Conor McGregor didn't bother showing up at last year's RTE Sports Person of the Year awards. His name was there among the nominated but there was no prospect of him winning and he gave the ceremony a wide berth. When quizzed about his absence, he responded with a facebook status saying that he was not concerned with RTE's approval. He was concerned with cash.
I appreciate the curiosity about my absence from these 'Sports Awards'. Credit with RTE, however, is not what I seek. It is cash. And as executive producer of my 6-part series 'NOTORIOUS', airing 26 January, cash is what they pay.
If it's PURE SPORT you want though. The ORIGINAL sport of the human race. The Sport of Unarmed Combat. The Sport of Survival. The Sport before the term 'Sport' was even created.
Catch UFC Fight Night Boston: McGregor - Vs - Who gives a fuck we are still watching.'
LIVE and EXCLUSIVE to Setanta Sports and 3e sports respectively. This coming 18 January.
That was then.
Is 'official Ireland' about to embrace ruffian Conor McGregor to its warm bosom?
Never mind that The Marian Finnucane Show (it is the sound of 'official Ireland' shooting the breeze) devoted little time to McGregor's victory (and we were waiting for Gemma's Hussey's take on McGregor's win), the bookies now have McGregor at 1/3 to win the RTE Sports Person of the Year award.
Paddy Power has McGregor at 1/3, comfortably beating favourite Michael Conlon, who is priced at 7/2. Paul O'Connell is at 8/1 while Jonathan Walters is at 16/1.
So far, there has been an unignorable generational difference in reactions to McGregor's personality and achievements. Many in their 20s and 30s are besotted with the man and regard him as an idol. While, many in middle age or above have probably heard his name but don't know much about him beyond that.
But now he is favourite for the RTE Sports Person of the Year award. Is Conor McGregor about to become a darling of middle Ireland?