'Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia'
The denizens of Waterford City escaped the worst of the famine. While we don't wish to suggest there was no suffering in Waterford during the years 1845-50, their lot probably wasn't as bad as people in, say, Roscommon. For the comparatively enlightened politicians of Waterford loaded the town with rice during the period. The town was stuffed to the gills with rice. While nettles were being consumed in copious quantities elsewhere, the people of Waterford were swimming in rice.
Now, simple minded folk might wonder what this has this to do with Niall Carew's Waterford team of 2014. The answer is: lots.
For, you see, rice has long been noted for its ability to provide fast and instant energy boosts, stabilise blood sugar levels, and slow down the ageing process ( *insert obligatory Tony Browne reference and guffaw, followed by an elbow nudge if you wish). And that's before you even mention its help in regulating bowel movements.
So, in evolutionary terms, Waterford bodies are shaped and honed through centuries of chomping down rice. In today's high octane Gaelic football environment, energy levels are vital.
And with the introduction of the black card, the game should be even more free flowing and less 'stop starty.' This means 2014 should be good for Waterford.
The people of Waterford remain the greatest exponents of time-honoured GAA practice of standing behind the Man of the Match while he is being interviewed by the Sunday Game. The key to being an exceptionally good 'stander-behinder' is to remain rigid and gaze gormlessly into the camera as if you've never seen one before, but also to know when to interject with something apposite such as 'Go on ya boya to fuck ya!'
For an amateur sportsman, there is surely no greater thrill than having the few words that escape your lips when talking to Joanne Cantwell or Evanne Ni Chuilainn punctuated by shouts of 'Go on ya fuckin legend!'
While it has traditionally been the Waterford hurlers who have been subject to this treatment, the promise of same must surely be motivating factor for the Waterford footballers this season.
Munster Championship seeding
Now we know that the Waterford county board, in common with the county boards of Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, have done much (justifiable) complaining about the seeding arrangements in Munster. The chances of Waterford winning any silverware look to have receded. Wrong.
When Waterford do win Munster, having dispatched both Cork and Kerry, they will be a supremely confident, battle-hardened entity. The momentum generated by winning Munster will propel them to an All-Ireland.