We rarely venture into politics here on Balls, but with the general election coming up, it was always likely sport was going to play some sort of part in the discussion.
We imagined this would come in the form of arguing about the distribution of sporting grants, the place of sport in society, or something to do with the government's role in sorting out the FAI's current predicament. This was not what was expected.
For those of you who have been following such matters, you would have noticed that Fine Gael have taken a bit of a battering in the polls ahead of the election next month. Their supports looks to have slipped dramatically, with Fianna Fail now leading and Sinn Fein not trailing far behind in third.
Leo Varadkar was asked this deficit today, using a bit of an odd sporting analogy to explain why his party were still feeling confident.
Asked by the slip in the polls by the Irish Examiner, Varadkar responded by comparing a halftime deficit in hurling to one in 'soccer':
As you know the polls were taken, either entirely are largely before the [TV] debate, and before Fianna Fáil published its Swiss cheese Manifesto. So I think in the polls won't be reflected until the ones we see next weekend's.
But I look at it like this, you know, it's halftime, we're probably about three points down. But politics is hurling not soccer. And we're going to pull this one back.
It's not made explicitly clear here, but we assume it has something to do with the contrasting difficulties in overturning a deficit in the aforementioned sports. A three-point lead in hurling is certainly nothing compared to a three goal lead in football.
However, we would like to think that the Taoiseach is comparing politics to hurling in other ways. P
Perhaps he means that in both politics and hurling, shin pads are not required like they are in soccer? Or maybe he is advocating for the use of helmets in the Dáil chamber? Are Irish politicians often considered more 'hardy' than their counterparts from other countries?
It looks like we may never know.