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An Ode To The Cliché-Filled GAA Man Of The Match Interview

An Ode To The Cliché-Filled GAA Man Of The Match Interview

After a four-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak, GAA has returned and its return has been a godsend.

It was a grim few months without competitive football and hurling but they are being welcomed back with open arms around the country. Despite certain restrictions in place, it is nice to get that taste of normality most of us have been craving.

The restart of GAA action does however bring with it one guarantee: the return of predictable and overused clichés. There aren't many sports with more "Arra, sure lookits" than our beloved Gaelic Games.

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Post-match interviews are the showcases in which these played out phrases are proudly flaunted. Managers make up a subgroup that is prominent in lashing out the overused stock idioms. Bainisteoirs never look ahead to the final until it is nigh, even if they are red hot favourites. It needs to be made abundantly clear that they take "each game as it comes".

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And then we have the players. Particularly, the man of the match. You've never seen modesty until you've watched a post-game man-of-the-match interview. A team could obliterate another, holding their opponents scoreless while they ransack them with a shedload of goals and points, and it was still "a tough game" according to the man of the match. The game could always have "gone either way".

Some of these clichés and their accurate translations are:

  • "We knew we had our work cut out for us" = "Jaysus, we couldn't believe how shite they were"
  • "We knew this was going to be a physical battle" = "They're dirty bastards and so are we"
  • "There was only the bounce of a ball between us" = "We ran absolute riot out on the pitch, they hadn't a clue what to do"
  • "It was a team performance" = "It was I, and I alone, who was responsible for the victory. The others couldn't kick snow off a rope"
  • "Our focus is on the next game" = "I'm going out on the tear tonight"
  • "Lookit" = "Hold on a second now and I'll think of another cliché to blurt out"

Somewhat admirably, and sometimes frustratingly, the player will never talk about how much their team annihilated their opponent or discuss their own brilliant performance. Every win is "a team effort", even if that player is instrumental in carrying the team to victory. They also love mentioning how the work they did in training has paid off. Wouldn't it be a nice change of pace if, just once, a player spoke their mind to an interviewer and said: "I was class and they were shite. Did you see the point I scored off the outside of my left boot?"

I suppose we'll just have to accept that all GAA players are extremely modest and altruistic people. Either way, it's great to have GAA back in our fields and on our screens. I certainly appreciate a good cliché-filled interview now more than ever.

Ryan Carrick

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