Have your say
Lions not on Aussies' radar
As an Aussie living in Ireland I have to confirm the the views put forward by Eamonn Sweeney regarding the Lions tour of Australia. It's true that the average Aussie sports fan would know very little about rugby union or their best players.
This is mainly because the states of Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory are totally immersed in Australian Rules football. Where I grew up in country Victoria it was like a religion every weekend and was talked about all week until the next round of games. No one followed rugby union or rugby league and I had never heard of the Lions until I was in my early 20s. Now with the expansion of all codes and pay TV all footy codes are gaining greater followings. Even the soccer A-League is gaining ground quickly.
Melbourne is the most sports-mad city in the world so crowds flock to anything – even a Lions tour game. But by next week it will all be forgotten and AFL will dominate the conversation on Monday mornings at work. My 77-year-old mum will be watching her beloved North Melbourne AFL team this weekend and won't have a clue who won the Lions decider. So I hate to to say this with so much media coverage here , but outside Brisbane and Sydney (and a clique of private schools which play the game) this series really isn't that big a deal to the average Aussie sports fan. (Although if it was just England we were playing – that's a different story altogether!!!).
Sean Og too big for boots
Sean Og O hAilpin, Donal Og Cusack and John Gardiner were all marvellous athletes and excellent hurlers. This trio of sportsmen were part of a great Cork team. I fully supported the players during the strike and walked through 'Pana' (Patrick Street) to demonstrate my solidarity at the time; my opinion being that someone needed to stand up to the County Board for the good of Cork hurling.
Time since has moved on and one wonders if some of the strikers have lost the run of themselves. Last week Sean Og stated that some players were being retired too early – John Gardiner being an example. He criticised the selection of a player who came from an area which he had never heard of. Criticism was also levelled at managers who were in situ since 2006 and who it was alleged were attempting to stamp their own brand of hurling on the Cork team.
The style of hurling played by Cork prior to the 2006 final was very successful. Hurling didn't just come into existence when Sean Og played inter-county for Cork and hopefully the great game will continue to entertain long after we will have departed the scene.
Yes, Sean Og is correct when he says that standards have dropped. As one who is very involved at underage level, I can honestly state that there is a huge challenge out there from other sports. One hopes his comments will be more positive in the future and let those who manage the Cork teams get on with their job.
Kimmage a shining light
Just a brief message to say thanks for giving Paul Kimmage a chance again in an Irish paper to showcase his excellent journalism, really enjoying the video diaries of the Tour de France so far. Great that your supporting a cracking example to us all to ask those hard questions and not to go with the soft options.
Don't forget class of '92
In Eamonn Sweeney's article on June 30, the caption under the photo states the Munster final pairing is the first between Cork and Limerick in 33 years. They met in 1992 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Just for clarity.
Kicking now a dying artform
WITH all the talk about changing the rules in Gaelic football and bringing in multi-coloured cards for this offence and that, it was laughable on Sunday last to watch the games, where hardly any outfield player had to kick the ball. This was left to the goalkeepers of a least four top-class teams.
Week after week we hear of the referees having to play by the book as their assessor is in the stands watching; the referees association are now running the GAA championship. Justify your existence by making a rule that some outfield player has to kick the ball at least once.