Sport

Sunday 21 January 2018

Off the Ball: I have a dream... of a stirring victory speech

Anthony Daly celebrates on the steps of the Hogan Stand alongside Seanie McMahon after victory in the 1997 All-Ireland hurling final
Anthony Daly celebrates on the steps of the Hogan Stand alongside Seanie McMahon after victory in the 1997 All-Ireland hurling final

Colm Parkinson

I remember listening to Anthony Daly's speech after Clare won the All-Ireland title in 1995. Daly began by saying "There has been a missing person in Clare for 81 long years ... well today that person has been found alive and well, and that person's name is Liam MacCarthy".

He went on to add the magical line about Clare's love of traditional music and hurling. Daly was back on the mic after the '97 Munster final telling the frenzied crowd that Clare were no longer the "whipping boys of Munster".

Inspirational speeches from winning captains are now a thing of the past in the GAA. When was the last good speech in either code? A line of Irish followed by a long list of thank-yous seems to suffice for today's captains. Back-room teams are now so big it takes 10 minutes to thank everyone and the crowd are either bored out of their minds or sobered up by the time they finish.

Want my advice? Use Dalo's blueprint – a few inspirational lines about where the team has come from or an anecdote from the year. Then thank the manager and the selectors.

The county secretary can always send a group email around to the physios, dieticians, masseuses, maor uisce, kit men, bus drivers, groundskeepers and the lads who inflate the footballs on the Monday morning, thanking them for their hard work.

CP

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