What makes a video clip go viral? Any GAA fan who can work youtube will know Páidí Ó'Sé's knockout of Dinny Allen during the 1975 Munster final. It's 10 seconds of madness we've all watched a few times in our lives, maybe during a bored hour at work or while burrowing down a GAA internet wormhole. For reasons only the internet gods can ever understand, the punch is enjoying a moment of extreme virality after Twitter user Roderick Decker uploaded the video to Twitter at the weekend. In fact, the punch has been viewed nearly 5 million times since Saturday and spread like wildfire across Reddit and Facebook.
More context on the incident, two of the greatest Gaelic Footballers of all time. pic.twitter.com/d8NaCnWxnR
— Keith Ó Gealbháin (@KeithGalvin) July 21, 2019
It's arguably the most fascinating GAA clip you'll find online. Páidí's lefthand jab, the legs going out from under Allen, Páidí's shock at his handiwork, the referee's decision not to punish either player, the polite handshake at the end. This is not sport as we know it any more. And then there are the surreal elements around the margins. The way the referee is himself decked by the punch, before grabbing Páidí by the wrist and pulling him over to Allen. The physio's uselessness and upset at the end. The commentator's satisfaction with the resolution.'And there's the shake of hands...'
The fascination with the punch has filtered onto reddit, where the punch currently sits #1 on r/sports in a post entitled "Vintage Gaelic football match between Kerry vs Cork breaks into a scuffle and the referee has to step in." The comments are the usual mix of intrigue, lame humour, pseudo-philosophy and American misunderstanding of Irish culture.
Any of the contact in this video would have put me in the hospital.@moonshinetheleocat
These guys just shook hands and walked it off.
Honestly... Im not surprised. Men make friends in strange ways. A punch in the face and you wake up sharing a bed.
Wait a minute...
It was an open-handed slap. That said, he got some nice velocity. Would have got more if his balance wasn't so off.
The town I grew and is overwhelming Irish-American. Growing up, pretty much any time I'd hang out with my buddies there'd be a fist fight. Guys would duke it out and be cool like 10 minutes later or by the next day at the longest. It was chalked up to boys will be boys, no ones parents cared. Especially during pick up ball games.
A few of us went to college outside of Massachusetts and man was that culture shock for a bunch townie goons in a lot of ways. Me and another guy drove to Fordham to visit one of our friends we grew up with. We were out hitting some of the Fordham bars in the Bronx and eventually my two friends started beating the shit out of each other in the street over some minor disagreement.
The rest of the group we were with were all from NY or CT and we're mortified by what was going on and were so concerned. That was the first time in my life that I realized oh the way we grow up is not the norm. That regular breaking and mending is not how friendships work in other cultures
Between James Carr's golazo and Jason Wray's 'Yank Watches GAA And Goes Bonkers' videos, the GAA is enjoying an unexpectedly viral summer. While there's a sense at home that neither the hurling or football Championships have properly kicked into life, the (online) world outside Ireland seems to be increasingly intrigued by the GAA.