Wednesday 16 August 2017

Anyone for a junket? Let's play a new game

Eamonn Sweeney

OKAY kids, today we're going to play 'let's pretend.' All together now.

Let's pretend that international rules is a real sport.

Let's pretend that the crowd aren't hoping that there's going to be a huge fight.

Let's pretend that the series continues because the players want it to rather than because of big gate receipts and the lure of trips to Australia for officials and journalists.

Let's pretend that Anthony Tohill has the right to manage Ireland, though he's never managed a county team in his life.

Let's pretend that there are special tactics which should be employed in this hybrid game, though if we actually just played Gaelic football at its best we'd wipe the floor with the Aussies.

Let's pretend it was Aussie violence which bothered us the last couple of times rather than the margin of their victories.

Let's pretend that this series proves our players can compete with professionals.

Let's pretend that after seven boring quarters one good one proves that 'the experiment' is still alive.

Let's pretend we're learning from this unlovely spectacle.

Let's pretend it was sheer coincidence that no Kerry players wanted to play this year.

Let's pretend the result means something.

Let's pretend it was worth upsetting the club performances of players for two fixtures which are of less practical importance than a Junior 3 divisional league play-off.

Let's pretend the Aussies have the height of respect for us.

Well done. Gold stars and lollipops for everyone.

Next week, we'll be doing the one about Mark Noble, Jamie O'Hara and Kevin Nolan really wanting to play for Ireland.

Sunday Independent

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