Marty Morrissey Becomes a Stepford Wife as Kilkenny Hammer Cork

Wasn’t Marty Morrissey very chastised-looking interviewing Kilkenny coach Brian Cody following the Cats’ demolition job on Cork in yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling semi-final at Croke Park?

Last year Marty got the head snaffled off him by Cody for having the temerity to suggest that the dodgy penalty that Kilkenny were awarded against Tipp was the turning point in the final which the Cats won.

Cody, who doesn’t look as if he’s in the business of taking prisoners, hissed a reply along the lines of wondering if Marty wanted to analyse every incident during the game.

Marty – there was a bit of a schemozzle in the parallelogram as he might say himself – turned a whiter shade of pale. The blood was draining out of his cheeks as Cody swooped over him like Roy Keane hovering over the prostrate carcass of Alf-Inge Haaland.

Back in the RTE studio they were peering out from between their fingers from behind the couch, although the producer must have been aware that the sight of Marty being torn limb from limb live on national TV wouldn’t do the ratings any harm.

But fast forward almost twelve months and it’s all sweetness and light as Marty was back interviewing Cody following yet another win.

I reckon there was a tacit agreement between the duo in place yesterday –  Marty wouldn’t ask awkward questions and Cody wouldn’t kill him.

Likewise, Marty came across all groveling, genuflecting and eulogising, allowing Cody to adopt the persona of the philosopher-king of a game, which, when it’s played to the standard Kilkenny played at yesterday, captures the true heart of the Irish sporting psyche.

In truth, you couldn’t blame Marty for getting all doe-eyed as Kilkenny were playing hurling from another planet for most of Sunday’s one-sided encounter against a totally outclassed Cork team.

Indeed, if Holland created the concept of total football – the Dutch side of the 70s that is, not the present philistines – then Kilkenny can surely lay claim to the concept of total hurling.

The win sets them up for five in a row.

Meanwhile, as Cork goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack trudged off the field yesterday was he regretting some of the words he used to describe Kilkenny in his award winning book Come What May?

I glanced through the book and in truth I believe that the only reason he won an award is because he’s a homosexual.

The narrative, as dicatated by usual suspects on the broadsheets, was one of a Cusack battling against homophobia and hostility in illiberal rural Ireland.  But this version of events neglected to acknowledge that most people following hurling don’t like Cusack because he’s a prick, not because he’s homosexual.

In said book, Cusack – who was responsible for one of the goals Cork conceded yesterday – described Kilkenny as the Stepford Wives – a 70s film which portrayed housewives as zombies submitting to authority and their husbands.  Kilkenny remembered the slur.

They remembered it to such an extent that the only ones looking like Stepford Wives yesterday were wearing red shirts.

I reckon there’s a bit of a Stepford wife in Marty also. As he stood blinking at the light and wisdom emanating from the forehead of the Kilkenny coach in the bowels of Croke Park yesterday I half expected him to offer to iron Cody’s shirts.

Meantime, the match commentator said that five years back someone put €50 on Kilkenny to win five-in-a-row at 1,000/1.  He’s just one game away from hitting pay dirt now.

Tipperary or Waterford, who meet in the corresponding semi-final, stand in their way. I can’t see either beating the Cats to tell the truth. The only thing that can beat Kilkenny now is complacency.

As for the above and his impending 50 grand, I don’t think he’ll be getting 1,000 on another Kilkenny five-in-a-row. But he might get 100/1.

And the way Kilkenny are playing, combined with the talent coming up through their ranks – their minors beat Galway by a 19 point margin yesterday – I wouldn’t describe putting money on the above as gambling. I reckon it would be a long term investment, saving for a rainy day.

You’ll get a better return than you would investing in, let’s say, Anglo Irish Bank, and NAMA won’t have to be called in to bail out the Kilkenny half-back line either.


GAA Loses Out as Rugby and Soccer Move Back to Lansdowne Road

Do you remember the GAA backwoodsmen screaming about foreign games?  Do you remember the opposition to rugby and soccer in Croke Park?

Well guess what?  They got their wish, the money-flow is turned off and they’re still not happy. The last rugby match in Croke Park was played yesterday when Ireland lost 23-20 to Scotland, missing out on the Triple Crown consolation prize, and that’s the end of the gravy train for the GAA.

