Saturday 3 December 2016

Whether a prophet or pundit, Dunphy has perfected the art of winning with own goals

Published 19/06/2014 | 02:30

Just when you think he's out of the game, he drags himself back in again. It wouldn't be a World Cup on RTE without some Eamon Dunphy-inspired madness and, right on cue, he delivered the 'F bomb' on Tuesday night, straight into hundreds of thousands of people's homes. So were the couch potatoes and the innocent childer of Erin shocked? Appalled? Furious? Offended?

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I doubt it. But nobody can doubt that they're talking about him again and there's something strangely reassuring about the fact that, once more, we're all discussing the one Irishman who always seems to be the real winner of any World Cup he appears at.

To the casual observer, his place in the pantheon of things Paddy Needs During A World Cup goes back to Italia '90 and the myth that he hurled his pen away as he grumbled about how he was ashamed to be Irish. He was indeed furious at the caveman football we were being subjected to, but he didn't throw his pen away and he wasn't guilty of treason. Of course, by the time the dust settled, that offending pen was as embedded in our consciousness as Marianne Faithful's Mars bar. Both myths, but myths which people wanted to believe.

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