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KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Knows What Would Happen If Aidan O'Shea Was Banned

KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Knows What Would Happen If Aidan O'Shea Was Banned
By Sean Og O Kneejerk Updated

On matters of law and order, Sean Óg is firmly of the view that there are certain crimes for which there can be no redemption. The guilty party must be locked up and the keys must be kept out of reach of all future parole board officers.

The same holds true for crimes on a Gaelic football pitch. There is, we hasten to add, some room for nuance here. Not all crimes are equal, after all. Sean Óg, for instance, evinces a high degree of tolerance for crimes of a violent nature committed on a football pitch, regarding them as akin to understandable crimes of passion, often committed by parties who were grievously provoked. When it comes to sentencing players for such crimes, Sean Óg is a veritable bleeding heart.   

However, there are other crimes which belong in an entirely different category altogether. Crimes which imply a calculated level of cynicism on the part of the guilty man. Crimes which arise from a deficit rather than a surfeit of old-style, honest to goodness manliness. Crimes which - and here we must tiptoe, lest we fall into a minefield of cliche - bear the influence of factors beyond the world of Gaelic football and the GAA in general.

In these cases, there can be no hope for forgiveness, the individual must be branded with the sporting equivalent of the mark of Cain for all eternity.  

Aidan O'Shea's dive against Fermanagh late on Saturday evening is one such crime. We don't want to overstate his level of disgust here but we found Sean Óg late on Sunday evening unable to even utter Aidan O'Shea's name.

He has been re-christened 'that diving b_____'. It's impossible to say at this stage whether he'll ever rid himself of this moniker in Sean Óg's eyes, but the early signs are not good. It's quite possible that no act of majestic brilliance on the field, nor no act of life-saving charity off it will ever cause Sean Óg to revert to using his birth name. Even if O'Shea were to embark on a Lynch-ian political career in later life and end the smoking ban in pubs, it's quite possible that Sean Óg wouldn't admit to anything more than having mixed feelings about the lad.

    

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If there was one good thing to arise from Saturday evening's abomination in Castlebar, it's that the world is now fully apprised of the fact that this lad is a diving b______ and has been for years.

Gravity has had it in for him for some time and that dozy ref from Cavan bought his bullshit. And the result is that Fermanagh are out of the championship. That plank McQuillan doing that little jersey-tugging motion after he awarded the penalty. How many people have you seen fall forward when their jersey is tugged? What I want to know is when did the GAA started performing lobotomies on their refs before appointing them to big matches? And when are they going to end this practice?

If the GAA had their disciplinary structures in order, the diving b_______ would be banned for the rest of the season. But no, we saw what happened last year. There'd be a suspension dished out. Mayo would start whingeing and crying, and believe me, there is no county to rival them in that respect. About the only thing that I ever agreed with Enda Kenny about.

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There'll be a march on Croke Park. It'll be thousands of lads from Castelbar and Westport and Ballina clogging up O'Connell Street with their banners and placards and Mayo for Sam signs. I guarantee you that the water charges protests would be a petty, small scale affair by comparison. Even the 1913 Lockout wouldn't be a match for this as a popular protest.

Mayo Mick - who made his name in the Gaelic Grounds - will invade the offices of the CCCC and start berating the members in person. You'll need about 15 security thugs to shunt him out the door of the committee room.

No doubt the GAA, bowing to pressure as always, will decide it's not worth the hassle and the diving b______ will be allowed tog for the rest of the year.

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NOTE: When Sean Óg was asked, for the purposes of this column, whether he would condemn the abuse of O'Shea on social media, he looked at us blankly.

We made what we believe was a game attempt to explain the situation with regard to O'Shea on social media further, but, in so far as we could tell, Sean Óg did not appear to regard this as a pressing social problem.

He looked straight ahead into the middle distance, his contorted brow lines betraying that familiar mixture of disdain and confusion. He said nothing. 

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We can only conclude that Sean Óg is magnificently unconcerned about the abuse of Aidan O'Shea on social media. He did not take up the opportunity to condemn it. 

 

Elsewhere, he endured a mixed Sunday. His revulsion at the football on display in the Connacht Final was counterpointed by his satisfaction at the Munster Hurling Final result.

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Sean Óg is notoriously unreceptive to complaints from players about 'conditions'. Indeed, none of those itty-bitty practical concerns which sometimes serve as an explanation for a substandard performance have ever cut any ice with Sean Óg.

He has demonstrated in the past that he has very little empathy for players who are suffering from niggling injuries, players who are only back from lengthy injuries, players who are short of match practice, players who might be suffering from fatigue from playing too many matches, players who are being deployed in the wrong position, players who might lack experience in a certain position, players who are being double-marked... and on and on.   

The list of niggling concerns that Sean Óg has written off as mere pathetic excuses is far too long to catalogue here. If one was to listen to Sean Óg often enough, one might get to thinking that the 'hamstring' itself was invented by an overly protective manager seeking to explain why his star player wasn't delivering.

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The Connacht Final was pathetic. Naturally, the excuse makers were out chatting shit about conditions. One would swear it never rained in Salthill. I've never spent more than two hours in Galway without there being at least two rain showers. These jokers can't kick a point in the wet. That's the level that county football has descended. Players can't kick points in the rain.

It was particularly disgusting at the end to watch Roscommon at the end, pootering around with the ball in the corner, passing up the chance for a pot at goal, with the match there for them. They deserve to lose every Connacht Final for the rest of eternity for that.

Showing a hitherto unforeseen sarcastic side...

In all seriousness, you would wonder why these lads, these stubborn traditionalists still persist in shooting for goal. Sure, aren't they only surrendering possession. Isn't that what they want? Possession. Even if the ball sails between the posts, haven't the other team got the ball then.

No doubt, in a few years, the statisticians will have weeded out these bad habits and we'll see two teams play to a 0-0 draw, but with one of them enjoying 100% of possession. The perfect game.           

[Sean Óg Ó Kneejerk was in conversation with Conor Neville]

Read more: KNEEJERK: Our Controversial Columnist Knows Exactly Who Is To Blame For Galway Loss

Read more: Explained: Why The Connacht Final Replay Will Not Be Broadcast On Live TV


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