Thursday 14 December 2017

How to beat the duvet defence

Having wrestled with its conscience, one club has turned to a foreign game to devise the perfect defensive system

Billy Keane

Billy Keane

There was a sweep for bugging devices by men in white jump suits. Father Macs' homophobic club chairman kicked up an awful row when he refused to be searched by a man. In the end, he gave in for sake of the club.

Father Macs weren't just a club, they were a laboratory for the county team who regularly used the Macs' techniques in the All-Ireland Championship.

Father Macs were famous for their 'pucking defence.'

For those of you who are not in the know, the 'pucking defence' is also known under its drill name 'as acting the goat.'

The players go in head first. Then there's the laying on of hands and the verbal abuse. Father Macs claim to have invented the tactic of playing 15 men behind the ball.

Read more: Five players to watch in the Championship this year

Father Macs innovative coaching staff also brought sledging into the game. The tactic is old now and the opposition had to employ psychologists to provide anti-sledging counselling. The Father Macs lads used to wreck the opposition's heads with the traditional sledges such as "Your sister slept with half the parish," or if the players were sisterless, the taunt was changed to "your grandmother was the mistress of a Tan."

But now the opposition reply with "I'm sorry you feel that way," and "you are projecting," which I think means "It's your own story you're taking out on me."

And if all that wasn't enough to contend with, Father Macs are reeling after Gaygate.

By now you might have guessed that the aforementioned meeting was top secret. The location was chosen from a TripAdvisor review made by General De Chastelain.

It seems there were boys climbing trees to get a peep at the Macs training sessions. The county knew the chosen hotel well as it was a favourite haunt for affairs. In fact, it has been written in Hotel Weekly that the hotel was the only one in Ireland to boast 140 per cent occupancy.


When Hotel Weekly asked how it was that a hotel, or is it an hotel, could boast 140 per cent occupancy, the manager's reply was: "The lunchtime trade."

The Macs manager laid it on the line. "We've lost four players. Two from the full-forward line and two from the full-back line. And the county team are only weeks away from the first round of the championship. The county have had an awful league and badly need a new scheme from Macs. Our own 'smother under the duvet' defensive system is in tatters, so desperate measures are needed. We had to ask the Gay Four to leave the club as they had besmirched the name of Father Macs."

Father Mac was the only man ever to have died twice for Ireland. It seems the good father fell off his bike while being chased by the Black and Tans in 1921 and was declared clinically dead by himself. Then a few weeks later the Tans, just for the crack, killed Father Mac a second time.

The martyr died for good, so the club name was changed from Robert Emmets to Father Mac Lazaruses. The club were of the opinion Emmet wouldn't have minded that much, seeing as half the clubs in the country were called after him anyway.

The campaign for the canonisation of Father Mac was going great guns, if you'll forgive the pun, until a man purporting to be the son of Father Mac claimed squatter's title over the Parochial House.

To this day the Macs claim the story was invented by the "low types" in the neighbouring parish who were jealous of the fact that Father Mac died for Ireland twice.

In fact, the neighbours named their club Pierse, Plunketts, Emmets, Connollys, Father Murphy's, Kellys, Casements, McCrackens and so on. The jealous neighbours claimed the honour of being the club name with the most martyrs in the title even though, technically speaking, Dev didn't die for Ireland.

Now The Patriots, as the neighbours were known, were due to play Macs in the first round of the Junior C championship.

And what of Gaygate? The 'smother under the duvet' system was abandoned when the corner-backs and corner-forwards fell madly in love. It seems all that close marking and off-the-ball hitting brought the players closer together and now they are planning a four-man wedding extravaganza when the referendum is passed.

Good luck to the Father Macs Four, I would say, but the chairman had the lads expelled from the club. Homosexuality was the real reason, but the committee said it was for staying out late on New Year's Eve, only the bare 24 weeks before the first round of the championship.

So it was, in the presence of the county board coaching staff, that the Macs came up with a new defensive system. And it was made in Japan.

The coach has a PhD and his words were weighty. "We will play sumo football. The plan is to place three big lads specially fed and trained in Japan along the goal line."

"Brilliant," gushed the county manager."Genius plan, but what about stopping the points?"

"Simple," replied the club coach. "We get the Big Mac sumos to stand on each other's shoulders in a pyramid shape. The Irish sumos will bat the ball away and we will be the first team never to concede a single score in the championship."

There was a standing ovation.

The 2015 Championship gets rightly going around now. Could it be 2015 will be known forever as The Year of the Sumo? Sumogate awaits.

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