| 3°C Dublin

GAA hacks haunted by scrum for quotes

WE in the Gaelic games media can only sit back and watch the Rugby World Cup aghast at proceedings and in envy of our rival oval ball hacks.

In the week when the traditional Kerry press conference went off as it normally does (with management and players seemingly committed to something akin to the Sicilian mafia's omerta of silence), we had a Australian utility back describe Brian O'Driscoll as "a freak" (he meant it as a compliment) just five days prior to locking horns with the great BOD.

Or what about the burly Argentinian, Fernández Lobbe, who prior to the Pumas clash with England calmly suggested: "Argentina would love to see (Toby) Flood in the side, and not Wilkinson ... because Flood has weaknesses."?!

At the time of going to print, no Dublin player or member of the management team had given such an honest and insightful view of whether they felt Paul Galvin should start in Kerry's team on Sunday. And we're not holding our breath.

Gooch has monkey on his back

ACCORDING to Wikipedia: "Triskaidekaphobia (from Greek tris meaning "3", kai meaning "and", deka meaning "10" and phobia meaning "fear" or "morbid fear") is fear of the number 13; it is a superstition."

Of all the number 13s then in the country, which one would a corner-back making his first appearance in an All-Ireland final fear most?

The answer, naturally, would be Colm Cooper, who in 10 years of senior football with Kerry, has only ever worn the number 13 jersey when starting in championship football.

Lucky for some? For Gooch, yes. But Kerry? Apparently not. In all of their 36 All-Ireland successes, no player wearing the traditionally spooky number 13 has ever lifted Sam Maguire in the green and gold. Curse or coincidence?

Final goal to pierce Brosnan

BEN Brosnan -- remember him? The peroxide Wexford forward of the penetrative runs and the long-range freetaking?

Well, he may be just a distant memory in championship terms but he could yet end up being top scorer. Brosnan leads John Doyle and Colm Cooper by five points (not exactly a death-defying feat for Gooch on Sunday) while the only other player within a roar of finishing top of the charts is Bernard Brogan (10 points behind).

Championship 2011 - Top Scorers: Ben Brosnan (Wexford) 0-32 (32pts),

Colm Cooper (Kerry) 1-24 (27pts), John Doyle (Kildare) 2-21 (27pts), Donncha O'Connor (Cork) 4-14 (26pts), Cian Ward (Meath) 4-12 (24pts), Ciaran Lyng (Wexford) 1-21 (24pts), Bernard Brogan (Dublin) 0-23 (23pts), Cillian O'Connor (Mayo) 1-19 (22pts), Donie Shine (Roscommon) 1-19 (22pts), Daniel Goulding (Cork) 2-16 (22pts).