Wednesday 21 February 2018

Comment - Does anyone really care that Jim Gavin doesn't pander to the media?

Jim Gavin and his dad Jim celebrate after Dublin sealed their third All-Ireland title in a row
Jim Gavin and his dad Jim celebrate after Dublin sealed their third All-Ireland title in a row
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

Was Jim Gavin supposed to burst through the doors, spray champagne over the waiting media, whip off his top to reveal navy and sky blue nipple tassels and burst into a Dubliner's classic to delight the entire room?

The above paragraph is utterly ludicrous, but in light of some of the opinions being manufactured over the past eight days it seems apt.

The Round Towers man is not a gameshow host, he's a GAA manager.

His role is to deliver performances and victories, not soundbites.

Accusing a man who has delivered four All-Ireland and four National League titles in five years of not showing enough emotion could be construed as fair, but he was far from joyless.

Gavin has imbued an honesty and humility in his players that was handed down to him by his parents Ann and Jimmy.

He won't even touch Sam Maguire because, rightly or wrongly, he sees it as the players' achievement and not his.

He is a selfless volunteer that has inspired a group of extremely talented young men to become the greatest collective ever assembled in the GAA. That doesn't sound so boring to me.

Eamon Dunphy thinks the Dublin team will be 'admired but never loved' because of their cautious approach to their media dealings. Gavin won't lose too much sleep over this assertion.

He also claimed that some players 'fancied themselves' and one Dublin player, who he met in a nightclub, was a 'big-headed pr**k'.

He may be right but in my experience opinions and first impressions formed in nightclubs can often be misleading.

Do we want the Dublin players to be like guests on Dr Phil or celebrity-seeking X Factor contestants pouring their hearts out over the sacrifices they've made and personal toll being a part of one of the best GAA teams in history comes with?

I don't.

Dublin played in six games this summer and most people you talk to say that the All-Ireland final was the only game worth watching.

This team and the way they totally dismantle the opposition in a cold, calculated, but classy fashion is a joy to behold.

When they were put to the pin of their collar by Stephen Rochford's men, they could adapt their game and thrive in adversity.

They don't have enough personality? You don't get to the stage where you can play football at that level without personality and creativity and the manner of their four All-Ireland wins under Gavin illustrated their courage and poise under the most severe pressure. That's character.

The Dublin players don't need to verbalise the kind of men they are because it's plain to see when they take to field, engage with opponents and celebrate with fans.

When Con O'Callagan scythed through the Mayo defence and clinically finished past David Clarke, did we really want him to punch the air and salute the Hill? It would have made for good television but it doesn't get Dublin any closer to lifting the Sam Maguire.

Gavin hasn't removed the character from Dublin football, he has removed the ego.

What's left is a team capable of scintillating football with mental fortitude and a will to win.

Boring?

Give me a break.

Online Editors

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