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Joe Brolly Once More Takes Aim At Colm Cooper's Reputation

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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He's waited somewhere in the region of 365 days. This week, Joe Brolly set about answering Kieran Donaghy's question, put in the wake of the 2014 All-Ireland final.

Kerry, or the 'Kerry Adoration Industry' as Brolly terms it, may not have the stomach to challenge his comments this week, but Brolly reiterated some of his most incendiary past comments on Kerry football in today's Sunday Independent column.

He contends that almost every time it has been properly put up to Kerry since 2002, they have wilted. The only exception is last year's All-Ireland final against Donegal. Thus, in numerical terms, Kerry have only faced nine tests in 14 seasons, and have lost eight of those matches.

One can't shake the suspicion that Brolly's sole criteria for judging whether an opponent had really put it up to Kerry in a game is that Kerry were ultimately beaten in said game.

Surely, it was 'put up' to Kerry in last year's All-Ireland semi-final, to take one obvious example? Last year's All-Ireland win seems to be included as an afterthought - to cover himself against this allegation.


Of course, it is perhaps significant that last year's All-Ireland victory was achieved without Colm Cooper on the pitch. For, in today's piece, Brolly renewed his critique of Colm Cooper, labelling him once more as 'the greatest first half footballer in the history of the game'.

When the heat is turned up, he disappears, starting with the second half in 2002 against Armagh... Or the trilogy against Tyrone. Or the second half of the 2013 semi-final against Dublin when Cian O'Sullivan picked him up. Or 2012 against Donegal when he was entirely anonymous and looked like he simply gave up.

Interestingly, Brolly credits Donaghy with rescuing Kerry from a 'generation of nothingness'. In Brolly's estimation, Donaghy's boldness and aggression and presence helped turn around Kerry's championship campaigns in 2006 and 2014.

He led Kerry to pushover titles in 2006 and 2007 against abject opponents and Cooper and co flourished off the back of his trojan work.

It was the same old story last year... Donaghy wiped the floor with Mayo's defence, doing the dirty work that allowed his team-mates to look like the Golden Years crew.

Brolly left the 2009 All-Ireland final out of his grand narrative, for the very good reason that Donaghy missed pretty much the entire championship.

The All-Ireland finals that Kerry won under Jack O'Connor and Pat O'Shea's watch are written off as 'soft ones' in which the games were 'over by the end of the first quarter'.

And he even aimed a mild jibe at Micheal O'Muircheartaigh. Not since Christopher Hitchens had a pop at Mother Teresa, has a bigger sacred cow come under attack.


This is contrarianism 101.

Read more: The Cavan Own Point Scorer's Month Has Gone From Bad To Worse


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