NOT for the first time, listeners to Morning Ireland's sports bulletin were left scratching their heads on Wednesday. Pauric Lodge was in the hot seat and very confused about the GAA's proposed 'black card' system.
He described a black card as an "upper grade yellow card" and claimed that "the fourth player to get a black card will have to come off the field and he can be replaced." Not so, of course. The first three black-carded players can be replaced. The fourth and any subsequent players can not.
Lodge then went to a pre-recorded segment from Brian Carthy who explained how the system would actually work and, thanks to the RTE News Now channel, which streams pictures live from the studio, we could see Lodge and fellow presenter Cathal MacCoille waving imaginary cards at each other and MacCoille repeatedly holding his head in his hands in mock despair.
"Sounds very complicated," complained MacCoille. "If someone gets a yellow card and then a black card, how does that all work out?" wondered Lodge. How indeed.
To understand the system, you would have had to have spent at least a couple of minutes reading the press release from the GAA which was sent out on Tuesday. Or read about it in Wednesday morning's papers. Or even bothered to listen to Brian Carthy's report on the subject. But all this would, apparently, be too complicated, so instead we got misinformed banter from the two lads. A sort of tag team of inanity.
But, sure, it was great crack anyway. And isn't that what the sports news is supposed to be?
* * * * *
THE Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland will shake up the soccer agent market with their plans to act for players moving to the UK.
"We have had so many requests, even from agents, for information, that we decided to go into it ourselves," explained PFAI boss Stephen McGuinness. "We have the brochure done and we'll be going to the clubs, who are looking for us to represent them as well. They are looking for our expertise in negotiations with UK clubs.
"Stephen Bent joins us from the FAI, and he will liaise with the players and act on their behalf with the clubs. Our package will cover everything, and if it doesn't work out for the player, we'll be here when they come back. Too many are falling out of the game, and that's one of the reasons we want to get involved."
McGuinness is adamant that there is no conflict of interest for the PFAI in this venture. "Thousands of euro are being taken out of the game by agents, and we'll be putting any money we make back into it."
* * * * *
It's the time of year when getting fit and losing weight is at the forefront of people's minds. Nowadays most wannabe fitness fanatics won't settle for a run-of-the-mill gym package; they will seek out variety and value in their quest for fitness.
Life Style Sports Bootcamp Ireland ticks those boxes. By signing up for membership, you'll get more than just a session in the park. Along with outdoor bootcamp classes, they offer nutritional advice, physio sessions, conditioning workshops, fitness testing, boxercise and core sessions. And on top of that they provide a social outlet for members with additional events including fun runs, adventure challenges, mountain sessions, survivor weekends, ski trips, and surf weekends.
They've also recruited the services of some of Ireland's top athletes. Rugby player David Kearney, Olympic boxer Darren O'Neill and Olympic sailor Annalise Murphy are now all part of the Bootcamp team.
* * * * *
FORMER Galway dual ace Alan Kerins has lined up a star-studded sporting cast for his charity seminar on Wednesday (January 16) at 7.30pm in Galway's Clayton Hotel.
Olympic boxing coach Billy Walsh and Munster Rugby sports psychologist Gerry Hussey are among the speakers on the subject of 'Achieving Success in Challenging Times, Lessons for life, sport and business'. A guest panel that includes Pat Spillane, John Joe Nevin, Darren O'Neill and Felix Jones will take part in a question-and-answer session.
Tickets cost €20 and are available on www.alankerinsprojects.org or by calling Claire on 087 4121786.
Fergus McDonnell, Seán Ryan and Marie Crowe