Tuesday 25 April 2017

Kelly may be a hero but his attitude to provincials disregards the localness at the heart of the GAA

'There are few current players I admire as much as Kelly (p).' Photo: Sportsfile
'There are few current players I admire as much as Kelly (p).' Photo: Sportsfile

Eamonn Sweeney

The Open Draw was the gay marriage of its day. Believing in it proved you were a liberal and open-minded kind of guy. When I were a lad, professing your faith in the Open Draw was up there with saying, 'Everyone's sexuality is basically their own business so it is, man.' It was the equivalent of sticking a CND badge on your O'Neills tracksuit top.

Obviously I believed in the Open Draw. But the years have seen a general lurch towards apostasy. The Open Draw, like communism and leg warmers, seemed to be an idea whose time had come and gone.

So it was with a certain nostalgia that I read last week of Tony Kelly's assertion that the provincial championships should be abolished and of the chorus of approval which greeted him. Belief dies hard among the old Open Draw fans. Kelly's interview was like Stranger Things, a fresh take on an eighties favourite.

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