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Kneejerk - Our Man On His Strange Admiration For Davy Fitzgerald

Kneejerk - Our Man On His Strange Admiration For Davy Fitzgerald
By Sean Og O Kneejerk Updated

Sometimes, Sean Óg is capable of surprising you with his opinions. We had assumed that he would regard Davy Fitzgerald as an insufferable, whingeing oik, a purveyor of a sacrilegious short passing game, the antithesis of the stately heroes of hurling, Jimmy Barry Murphy and co.

In fact, Sean Óg emerges as one of Davy's staunchest defenders. This is principally because they share a common enemy, namely, the media.

For one thing, Sean Óg is one of the dwindling band of people who is inclined to take at face value Davy's stock line from his post-match interviews that 'there's a lot of stuff been written about us'.

Invariably, this 'stuff' is of the negative variety and serves to motivate.

When Davy uttered his catchphrase after the League Final, the reporters present apparently scratched their heads for several minutes before trying to track down the articles to which Davy might have been referring. On Off the Ball the following week, Vincent Hogan reported that they had been unsuccessful in this quest.

In the not too distant future, some brave reporter is going to ask Davy to cite the offending article or articles, asking that he name the reporter, the publication, and the date on which it was published.    

Davy has been blackguarded by the media since he won the All-Ireland three years back. I heard him saying the last day that there were reporters out to get him and I've no doubt there are.

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Some of these guys have some cheek, sitting behind their laptops behind a glass screen taking potshots at a man who won All-Irelands both on the field of play and on the line. Most of them have never played at any level but feel free to just castigate people, players, managers, referees.

Sean Óg's own playing career extended as far as the juvenile grade, before being cut short by a deadly cocktail of tobacco, alcohol and indolence. He has also been known to express highly inflammatory opinions about players, managers and referees. We attempted to nudge him and remind him in a jocular, Michael Lyster-ish fashion that he wasn't above that sort of thing himself. The point had to be expressed heartily so as to cause offence. However, like most appeals for self-awareness, it didn't really register with Sean Óg and he ploughed on regardless.   

I remember when Clare were winning no All-Irelands. For years, they'd sit in the wilderness, they'd be dumped out long before we got near the business end of things. Occasionally, they'd get to a Munster Final or they'd cobble together a half-decent team.

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But then they'd always fold on the big stage in Thurles against the Corks and the Tipperarys. I remember one day in Limerick, when Tipp walked all over them in a Munster Final. Pat Fox and Michael Cleary and Leahy tore them to pieces. They were naive young fellas then. But then Loughnane got hold of them and he moulded them into winners and tough bastards.

And Davy played under Loughnane so he knows the score. Nice guys don't get anywhere. And Davy won an All-Ireland with that crowd, with their history. And what thanks does he get? A load of nonsensical rubbish from snide fuckers sitting behind screens. That's what he gets.

Not only does Sean Óg harbour warm feelings towards Davy, but he finds the whole Clare county board utterly simpatico.

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At the end of 2015, the Clare AGM was largely dedicated to calling out the county's many critics both online and in print.

Kildysart delegate John Meade, for instance, offered some pithy feedback on the work of some unnamed local reporters.

"There are a couple of journalists in this county and what they have written about Clare GAA is absolute shite," he said.

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Then, chairman Michael McDonagh had a pop at online forums, remarking in the process that, "I know nothing about it. I was never on a website or a computer in my life."

In this admission, he has something of a blood brother in Sean Óg.

We must confess at this point that Sean Óg doesn't read the articles which go out under his name. In fact, he doesn't know he's being published by Balls.ie. He never asked. We're fairly confident he doesn't read the site and would hold a dim view of it. I think he just assumes he's been published in the Star or the Sunday World.

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We did tentatively broach the name Balls.ie to him a while back and he just asked whether it was a pornography site.

I heard the Chairman of the Clare county board saying he stayed away from the internet. Amen to that. These nobodies who sit around writing abusive messages to county players and people involved. I'd say you'd get more articulate and worthwhile commentary scrawled on the wall of a public toilet.

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That's the fault of the internet. I was told you've all these clueless fellas speculating on team selections as if they're 'in the know' and close to the manager. It's another modern disease and I don't know how we're going to get rid of it.

Sean Óg anticipated yesterday's Munster match with some trepidation.

It was the drawn League final between these two teams that convinced him that romantic hurling was dead and gone, it was now with Christy Ring in the grave below in Cloyne.

You'd have to credit Waterford, they fought like dogs and with their defence clogged up even as it was, they still managed to hit 1-21. They are doing something very right down there.

Still, I despair that a team like that could win the All-Ireland. And I don't think they will. I heard that ould blatherer Mullane talking like they were destined for Liam on RTE Radio One.

He said about three times that they weren't going to get carried away and immediately after said he couldn't see anyone stopping them this year.

Excuse me now, wait until they bump into Kilkenny further on down the line. Brian Cody was sitting in the crowd there and he didn't resemble a man who was pissing himself out of nervousness.

Last year, Waterford played in the All-Ireland semi-final. It was one of the worst things I'd ever seen. They'd the game nearly lost, they needed scores sharpish with time running down, and they've left the one lad up front. Maurice Shanahan on his own inside near the score, pumping hopeful high ball in on top of him. Settling for a 'respectable' defeat. How could you respect that carry on?

 

Down, historically the only Ulster county about whom Sean Óg had anything good to say, collapsed on their stool in the second half in Clones.

Sean Óg - like the vast of majority of neutral followers around the country - has little to say about the current Down team beyond the fact that they must be useless. 

The big point here is that the current Down crop are of supreme disinterest to him. He knows nothing about them and doesn't feel he is lacking in any way on account of not knowing anything about them. 

He is unable to talk about Down for more than four seconds without immediately harking back to the 1960s and the 1990s. The only time he discusses Down football now is through the prism of nostalgia.

Down supporters may be relieved to hear this.   

Down football has been in the doldrums for many years. They are just not cynical enough for today's football. First All-Ireland I attended was back in 1961...  (and so on)

 

*On the Christy Ring Cup Final catastrophe, Sean Óg could only shake his head in amusement and request that the GAA, in future, try and employ referees who are able to count. 

(Sean Óg Ó Kneejerk was in conversation with Conor Neville)

Read more: Kneejerk: This Man Is Hopping Mad That Bruce Springsteen Led To Such A Crap GAA Weekend

Read more: 'Right Of Reply' Slot: The Monday Morning Sunday Game Review

 

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