Monday 19 March 2018

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Brolly has courage of his convictions

I find that James Horan's criticisms of Joe Brolly and, indirectly, of the performance of the referee Maurice Deegan provides for some interesting observations on the honesty and psychology inherent in our national game.

For me, Joe Brolly is one of the most intelligent and perceptive sports writers and tv analysts in Ireland, who has the courage to write and say what he believes rather than what he thinks might endear him to particular sections of the sporting public. Even when he has been critical of my team, Donegal, it would be hard for an honest intelligent fan to disagree materially with him, apart perhaps about his choice of words at times.

I thought that his analysis of the likely Mayo tactics for the final were very perceptive. It seemed to me that, in psychological terms, Mayo made the same mistake as Donegal made the previous year against Dublin – their game plan seemed to be essentially negative rather than positive, to stop Donegal from winning rather than installing the confidence and motivation in the team to play from the outset to try and beat Donegal, regardless of how well Donegal played on the day.

As for the implied criticisms of Maurice Deegan, who generally had a good day, my perception of the game was that Mayo were very lucky not to have at least one and possibly two players sent off.

Eugene Martin

Armstrong cynical right to the end

If the disgraced seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong was genuinely contrite in his well-publicised confession and apology for taking performance-enhancing drugs throughout much of his cycling career, why did he feel the need to go public on the Oprah Winfrey show? Surely the appropriate forum to come clean and admit to his drug-taking was through the International Cycling Union.

Perhaps it's the cynic in me but Mr Armstrong's appearance with Oprah Winfrey, the world's number one talk show host and talk show programme, with all the attendant hype and publicity surrounding the event, has the fingerprints of a most lucrative commercial venture all over it. Lance Armstrong, it seems, in tandem with Ms Winfrey, has made a virtue and a fortune telling the public what they already pretty much knew.

Tom Cooper

No more easy rides for sneaky cyclists

So it turns out that Lance Armstrong was using steroids as far back as 1999 when he won his first Tour de France. Has anybody asked if the steroid use goes back further? Do we dare enter the murky world of Armstrong's teenage years? Do we want to know? Can we handle the truth?

I say somebody should get their hands on a Lance Armstrong toddler blood sample. He could have been out of his bongos as he tore around the streets on a Fisher-Price Trikey, (New EPO Junior – For Babies that won't lose!)

Such is my abhorrence for cyclists that yesterday morning while on my way to work I became so overcome with Armstrong rage that I began screaming abuse at passing cyclists. There I was on College Green, suitcase in hand, screaming myself red-faced at oblivious cyclists. "Cheaters!" I screamed, "Cheaters!"

This went on until one man got off his bike to confront me. "Cheater, cheater, cheater," I said as he approached me. The man asked what my problem was, before I wrestled him to the ground and shouted at passers-by to take his blood sample as evidence.

The Gardaí were swiftly on the scene. "Thank God you're here," I said to them, "Quickly now, form a rudimentary syringe with your pen." Can you believe they arrested me? Bloody cyclists!

Kevin Thomas

McGinley takes his eye off small ball

I read with interest Dermot Gilleece's article on Paul McGinley.

Paul talks about the essence of team play, as manifested in the GAA, and his continued admiration of Jim McGuinness and what he brings to Donegal football. He states: "I watched the final in a pub in Chicago on the morning of the final day of the Ryder Cup at Medinah, the tactics my dad was explaining to me were being employed before my eyes. It was a very emotional thing for me watching it unfold, because of the bonding I felt with McGuinness".

Great tactics indeed, and if Paul wants to learn from the maestro, then he should perhaps call Brian Cody, for it was his tactics that were being employed on that morning as Paul watched in that Chicago bar, as Kilkenny set about defeating Galway in the All-Ireland hurling final replay.

Donegal had won the football crown a week earlier!

Sean Holden

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