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?