Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Exciting few weeks boosts both hurling and football

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

Clash of the ash: Cork's Lorcan McLoughlin fells Clare's Colin Ryan in Sunday's dramatic All-Ireland Hurling final which ended in a draw
Clash of the ash: Cork's Lorcan McLoughlin fells Clare's Colin Ryan in Sunday's dramatic All-Ireland Hurling final which ended in a draw

What a day, eh? And we get to do it all over again in a few weeks' time. Good for hurling. Good for the GAA. Good for Gaelic football even.

Oh yes, I stand by that. There is a dubious and utterly curious practice of some commentators in the GAA to compare football and hurling. While the summer begins to close its curtains, there are some who feel that the Dublin v Kerry game did Gaelic football a great service by serving up a thriller.

It keeps us up along with hurling, they reckon.

What they mean by that is anyone's guess. Why Gaelic football and hurling should even by compared, ranked or measured against each other is a strange custom.

Another thoroughly frivolous waste of time are comparisons of the game from one era to another. The myths allowed to build up around the players of the '70s have been happily debunked by video evidence.

There is nothing quite like the present for spectacle and entertainment at the very highest level.

Does the fact that Gaelic games are only mainstream in Ireland mean that there is an inherent insecurity that they could be pushed down the priority list?

Studies show that the popularity of one sport does not necessarily mean the decline of others, but rather a surge in interest of other sports. Witness the affect of the soccer World Cup on Ireland in 1994, and how attendances of GAA games continued to rise as a feel-good factor surrounded sporting occasions.

The last few weeks have been good for both hurling and football. Stay calm and forget the comparisons.

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