Line up for Uncle Eugene’s medicine

Another dull and dreary November Monday, which makes apposite the question once framed by Myles Na gCopaleen, i.e. what won’t we feel ’till Christmas?  The answer, in case you haven’t heard this (very) old one before is “it”.  Work it out for yourselves.

It being Monday, I find that there’s nothing better than a blast of plain speaking from Uncle Eugene to blow the weekend’s cobwebs away.  The Lugubrious Longford sage is a great man to spot cant and all manner of miscellaneous sloppy thinking at 100 paces and, when he does, he’s not the kind of man to hold back. This morning, he takes to task everyone that’s been having a go at the drift of players to Australia and, of course, I have to line up with everyone else and take my medicine from Uncle Eugene on this one.

In answer to all the gnashing of teeth and mutterings about thieving Aussie bastards and the like, Uncle Eugene quite correctly points out that many more GAA players are lost to soccer, rugby or, indeed, apathy than are to Aussie Rules.  I dunno about you but it was that reference to apathy that really hit home with me so, in that light, sorry about all the moaning, Uncle Eugene.  It won’t happen again (well, not for a while at least).

Anyway, it’s not the principle that bothers me as much as the fact that we’ve already lost one outstanding talent to that part of the world and it looked for a while last week like we might be about to lose another one.  But Tom is back at Sligo IT, Johnno has given him his individual weights programme and, hey, Kerry might be about to lose two of their brightest young stars to the oval ball game.  You’re right, Uncle Eugene, it could be worse.  But – you know what? – that Ricky Nixon guy is still a prick.

And he’s not the only one: those lads down in Cork all need a serious talking-to at this stage.   I’m not sure who’s worse in this dispute: the players sound like a bunch of arrogant public sector trade unionists, Gerald McCarthy is showcasing his wonderful ability to lose friends and alienate every hurler within a 200-mile radius and the County Board appear to be both extremely devious and extremely stupid, which is not a good mix.

But the thing that really got to me about the Cork dispute was a mention of this 150th anniversary match between the county side and St Colman’s Fermoy that they’re trying to arrange for later on this month (i.e. during the closed season when not only is all inter-county match action banned but so too is collective training).  The Irish Times on Saturday noted that, for the game on 23rd November, the county team will be “styled as a ‘Cork selection’ to try and avoid the GAA’s inter-county close season restrictions”.

This is the perfect excuse that HQ needs to sort out these troublesome Rebels.  If they go ahead and field a Cork team (any Cork team) before New Year’s Day then an appropriate sanction would be to fuck them straight out of the 2009 NHL and Championship. Then as they sit on the sidelines for all of next year and watch the hurling world move on without them, they might start to realise that they’re not the centre of this particular world. What do you reckon, Uncle Eugene, would that do it?

12 thoughts on “Line up for Uncle Eugene’s medicine

  1. Its a good article from Eugene. A well made and fair point.

    Re the compromise rules(CR): I know it wont be a popular opinion but one of the features of the game I liked was the tackle. Many GAA people complain that the ball is over-carried in football and that foot passing is a dieing skill. Could a proper tackle along the lines of the CR game not help to encourage players to kick the ball more?

  2. Correct as usual Willie Joe. In Mayo we lost Gavin Duffy to rugby, John O Hara to soccer, by his own admission McGarrity is a basketballer first as was McHale. Throw in Webb and Malee and a host of others to soccer, then it shows the daftness of blaming the Aussies. The whole Cork thing is a joke. The carry on is more Arthur Scargill or Red Robbo than anything we have seen in years. Its my opinion that its a marker being laid down by guys who are coming to the end of their playing careers and who now want to reposition in other ares i.e players welfare, player reresentatives, careers as potential county board men themselves, or facilitators in a game slowly moving professional. One way to end this cant is ; On the completion of each teams championship run that the entire panel and selectors stand down. Then if the manager gets the go ahead from the county board he changes both his selectors and squad as necessary. What arrogance and presumption from those players and I include some of our own who firmly believe that they are fixtures on county squads.

  3. I’m with you to some degree on the tackle, Mike, as it would certainly deal with a lot of the messing that currently blights the game. I wouldn’t be at all adverse to seeing the playing rules of Gaelic football and Aussie Rules coming much closer together – they’re both great football codes and both can gain by adopting bits of the other. The problem with the international version is that it’s a game that only gets played a few times a year, nobody is really clear what the rules are and something that’s a sending-off offence in one code is a valid piece of play in the other (the tackle is a good example of this – remember the flap Ger Canning got into in the first test when Stevie McDonnell got hauled down in front of the goal? Both he and Canning thought it was a penalty, while the Aussie co-commentator was going OTT proclaiming what a brilliant tackle it was!).

    I’d go a step further, ontheroad – I think the County Boards should step down as well at the end of every year!

  4. I don’t agree on using a school commemoration game to ‘fuck’ any team. I am a past pupil of St Colman’s College and I know for a fact that the staff there have worked their asses off to make this event go ahead this Sunday.

    Get at Cork GAA another way, but don’t taint a special occasion for a school that has done so much for local hurling to do it.

  5. I was being ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek there, Joe, and I’ve no doubt that the day will deservedly be a big one for the school. The point remains, however, that Cork are breaking the two-month ban on fielding an inter-county team during the closed season and they should face the heaviest possible sanction if they go ahead and do this. You can be damned sure that this would be the case if it were any other county

  6. Have to agree on the CR. While not a big fan of it, there are certain parts I think could be beneficial to our own game. In particular, having to play a foot pass after a certain number of hand passes. It bores me rigid when I see teams hand passing the ball all over the pitch (and I know we have been guilty of this ourselves – not so much last year, when we could barely string 2 passes together…).

    As for Cork, what a shambles. A good friend of mine is a Cork lad and he’s personally had enough this time. This seems to be a prevailing attitude in the rebel county, I’d be surprised if the players have much public support even within their own county.
    Although the Cork board also have a lot to answer for.

    Anyone have a link to pictures of the new jersey out on 27th? That’s xmas presents sorted for the family anyway

  7. Sorry Joe but thats whats wrong with our games, a constant tweaking and bending the rules, its simple, if Cork play during the break, put them out and give us a all a a break. Special occasion is no reason for a dispensation. Had the top brass last year the balls to throw out both Cork outfits then we would not have this empasse today. Time to stop talking and empowering the rebel and time for action.

  8. sorry to go off topic here Willie Joe and no problem if you feel this board is not the place for a comment such as this…..The nephew of well know Mayo intercounty referee Vincent Neary died tragically in a car crash on Saturday night/Sunday morning in Bonniconlon……

    My sympathies to all the family.

  9. No problem, M@yoman – it’s a terrible tragedy but sadly one that’s repeated up and down the country, week in, week out. May he rest in peace, the poor lad.

  10. I think it’s a case of a ship of fools this time round. The arrogance of the players is breathtaking (and I agree with virtually all you had to say on the matter, including getting Super Nanny on the case) but neither Gerald McCarthy nor the County Board look all that hot either. It’s difficult to know how they’re going to resolve this one as so many hard words have been uttered at this stage: how, for example, can Sean O hAilpin possibly play under Gerald McCarthy again? HQ has to get involved but it could take a new manager, a new cohort of players and a new county board to get to the fresh start that they need.

  11. This is simply hilarious: Gerald McCarthy has openly confirmed that he has undertaken a collective training session with the Cork hurlers during the so-called closed season and there’s not even any pretence that the team playing next Sunday’s challenge is a Cork one. Will Cork face any sanction for this blatant disregard of rules that they’ve signed up to? I won’t be holding my breath on this one.

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