Thursday 22 March 2018

Joe Brolly: Reaction to Cody incident shows ethos of football - once the same as hurling - has radically altered

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photo: Sportsfile

Joe Brolly

The linesman at Semple Stadium must have forgotten that Brian Cody pushed him. Lucky that the linesman in O'Moore Park remembered after the game that Diarmuid Connolly had pushed him. Forgetful types, these sideline officials.

I agree with the decision by the CCCC not to cite Cody. It was a very obvious push with two hands, far more conspicuous than Connolly's, but in the heat of battle it takes logic a split second to control instinct. Brian already had his hands on him shoving him back, but when he came to his senses and the linesman warned him, he immediately raised his hands in the air and backed off. No big deal.

As with the Connolly incident, the linesman took no action at the time. But unlike that incident, no hurling pundit went after Cody. There was no dramatisation of the push, and no eloquent denunciation in the studio. Michael Duignan said there was "nothing to it" and no one disagreed. Banning Cody for that would have been an affront.

The CCCC say they are not influenced by the media in these matters, and you can take that at face value if you like.

The incident for me underlines once again the importance of the approach taken by The Sunday Game pundits. But, more importantly, it illustrates how the ethos of football, which used to be the same as hurling, has radically altered in the last decade. As the manliness has gone out of our code, cynicism has become commonplace and the result of this soccerisation of the game has been moral outrage.

Which is why Diarmuid Connolly had to endure a witch-hunt and a 12-week ban at the height of the season, while Brian Cody can spend his summer evenings with the club, contemplating how to build another dynasty.

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