Ulster farce needs to be sorted out
Let's call a spade a spade here. The Ulster Council's stance on the County v Colleges row in the McKenna Cup is nothing short of a disgrace. They have a 'rule' yet somehow inexplicably they don't have the power to enforce it!
Well, if this is the case they can they either change the existing rule or stand up to the county managers and in some way penalise those counties who blatantly ignore what is in place, as was done a few years ago.
It's a farce that should not have got to where we are now but at the minute, the lack of integrity and transparency is only matched by the Ulster Council's stance on the matter. The consensus in the public domain in terms of Joe Kernan's intervention is that this was merely a cosmetic exercise and a poorly-executed PR stunt.
So, can we have a proper determination on this now and not wait until next year as the existing laissez-faire attitude of 'it will be alright on the night' will not prevail.
The issue isn't for going away, so maybe as an alternative the Ulster Council could get Joe Kernan to hook up with Richard Haass or sign him up to some 'Assertiveness' training. The abdication of duty is reminiscent of the folks on the hill so say no more. In summary, can we front up and sort out this debacle once and for all as the universities you see – they're not going way you know!
No need for hurling inferiority complex
The wonderful, skilful and ancient game of hurling, which captivated the country during the summer of 2013 and is probably this nation's most treasured and loved game, is something really special.
Well, then maybe at this, the start of 2014 when we are all eagerly anticipating the hurling year ahead of us, the hurling analysts and commentators and co-commentators who give the game such excellent coverage throughout the year might just lose the inferiority complex which seems to sit a wee bit heavy on some of their shoulders.
The usual scenario (and we have all heard it) is after some breathtaking piece of skill or play we get the "ah Ger, you wouldn't see that in the Premiership" line. This usually is thrown in at some stage during the half-time analysis and then again that night during The Sunday Game.
Another line that is regularly used during the season is, "I was with, talking to, overheard, people from some far-flung shore who never in their whole lives witnessed anything like this game of hurling."
Never on any analysis, on any channel of any sport, soccer, cricket, tennis, golf, American football etc will you hear this kind of thing and hurling does not need it either.
Hurling is a magnificent sport which demands marvellous skills and qualities from the people who play it. They don't need to be compared to or contrasted with any other sport or sports people. Hurling is hurling and it can stand on its own two feet without this sort of "aren't we great" talk. Roll on the summer of 2014. We're listening lads.
Praise for Off
The Page event
Can I take this opportunity to thank you and the Sunday Independent for an amazing event [Off The Page] last night. I really enjoyed it, the banter between the four lads was brilliant and also very informative
More praise for
Off The Page event
I just wanted to say thanks a million for the great night in Dundrum last night. It was brilliant, couldn't believe how honest the panel were. Well done on a great night.
Apart from view,
it was great night!
Unfortunately I am not able to wax lyrical to even 1% of the level of that which your panel exuded last night. Innovative, inspirational, well-balanced, frank, consuming from start to finish. You all at the Independent and Elvery's should take a well-earned bow for putting on this event.
Myself and my guest are truly grateful to you for the invitation and wish to thank you for same from the bottom of my heart. After two hours and 10 minutes, I got a chance to glance at my watch and could not believe it was all over so quickly!!
On a very small note, and please do not see it as criticism, (just 'cos I was quite late in arriving – slightly before the 7.30 ko), I was sitting down the back and it was a little difficult to see the guests. Perhaps a podium might have been warranted. Perhaps also the moderator could have had a headset, as it was at times difficult to hear the questions when using his hand-held microphone. Little matter, this did not detract from our enjoyment.
Paul M Kinsella