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KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Accuses GAA Of Treating Hurling Like An Irrelevance

KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Accuses GAA Of Treating Hurling Like An Irrelevance
By Sean Og O Kneejerk Updated

We met our man in Mulligans this evening while the rest of the pub was still reeling from Katie’s loss. There was a reverential silence as the attention of those present was consumed by her affecting post-fight interview with Joe Stack.     

Never having quite fallen in love with the Queen of Bray, Sean Óg was offensively chirpy and even-tempered about the whole thing.

 ‘She was distracted by all those car insurance ads’, was his verdict.

Sean Óg doesn’t live on twitter and thus missed the memo that fixating on the outside interests of our top sportspeople in the aftermath of crushing defeats is most definitely out.

We did point out that, as far as we are aware, Katie has done only one car insurance ad. And yes, she has done a couple of other ads.  

But pointing out flaws in this type of analysis is a futile exercise. Like constantly labelling people as ‘bottlers’, it is barroom slagging masquerading as analysis. It wears its ignorance on its sleeve.  

Now, part of it definitely rests on the fact that Sean Óg found that ‘its4women.ie’ ad uniquely difficult to stomach, a feeling with which we can sympathise.

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One of the ad’s talking heads boldly announces that the women of ‘It’s4women.ie’ are saying ‘cheerio to cliché, so long to stereotype’, a resolution which was made mere seconds before one of her colleagues reminded the world that women aren’t afraid to ask for directions. 

Anxious to get off the subject, we exclaim ‘what about that hurling at the weekend?’

Not even a man of Sean Óg’s exacting standards could find much to quibble with in that hurling weekend. In fact, his contribution began with a rhapsody to the glories of the ancient game. Unfortunately, as so often happens, it descended into an attack on another sport, namely Gaelic football.

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Two magnificent matches from start to finish. We’ve reached the point where those people who dispute that hurling is the greatest game on earth need to come out and explain themselves. Particularly those people who are slobbering over the Premiership. Those lads who have the cheek to walk into a pub and ask the barman to turn over to Arsenal and Liverpool or whatever. We had one of those yobbos in yesterday. After he was rightly told to take a running jump, Marty over  there (Marty is a Tyrone man and longstanding Sinn Féin activist) asked him what part of Liverpool he was from. He didn't like that.

What Saturday, and Sunday too, does throw into relief is the madness of this new structure they're bringing into the football championship.

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Anyone who can look at the hurling semi-finals and then look back at the two football quarter-finals and decide that what we really need is eight extra football matches needs to be placed under medical supervision. As a matter of some urgency too. He needs a team of the best foreign psychoanalysts watching over him day and night to investigate what’s wrong with his brain.

We're going to be drowning in football once this comes in and the hurling won't get any attention. It'll be diminished. They're already shunting the hurling final into August, before even the All-Ireland football semi-finals are played. There'll be fifteen bloody football matches played from the All-Ireland quarter final onwards and five hurling matches.

I suppose it’s no surprise really though. Where is the current GAA President from? Where is the current Director General from? That'll tell you everything.

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We argue that both the President and the DG are proud GAA men, and where they're from is entirely irrelevant to their stewardship of the association, an interjection that Sean Óg dismissed as 'political shite'.

Cavan don't even have a hurling team. They don't even play in the Lory Meaghar. Last I checked, Monaghan were hardly showing any more prowess. We need a hurling man at the top of the GAA soon, so they can direct some attention and resources at the game.

'I was reading Balls.ie the other day', was the next shocking statement to emerge from Sean Óg's mouth. The declaration stopped us in our tracks. You see, Sean Óg, we're quite sure, isn't fully aware of where his opinions are being published. It wasn't made clear early on and we weren't anxious to clarify it. As stated before, I think he assumes he's just being published in the Star or the Sunday World. 

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In a haze of alcohol once, he turned and asked us 'where is this stuff being published anyway?' When we said 'Balls.ie', his face scrunched up and he responded with 'WHERE?' But before we could explain what Balls.ie was and what it is we do, his attention was drawn to a ruckus at the bar and when everything had calmed down, he had forgotten what he was talking about.  

In so far as he knows anything about online media, we assume he holds a dim view of  it. Thus, the revelation that he has heard of Balls.ie and has read articles on it was deeply shocking to us.

My son showed me an article on facebook about Galway and Tipperary in the late 80s/early 90s.

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Right? We were still being wowed by Sean Óg. In our ageist ignorance, we had believed that Sean Óg belonged to the demographic that believes in placing the definite article before the word 'facebook'. 

It was quite good. (thank Christ!) But I saw in the comments underneath that John Leahy was having a pop at Pete Finnerty over what was said in the article. (laughs) But I don't know what the hell Leahy was on about! His spelling was all over the shop. He must have been pressing the wrong button or something.

John Leahy, as far as we can judge, had been employing emojis in place of asterisks to partially cover up the word "arsehole". The realisation that Leahy is a fiend for the emojis is surprising to us too but then he was a bright young thing back in '88 and '89.

In the article, Finnerty revealed that he still feels anger towards Wexford referee John Denton, whose name remains notorious in Galway hurling circles for his stewardship of the 1989 All-Ireland semi-final. 

Sean Óg remains in love with the 1980s. He doesn't like everything about it. He has no time for the shitty dance music or the new romantic movement. But he does love the hurling and the football from that era. Like any self-respecting old-timer, Sean Óg subscribes to the mantra that refs are blowing from everything these days. He worships hardness. This, you must remember, is a man who selected Brendan Lynskey ahead of Joe Canning in his all-time Galway team.  

I couldn't make anything out of what Leahy was saying. But it's great to see the two boys still going at it. They were legends. No one went down easy in them days, not even when an opponent pulled across their stomach. The match yesterday was great. The only thing that could have made it better is those fellas were young enough to still play.

(Sean Óg OKneejerk was in conversation with Conor Neville)

Read more: KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Knows Why GAA Players All Love Sky Sports

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