Have your say
Don't knock the Whirlwind
I would like to take strong issue with Tommy Conlon's article last Sunday [May 6] and his comments regarding Jimmy White.
He says, 'but unlike White, Ronnie (O'Sullivan) belongs in the company of Davis and Hendry as a winner too'. I think it is most unfair to categorise Jimmy White in this manner. He won every major honour in the game, bar the World Championship. Jimmy's list of honours include the second biggest event in the snooker calendar, the UK Championship, while he also won the Benson and Hedges Masters (both the British and Irish versions), Grand Prix and British Open titles.
While Jimmy may have not won the world title, he did reach six finals and this is not something that should be dismissed either, considering the quality of players that were around in Jimmy's era.
a class act
If the company he keeps is the mark of a man, then please consider this tale about Joe Schmidt from a friend, who is a junior part-time member of the Ospreys back-up team.
"He came late into the eating area, saw myself and Roy -- our baggage man -- sat by ourselves, and came over to sit by us."
If you can walk (or eat) with kings and commoners . . .
Putting boot into football
What interesting letters and stats in last week's Sunday Independent. 1,175 passes in four senior games -- about one pass every 13 seconds. Says it all. Let's get back to real Gaelic football, and start kicking the ball. Imagine the amount of frees, handpasses, pulling/dragging, diving/falling down etc which would be eliminated by a well-aimed long kick from defence to forwards. This used to be one of the joys of Gaelic football until the game "evolved" to its present boring state, and long kicking was described by some pundits as "a Hail Mary ball". The game is also enhanced by the skill of accurate, short kicked passes, and well-aimed forward handpasses.
Liam McDonnell's point is well put about the injury to Donal Vaughan. I would also point out the deplorable conduct of a Cork player who endeavoured to pull Donal off the ground when he, Donal, had shipped a potentially serious injury.
I wish Eugene McGee the best of luck in his review of Gaelic football. The rules are okay -- leave them. Do seminars for county boards and players about the real skills of the game, and maybe the crowds will return. Get rid of the defence mode game -- it is not, and never will be, Gaelic football.
Finally, the pundits should stop referring to followers of real Gaelic football as "purists". The pundits are degrading the game by failure to note the number of frees, handpasses, cynical fouling, antics aimed at getting players sent off, targeting quality players for abuse etc. One has to laugh that teams with players sent off are now referred to as "defiant".
Point of order for new group
I agree with most of Damian Lawlor's points on improving the terrible state of Gaelic football.
The amount of handpassing, pulling and dragging has become unbearable for spectators. You can have two left feet and play inter-county football, as long as you're six foot plus, able to run and handpass. I've seen players go through an entire game and seldom if ever kick the ball.
I also would like to see the handpassed point abolished, (okay if the ball is in flight) surely if you're close enough to score with the hand you should be able to kick it over the bar. After all, it is called football.
Sunday Indo Sport