Of course, this being Ireland, it’s also a fuck-up for everyone else as rugby matches that attracted a full crowd of 83,000 in Croke Park will now be held in the rebuilt Lansdowne Road stadium which has a seating capacity of 50,000.

The entire Lansdowne Road debacle has its roots in Bertie Ahern’s stupidity and vacillation as he successfully steered the Abbotstown stadium proposal onto the rocks.

I think there could be no more appropriate symbol for the mismanagement of Ahern’s government than 30,000 disappointed supporters watching future games at home or in the pubs, while a huge world-class stadium lies empty.

And in a final symbol of post-Ahern Ireland, although 30,000 rugby fans are disappointed, at least a giant multinational insurance company will get its advertising.


Leinster 25 – Munster 6

We were stuffed.

Every Leinster player was better than his opposite number, with the possible exceptions of Doug Howlett and Jerry Flannery.

Leinster were better than us and we have no cause for whingeing. The better team won.

The first half was played almost entirely inside our 22, it seemed to me, and whenever Munster counter-attacked, Leinster dug in with the sort of intensity we’ve never seen until recent times. They defended everything and Munster rarely looked likely to score anything. Going in at half-time only 11-6 behind, I thought we were lucky to get off so lightly, and the other Munster supporters I spoke to agreed. Everyone felt unhappy with the shape of the game.

I don’t know what the plan was. Did the management team become complacent? Did the players just assume we’d win? I’d find that hard to believe, but nothing is impossible. On the other hand, credit has to go to people like Brian O Driscoll, Luke Fitzgerald and Rocky Elsom who had a huge game, and who was, in my opinion, instrumental in the Leinster win. We were never going to shove the ball over the line, and they stopped us from running it despite one or two nice Munster breaks.

When O Driscoll intercepted a pass and ran the length of the pitch to score a try between the posts, we were dead. There was no coming back from that.

All in all, it was a comprehensive win for Leinster which they fully deserved and there can be no complaints about it.


The atmosphere in Limerick reminds me of the old Max Boyce story about a funeral inthe valleys. As they were burying the deceased, one of the mourners was listening to the rugby on a small radio, and just as the coffin was lowered into the ground, word came through that the local team had lost.

You know, he said, it cast a terrible gloom over the whole thing.

Humour Rugby Sport

Ireland vs France 2009

I was chatting with a French fella this morning over coffee.  Well, I was having coffee while he was skulling back a pint of disgusting pale lager.  A local French guy, I should clarify, not some character who came over for the match, though we bumped into a few of them last night too.

Come here, ya bollix.  Them fuckin Frogs can’t play rugby for shit!

So anyway, when he stopped laughing and picked himself up from the sawdust-covered floor, and regained his seat, and took a slug from his pint and heaved several deep, rasping, phlegm-choked gasps and wiped the tears from his eyes, he regarded me sadly and said


French rugby, I said.  We’ll fuckin hammer ‘em.

Ah see he said.  Zheust lack ze last nine times you sayed you would feukeeng hammeur us?  Yes?

We’ll do it this time,  I said.  You beat us in Croker by a fuckin fluke.

A feukieeng fleek?  You refeur perraps to ze fleek where Monsieur Clerc has cut your deefonss in smull pisses and make you leuk lack ze big feukineeng fulls?  Zat feukeeng fleek?

Fuck you, I riposted with as much panache, verve and flair as I could muster.

Hong hong, he honged, a bit too Gallically for my liking.  We will keek your fuekeeng arsees yet agann zis aftairnun. Hong, hong, hong.

Fuck you, I replied. 

That shut him up, let me tell you.



Ireland 30 – France 21


Now where is that French fucker?  It’s not that I want to gloat or anything.  It’s just that I want to –- well, all right then, I want to gloat.  What’s wrong with that?


Ireland vs Scotland

We’re going (as I told you) to the game in Dublin.  Ireland versus Scotland in Croke Park.

Myself and the Bullet.  Off to see the rugby, and to stay the night with Wrinkly Paddy.   And to meet Wrinkly Joe.

And to get shitfaced in Dublin pubs.

Well, me to get shitfaced, and Bullet to stand around looking embarrassed and making sure I don’t lose anything too valuable or make untoward suggestions to foreign women.  The little bastard.


I’ll do my best to check in with you but I can’t promise anything.  Please be understanding.