A weekend without a hurling game for yours, which means one thing. It’s time to think.

And give Easttown Mare a chance, seeing as you’re all talking about it.

Two things, then.

Although one, really, because I couldn’t really take on the gloominess of Mare d’Easttown (can you move it? – editor’s note).

My report at halftime in the hurling league is an impression.

One of the big readjustments of the last year was being able to hear the players and management on the pitch, and the lack of crowds this year means the cheers and instructions remain audible.

And the howlers are back. Ciano. Fitzy. Pay. Oz. Player nicknames and abbreviations are clear, as are management’s exhortations.

An informal classification?

Tipperary’s Tommy Dunne’s lungs are in good working order, as evidenced by last Saturday’s experience, but every team I’ve seen so far has at least one good singer.

I’m still waiting for something like what happened in a game at Croke Park last year, though. A long delivery spread harmlessly over the baseline and in the wintry air the front of the corner could be heard telling the man on the field to put the f-ing ball down as told.

We could still hear something similar, I guess.

What else?

The last game I saw was yesterday week at Walsh Park, a salty affair between Waterford and Limerick.

A few Limerick players walked past us on the grandstand side of the pitch, and each of them looked taller than the last.

Limerick’s height is now an article of faith, but without the crowds at the games to see for themselves, it can be difficult for some observers to appreciate how tall they are.

For example, Limerick can pull out a half line from Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, and Kyle Hayes. To give a rough indication of what opponents face – and especially opposition goalkeepers looking for a downline option in their neighborhood – the three of them are 6-4, 6, respectively – 2 and 6-5.

In comparison, the Irish rugby team which played England in this year’s Six Nations fielded a back row of CJ Stander, Jack Conan and Josh van der Flier – 6-1, 6-4 and 6- 1 respectively.


The penultimate game I played was Tipperary-Galway last Saturday, where the schedule was virtual.

I know we all migrate online – including this diary – but it was amazing how confused yours really was without a paper program. The default position for anyone in a GAA stadium with a schedule is ruthless ink with goal scorers and substitutions, and my technical know-how doesn’t extend to scoring just yet (0-6, 0-2 free , 0-1 65) on a laptop screen.

It’s an accommodation that everyone will eventually have to make, and it has ramifications far beyond serious scribblers who religiously attend National League matches – for example, program sales are a major source of income on which GAA clubs and councils matter.

Last but not least: the lack of restoration in the stadiums has been a painful ordeal for many members of the Fourth Estate, especially in places known for their generosity.

Walsh Park has often managed Semple Stadium closely in its commitment to the traditional accompaniments of tea and coffee – Swiss rolls, simple digestives – although Tipperary’s venue has taken the upper hand in the sheer quantity of its sandwiches.

However, we thank the Waterford site for the last two weekends for providing a small bag of essential media supplies (contents: cheese and onion crisps, a bag; Jive, a bar; water, a bottle of ; hand sanitizer), a small pot of; banana, a).

The bar has been raised. Other locations, please copy and respond accordingly. Maybe with Jive (two bars).

Cork GAA and silver. Once again.

The news broke in these pages over the weekend of the discovery of seven accounts, containing nearly two hundred thousand euros, by the executive of the Cork County Board.

A few people were in touch with me about this, and I have to admit that I couldn’t find anything better than borrowing from one of the bigger ones – Andy Williams’ Love Story-themed opening line. .

Where do I start?

Cork GAA’s financial problems in recent years have been covered in detail here, but the time, space and limited patience of our readers means that even a quick summary of these problems is beyond us.

However, it should be noted that there has been some progress in Cork.

For example, the fact that Cork officials work in tandem with their own audit and risk committee is a step forward in itself.

In December 2019, we revealed that this audit and risk committee had to threaten to resign en masse after advising the executive to notify delegates at that year’s annual convention that the board deficit was over € 2.4 million – not the € 560,000 figure given to delegates at the convention.

The Audit and Risk Committee did not resign then due to the potential damage to Cork’s reputation if it did, but many questions remain from this episode, with questions never being answered in a meaningful way. satisfactory. Now there are even more questions to answer. I look forward to further clarification from the board.

Rugby hacks and precious words

What about rugby and JRR Tolkien?

During the week, I noted that a reporter in South Africa was far from complimentary about the Lions squad to face the Springboks shortly: “(Coach Warren) Gatland chose Hobbits to be giant killers, and he’s got way too many Neville Nobodies on his team. from 37. “

Neville Nobodies isn’t a term I would say to everyone myself, but hobbits?

I found here the echo of a disapproval from a New Zealand hack when England defeated the All Blacks in 2003 – “white orcs on steroids” was the description used at the time.

I’m not sure why Tolkien’s work is being used as a fallback to denigrate his opponents, but it’s disappointing to see journalists in the Southern Hemisphere opt for such obvious comparisons. When we see references to the fall of Beleriand or how Ecthelion of the Fountain defeated Gothmog, then I will take these rugby scribes seriously.

Bittman’s disturbing truths to digest

A buddy directed me to a new book by Mark Bittman – Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, From Sustainable to Suicidal and I’m torn between gratitude and depression.

Our consumption of products that are not good for us is on the rise; hard facts do not make it easy to read. “Global sugar consumption has almost tripled in the past half century,” Bittman writes, and the number of people with diabetes worldwide has quadrupled since 1980.

Its focus on the United States leads to some heartbreaking times: Since World War II, American production of chickens has increased by more than 1,400%, but the number of farms producing these birds has declined. By 98%.

Read this and cry. Or at least think twice about the dinner.

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