashville GAC
What do you want to be when you grow up? Seán Óg Ó hAilpín
What are your top five favorite movies or books? This Is Spinal Tap, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, Casablanca, The GAA Official Guide, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Do you follow any of the Irish county teams? Cork
What’s your best memory? Anji Wall
What’s your favorite band? Willie Nelson and Family
Who’s your best friend? Anji Wall
What’s something people may not know about you? I know all of the lyrics to R. Kelly’s “Remix to Ignition.”