You really have to feel sorry for a lot of the inter-county footballers who will take to the field for the first time this year this afternoon. By any stretch of the imagination, it will surely be a punishing afternoon.
You see, because of the GAA's draconian ban on winter training, these poor sods have been locked away for the last two months, doing their best to stay away from the fridge and going out the odd evening for a spinning class in the local gym.
Such was the fear out there among senior county board officials and team managers about the fire and brimstone that would be visited on them by the GAA that they insisted the ban be strictly adhered to. The GAA had warned it would police the ban vigilantly and any county found in breach would be punished.
Amid such unreasonable behaviour, inter-county players were left to rot for two months and now they are expected to squeeze into a jersey today and perform for expectant crowds. It's just not fair.
Why, they must surely ask, did our manager allow himself to be bullied by the GAA? We should have trained. Sure we could have got up at 5.0 in the morning and trained, and maybe even squeezed another quick one-hour fitness session in that night before bed. Who would be any the wiser?
Sunday Indo Sport