In the old days, the whole country sat down to watch The Late Late Show, or whatever the national broadcaster happened to be showing. It was all there was to do. Now, we have major sporting events, and the Toy Show. Rarely will a television show be truly the talk of the town. Micko, the documentary about Mick O'Dwyer, aired last night on RTE 1, is one of those rare exceptions. It seemed everyone tuned in to a see the story of a character who was at the centre of elite Gaelic football for 60 years. A simple man, and a complicated one. An old fashioned type, and a revolutionary. Micko is Micko, as they'd say in Kerry, and there's never been anyone like him.
Like the John Giles documentary from last year, made by the same production company, Loosehorse TV, Micko followed a simple format - a man telling the story of his career with brilliant documentary footage mixed it with him living his life nowadays. It worked a treat.
One of the more interesting and entertaining parts of the show was Micko discussing staying on as Kerry manager after successive defeats to the Dubs in 1976 and 1977. After their young team caught Dublin on the hop in '75, Micko thinks they took their eye off the ball after achieving so much so soon.
Our fellas got a little bit lost. The Rose of Tralee was in full swing. I think they dabbling... in some of the niceties.
They were young. It went to their heads I'd say, more than anything. And Dublin came again in '76 and beat us.
By 1978, any complacency or distractions were definitely gone, and Dublin had to be cut down, or O'Dwyer's career, in his opinion, would have been over if they hadn't stopped the Dublin 3-in-a-row.
Luckily though, he had found a gem to add to his full-forward line, Eoin "The Bomber" Liston. O'Dwyer immediately thought it was the missing link.
After '77, we found a man by the name of "The Bomber" Liston. He was a nice, soft, pudgy little fella when I got him. He was a great man for the Mars Bars, and the packages of Smarties, and what have you. And by God, he had the sign of it.
But he lost about five stone weight. Night after night, here in Waterville, training. He made a big difference to the team. He was the missing link I think.
Micheál O'Hehir's contribution can't be overlooked here either.
And here's the man with the beard. He looks Hollywood's version of a Quaker, but he's not, he's Eoin "The Bomber" Liston
Liston definitely did prove the missing link, scoring an amazing second half hat-trick in that '78 final. It would be the first of Kerry's 4-in-a-row, and seven in nine years. Micko still thinks that '78 might have been the best though.
If we were beaten that day, I could quite easily have gone, and I might never have been involved with Kerry anymore.
It was one of the greatest days of my life, and the most enjoyable, I can assure you. We could say to people, 'now we've done it!", and it was amazing what happened after.
Liston himself, was quick to respond to the tribute from his old boss.
After all the years I’m still soft and pudgy. Great man and great documentary #oncesoftandpudgyalways
— Eoin Liston (@EoinListon) January 8, 2018
You can watch the entire show on the RTE Player.
SEE ALSO: A True Legend: Mick O'Dwyer Stole The Nation's Heart Tonight