Have your say
Spillane still living in his glorious past
I fully agree with Eamonn Sweeney's article re Pat 'Puke Football' Spillane. The weaker counties will never live up to the "superb" football that those Kerry teams played in the past. Unfortunately, Pat is still living in those years yet and that is where his mind is as he rambles on in front of Michael Lyster. He should remind himself that the footballer representing the county of Cavan, Fermanagh, Carlow etc is putting in the same effort as those of Kerry, Dublin, Donegal.
They know they will never achieve the same success. Players who represent their county do so with pride and give of their best. They leave the bosom of their families to train on cold winter nights and are rarely at home on Sundays, eating lunch with wives and children as they entertain the likes of Pat Spillane who is making a nice wee living as he tells us all how poor they are in comparison to himself and his playing era. Congratulations to all players who represent their county and thank you for entertaining us.
(Former very ordinary but proud Cavan player)
MODERN FOOTBALL HAS LITTLE TO RECOMMEND IT
The Ulster football match, Donegal v Down, last Sunday made for very sad viewing.
The thing is that whilst there was criticism of Donegal's 'style' of football last year, the fact that they won the All-Ireland went some way to silencing the critics of the blanket defence and legitimising this way of playing.
I was at the Galway v Mayo match; a poor game simply because Galway were so bad. On the way home from Salthill, I heard some pundit saying that Galway had to look at the way football was going and to employ the blanket defence. It struck me that GAA people have a responsibility for the advancement of the game rather than just speculating on which team is going to get to Croke Park each year.
It's frustrating to hear of the 'blanket defence' being spoken of sagely as though it's a complex innovation. If there was a flip-chart explaining it, it would have an arrow pointing all players towards their goal. There is no offside or other rule to restrict the suffocation of the game.
Joe Brolly said that the game was 'attritional', Colm O'Rourke said it was a 'dog of a game' – but Brolly also said that this was the way the game had gone and if you 'don't play this way then you could go to the USA for the summer'. The co-commentator said that the game was not one for the purists but that this was the way the game was going and "we should rejoice in it".
I don't think we should rejoice in it. If you took away the scoreboard and watched a football match looking for skill or ability, you would be a long time waiting. The game is utterly failing from an aesthetic viewpoint. It's an awful shame. But I think we need pundits to be honest about it.
BRILLIANT BATTIER HARDLY A JOURNEYMAN
What a great article on LeBron James and the 2013 NBA Finals from Eamonn Sweeney last Sunday. LeBron's journey is a true rags-to-riches tale that shows character and guts in abundance not to mention talent.
However, Eamonn mentioned that Shane Battier (a Duke University graduate and College basketball great) was a journeyman pro. Battier is far from that.
Last year in the finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was just as good with his three-point shooting and he was also a first-round pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Hats off to Eamonn though for highlighting such a hard working and exciting sport (82 regular games a season before the playoffs, often 3-4 games a week).
RTE'S DOUBLE ACT LEAVE THIS VIEWER COLD
I could not agree more with Eamonn Sweeney's comments about Pat Spillane during the recent Cavan v Fermanagh game. There is a 15-minute break between halves, RTE need two breaks and the majority of the time that the Panel had between halves discussing the actual game was minimal. Pat Spillane loves the sound of his own voice and Michael Lyster failed to rein him in, Colm O'Rourke just laughed at Spillane on one of his rants.
Talk about the game you are watching, not your views on Gaelic football per se, they are for another day. As a Cavan man, I know the quality was not great but you are not going to get classic football every day. It is time for Michael Lyster to move to a different slot. He does not challenge his panel at all. I am lucky I have access to the BBC and TV3 to avoid Spillane and Brolly.