Sport Gaelic Football

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Silence looks the right compromise

Eamonn Sweeney

There was a bit of a flap last week following the news that Stephen Cluxton has been made captain of the Irish international rules team for the series in Australia. The implication seemed to be that the Dublin goalkeeper's decade-long Harpo Marx impersonation doesn't make him the ideal candidate for the role.

In reality, it was a masterstroke by Anthony Tohill. As anyone who's watched The Sunday Game knows, Tohill has a great sense of humour and this was a classic piece of subtle comedy from him. After all, who better than a non-speaking captain in a series which hasn't really anything good to be said about it?

Not that they won't try as we enter the dreaded Season Of International Rules Bullshit. Marty Morrissey will roll the words 'Boundary Rider' seductively around his mouth and frighten the nation's children, there will be breathless reports that 'Aussie Rules great' Brett Bushranger has told the Bunyipdunny Sheepshearer how much he likes the series and heart-warming stories of how a lapdancer halted mid-act to tell the assembled journalists she couldn't believe the Irish players were amateurs.

In fairness, we all love a junket. Had the Carrolls All Stars been due to tour The Democratic Republic of Kampuchea in Year Zero, the hacks would no doubt have told us that Pol Pot's first name showed his love of Irish culture. But, as we prepare to be snowed under with stories about how much it means to our exiles, we're soon going to wish everyone on tour had followed Cluxton's lead.

The GAA should have made Jim McGuinness manager. He'd soon have taken the tan off the Aussies' legs and the highlights out of their hair. Now that would have been a series worth watching.

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