Joe Kernan: Tipperary and Kilkenny show the way
When Kilkenny and Tipperary met in the All Ireland hurling final earlier this month, it was perhaps the most fiercely-contested, high-octane, stamina-sapping game in any code this year.
Yet one statistic provides ample testimony that skill, honest endeavour and manliness were the prime ingredients of the titanic battle — the overall free count was an extremely modest 23.
How many times are we told that matches get out of hand because “the stakes were high” or “our pride and reputation were on the line.”?
Far too often, I would suggest.
Yet nowhere is the pressure greatest, the atmosphere more nerve-wrecking and the prize bigger than in Croke Park on All-Ireland senior football final day.
Let’s hope that on Sunday the players from Dublin and Kerry will take a leaf from the book of their Tipperary and Kilkenny brethren and play the game as it should be played — hard, fast and fair.