Off The Ball


I always feel that those who have just a casual interest in the game are more inclined to excuse Davy’s displays . They tend to focus on “his passion” "enthusiasm " and “box office” .


I love Davy’s passion and enthusiasm. He’s box office.

This ban is a disgrace.


Yeah because they don’t see the fat gobshites at U16 games justifying their behaviour with the same excuse.


Hey, @Rintintin isn’t fat!


It’s interesting to compare his demeanour to that of Mick Ryan. Ryan seems incredibly mild-mannered on the sideline and in post-match interviews, even managing a cheeky grin at end of All Ireland final. Like Davy, he is one of the few All Ireland winning managers currently in the game; unlike Davy, he has yet to add a league title to that.

I’d say them Dublin and surrounding areas simpletons on OTB love Davy because he gives them something to talk about, especially as they wouldn’t know one end of a hurley (or a “hurl” as they would incorrectly call it) from the other


Of course the media and the public love Davy, and rightly so. He’s one of the very few people in hurling with anything of interest to say or anything interesting in his character. The game has become a sea of utterly faceless automatons whose entire vocabulary appears to consist of “I suppose”.

Few enough people give much of a shit about hurling as it is and they certainly don’t give a shit about endless Kilkenny-Tipperary finals containing players they don’t recognise and don’t know the names of.

The Waterford team of the 00s despite never winning an All-Ireland did multiple times more good for hurling than Kilkenny and Tipperary combined have done since 2000 because they were exciting, had attitude and were something different.

Soap opera is essential for a sport to thrive in this day and age but it seems a lot of “hurling people” are stuck in a time warp and are only too happy for their game to be a fringe, niche pursuit.


Ah that’s a tremendous post.


Hurling needs the Davy Fitzs, Babs Keatings, Tom Ryans and Richie Bennises of this world


Nonsense. The fact that faceguards are now mandatory had a much bigger impact on casual observers knowing who players are. 2007’s bottling against limerick and 2008’s bending of the knee to kk showed that that Waterford team were all fur coat and no knickers.


That’s a fair point. And I think it’s less that they ‘love’ him and more that he gives them something to talk about.

Hurling has grown without the WWE antics though. Returning Dublin to the top table has been an expensive but significant success. While it would undoubtedly be better if players & managers were more open to the media, and were less boring generally, that the sport has not been overrun by media whores is a good thing.

There’s give and take but it’s overall a positive that the sport has stayed true to the values of its heartland instead of whoring itself out to the demographic. It’s not a bad thing that in hurling denigrating other teams and players is still largely viewed as unacceptable. And that attention seeking self-advancement is viewed as such. In other sports, the cretins that engage in this are labelled ‘legends’. The only legends in hurling are the ones who deliver where it counts.


Few other people in hurling give anybody anything to talk about besides Davy.

What made the 1990s was that the key teams involved always gave people something to talk about. Clare, Offaly, Wexford, Limerick, Tipp with Babs in the early part of the decade, Galway in the late 1980s even.

Waterford were really the only team to carry that sort of thing forward into the 00s.

But has hurling grown? Cork are a mess. Limerick are still consistent under-achievers. Offaly have fallen away completely. Wexford are still struggling in real terms despite doing well in this league. Antrim are a complete joke, Laois are going nowhere.

Waterford and to a lesser extent Dublin are the only places where hurling has really grown in the last 20 years. Kilkenny and Tipp have just consolidated their already existing natural dominance.

What’s the current state of Dublin hurling? It’s better than it was for sure, but it still doesn’t attract much floating interest in Dublin. Few people who follow the Dublin footballers really give much of a damn about hurling. Few know the names of the players or recognise them, and that’s the case this year more than ever.

Until the Dublin senior team makes a proper breakthrough and gets people excited about going to their matches, and that hasn’t happened yet, any talk of hurling growing in Dublin is moot.

Like it or not the and demographic makes up a significant section of the Irish sporting public and it’s foolish to treat them as the enemy.

I don’t know what the line between promotion and whoring one’s self is, but hurling needs to recognise that self-promotion is important. It did that in the 90s but no longer does.

The recognisable figures in the game who had crossover appeal over the last 20-25 years were all legends who delivered when it counted, ie. Davy, Leahy, Mullane, Shanahan, O’ hAilpin, DJ Carey, Lar Corbett. Loughnane, Liam Griffin and then Davy again at managerial level. Cody and Shefflin became crossover figures through sheer longevity.

The point is there are loads of players now who consistently deliver when it counts but are barely known outside their counties or the core hurling public. That includes pretty much all of the current Tipp and Kilkenny teams.

Joe Canning is the only current player with any real crossover appeal. Austin Gleeson might have the potential to do so.

I don’t buy the line about other sports having “cretins who engage in self-advancement being labelled as legends”, with the implication that such people don’t deliver where it counts. I’m struggling to think of many, or even any.


I’d say it pains those off the ball tools to have try and wedge a hurling segment into their pre football show which consists of 90 mins football


They give more time to pony racing than to hurling.


I think I have you now. You reckon fellas that have won fuck all have done more for the game over the last 20 years than lads that actually gone and won titles.


Obviously it had a big impact and I’ve made that point before. Which is all the more reason hurling needs soap opera, controversy and everything else like it has never needed it before.

It’s irrelevant that Waterford didn’t win an All-Ireland. Almost every real box office match of the 00s involved them and thus they did far more for the wider promotion of the game than any other team since the Clare team of the 90s.

They almost single-handedly kept wider public interest in the game going, in fact.




Why didn’t he just say that so ?


He did, but I suppose, d’you know, that you didn’t pick up on it, d’you know. I suppose, what with you being a boring KK cunt, d’you know, you just don’t get it, I suppose.


You’re right I suppose


No. A long streak of misery