Thursday 18 December 2014

O'Driscoll can retire happy in knowledge he gave it everything

Diarmuid Lyng

Published 12/03/2014 | 02:30

8 March 2014; Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, with his daughter Sadie, leave the pitch after the game. RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship, Ireland v Italy, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll, with his daughter Sadie, leave the pitch after the Italy game

It was never really going to be any other way. An ode to Brian. Dignified. Victorious. Humble.

I've seen great men slumped on the bench in the dressing-room. Beaten. No floating banners. No ovations. Just a look. Down. Towards nowhere other than the deep dark recesses of the mind.

I cast my thoughts back to Darragh Ryan.

I wonder what he's thinking. What's it's like in that place. I want to stand up and thank him. Selfishly. For making me happy to have witnessed him do what he loved to do. Like, genuinely happy. A heart happiness more than a head happiness.

People like that should be thanked. And they're in dressing-rooms the length and breadth of the country. Clubs. Counties. Provinces. They deserve their ovation too.

But it won't come now. The lights have gone down and they're left to make sense of it all. In the dark recesses.

Of course there's nothing you can do. They have to travel their journey and ask themselves if they gave it all that they could. And accept the answer.

I'm convinced the great ones realise earlier than everyone else that this moment will come.

And when time forces the ultimate question, their actions will have already answered it.

Irish Independent

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