Fans might not see it, but the respect is mostly there
It was only a matter of time really before the 'Give Respect, Get Respect' campaign produced its first snub, with Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly and Meath goalkeeper Paddy O'Rourke somehow managing to make a mess of the simple aesthetic this weekend.
Surely the cameras caught various angles of the moment the outstretched hand was bypassed. The awkward hanging. The rushed, unnatural move on to the next hand. The victim's 'did you see that' glance sideways following the movement of the culprit.
The premise is a solid one for campaigns such as 'Give Respect, Get Respect'. But ironically the very essence of them is ruined given they provide such a defined space for someone not to show respect.
Every player shares a moment before the game that may not scream respect, may not sound like respect, but ultimately, it is total respect. The fans may be settling in to their seats at the time. The TV cameras scanning the crowd. But on the field, just before throw-in, a moment is shared between players.
Irrespective of what happens in the coming hour, there is a knowing of what each have gone through to be where they are, of the shared feeling in their gut that they'd really just like to play well, and to win. Look in to his eyes. Shake his hand. Respect. It's no charade.