Thursday 22 March 2018

Not every Larry is a Larry from Longford

So, some lads are having a laugh on one of the GAA internet forums which fizzle and cackle with all sorts of slander and mischief after games, discussing the trials and tribulations of the Longford senior footballers -- the team that could have a good lash at the Connacht title any year but are sadly marooned in Leinster where good days can be hard to find.

One of the Longford contributors starts calling the blue and gold 'the Larries' -- a reference to a Longford legend (who ironically most people think comes from Leitrim), country and Irish stalwart, Larry Cunningham. All very funny -- until someone loses an eye as they say.

Some weeks back, when previewed Longford's game with Wexford at Croke Park, the headline asked: 'Could 2012 be the year of the Larries?' And after that drawn game we read on that the 'Larries salvage draw against Wexford', and then, a week later, 'Larries fall to late Wexford surge'. Even the Evening Herald has been at this nonsense.

It would appear some poor soul in googled Longford GAA and was taken to a Wikipedia entry which informs you that Longford are, indeed, known as 'the Larries'.

Then again, perhaps alarm bells should have been ringing because Wikipedia's Longford GAA page also contains the following entry: 'Contrary to popular belief, St Mel's College is not in Longford and so does not merit a mention here. That building at the end of the avenue is a cardboard cut-out.'

Morale of the story. Don't believe everything you read on th'interweb. It'll never catch on, you know.

* * * * *

Ireland has not cornered the marketing on taxpayers funding lavish trips for civil servants. A fact-finding trip to this part of the world late last year has landed Sport New Zealand's chief executive in hot water.

Peter Miskimmin visited the UK and Ireland last September and October and met with organisations, including the Irish Sports Council and UK Sport. "The purpose of the trip was to learn what makes these organisations successful," said Sport NZ marketing boss Laurie Edwards.

It's always heartening when another country looks to learn from you -- even one which won three gold, two silver and four bronze medals at the last games, compared to our silver and two bronze -- but Miskimmin's copped a bit of flak.

The reason? Well, it appears he ran up a data bill of NZ$10,000 (about €6,500), and a phone bill of $1,131 during the two-week trip. According to the Herald on Sunday, Edwards said staff at Sport NZ are educated on efficient use of phones.

* * * * *

The death of British comedian, Eric Sykes, brings to mind his great love of golf and a charming story involving himself, Jimmy Tarbuck, Sean Connery et al, on a holiday in Marbella. And how, while they were having a sauna, Tarbuck decided to take a rise out of Sykes, who was often ribbed about his deafness.

Seeing Sykes approaching, his fellow comedian suggested that by way of switching things around, they should all pretend to be unable to hear anything he might say. So, when greeted with a hearty "Good morning!" from Sykes, they made no reply.

Unperturbed, he sat down in the sauna. "Well, I don't feel too bad considering," Sykes went on. "I must confess I had one or two brandies and a couple of big cigars last night." Still no response. And still be persevered: "How long are we going to stay in here? Will we play nine or 18 holes before lunch?"

Not a word. But Sykes soon twigged they were up to something. Whereupon he suddenly looked up and said: "Can anyone tell me what time this train gets into Calcutta?"

* * * * *

NOBODY really thinks the qualifier draw was rigged to pair Kildare with Cavan, so people shouldn't be getting too hot under the collar about what players tweet in their spare time.

Quite the opposite. Social media sites have given players and supporters a useful link to each other which is, at the heart of it, a bit of a laugh.

Newspapers, when accused of being over-critical of a player or manager, are often reminded that they are dealing with amateur sportsmen. That works two ways and amateur sportsmen shouldn't be shackled by rules defining what they say. All within the laws of decency and good taste of course.

John Greene, Dermot Gilleece

and Fergus McDonnell

Sunday Indo Sport

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