Opinion

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Paying the price for stupid decisions

'Cleary (pictured) had a track record of success at under 21 level, where he had worked with many of the players on the senior panel.' Photo: Sportsfile
'Cleary (pictured) had a track record of success at under 21 level, where he had worked with many of the players on the senior panel.' Photo: Sportsfile

Eamonn Sweeney

The great Irish poet, and recovering alcoholic, Derek Mahon, once wrote: "Today is the first day of the rest of your life/Tell that to your liver; tell that to your ex-wife." It's a neat rejoinder to the idea that no matter what you've done there's always the possibility of wiping the slate clean and starting from square one.

In reality things are a bit more complicated than the nostrum subverted by Mahon suggests. John McGahern's recurring line in his story The Beginning of an Idea, "One is always punished for behaving stupidly," is probably nearer the mark.

That's certainly how it's worked out for two of my favourite teams, Sligo Rovers and the Cork senior footballers. Last week the former found themselves rooted to the bottom of the League of Ireland Premier Division, while the latter were relegated from Division 1 of the National Football League. The sad thing is that it didn't take a genius to see the downfall of either team coming from a long way out.

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