Thursday, October 23, 2008

GAA What the real story should be

Frank Roche in de Herald recounts a history of the recent violence in the International Rules series. The appropriately titled "The Beast is Coming Back" is describes some of the outrageous Aussie carry-on, while also fairly exposing some of the hypocrisy of the GAA taking the high moral ground on violence in sport. We've seen it all before though and there's been at least two articles every day for the past two weeks speculating if the games will degenerate into something more appropriate for an American extreme fighting cage.

The real story is elsewhere, however, but receives little attention. According to Frank, himself, on another page -- ignore the piece about those Cork langours -- Wicklow SHC champions Glenealy are threatening not to contest this year's final against Carnew after the game was fixed for this Sunday, despite the presence of Leighton Glynn, Glenealy's star, in Australia with the International Rules squad. Glenealy have threatened not to appear on Sunday. Rightly so.

That's the real story. That's what the media should be writing about. An important final for serious GAA players, two clubs and thousands of real GAA supporters is being disrupted. And for what?  

But, that's only half the story. Why hasn't a county which got knocked out of the All-Ireland championship in early summer not yet played its county final? What the hell have they been doing all summer!? Why can't the GAA not put in place a proper scheduled season? When are they going to start paying more respect to the majority of its members? That's the real disgrace, not some bastardised nonsense thousands of miles away.

Liam Hayes for manager

Liam Hayes has the experience. All-Ireland medals in '87 and '88, finalist in '90, and '91 as captain. Three NFL titles, an All Star honour in '88 and three matches against the Aussies in '84, '86 and '87. Add to that a few county titles with Skryne and it makes a fine footballing CV. 

But, as a manager. Carlow for two years. 

Yup. That's all there is to say. 

He cited "business and family commitments" as the reason for quitting that position rather than his blatant failure to make any progress with the Carlow team, as was clearly signalled by defeat to Leitrim in the Tommy Murphy Cup just before his resignation.

Hayes at one stage even suggested Carlow change their colours reasoning that they hadn't been successful with their triple colour combo.  So it's not just in his newspaper columns that he puts forward ideas that make the rest of the country wonder if he pens his pieces from under a rock on Mars.  

His nomination as manager for the Meath position is totally out of the blue. Literally, as it was Skryne, his blue-jerseyed home club that reportedly proposed him.  I don't think there's many in Meath that fancy him for the job, although rumour has it that Meath's sponsor, Menolly Homes, is demanding a high profile man for the job. Maybe they think that's the only way they'll sell a few houses this year.

I'm sure it's all a misunderstanding. My theory is that Skryne, they too are looking for a new man to take over the team, phoned Liam inquiring whether he was interested in the manager's position. Liam, being Liam, am sure, presumed they meant the Meath job and of course, he'd be honoured if they put his name forward. 

They couldn't really turn around and say "No, not that manager's job", now, could they?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More nonsense from "Down Under"

Kevin Sheedy, who along with Jim Stynes, has probably done more damage to the International Rules series than any of the on field barbarism, has the shamelessness to preach fair play, honesty and integrity AND call Sean Boylan a leprechaun in the same breath. 

And then there's the naive hope that sitting the lads down for a bit of tucker together before the game will help to keep proceedings between the teams civil.