The Blue Book - Dublin All Ireland Foorball Champions 2008, Priceless :-)

So the big, stark patriarch with the flushed complexion delivered history. The temperance folk would have Kilkenny banned on the basis that excess is corrupting. But Brian Cody remains such an emblem of uncomplicated desire, it’s hard to be aggrieved when his striped wonders start piling the silver high.

You could feel disappointed for Waterford yesterday, without begrudging Cody a single second of this day in the sun.

His management of perhaps the greatest hurling team ever seen has long been rooted in simple, understated delivery. He leads with a quiet ferocity that we like to tart up in mystery. We want him to be profound, even if he never feels that way.

And, so, he looks at us from under those slender eye-brows, his hard mouth pinched in quizzical discomfort.

Cody rations his animation to a once a year ignition, that giddy, self-conscious sideline dance once Liam McCarthy is secured. For the remainder, he is unreadable as stone.

He laughs at the idea of genius in what he does. To him, management is no more than housekeeping. Brian Cody loves hurling and the heroism it deposits into otherwise plain lives. That is the beginning and end of his story.

Cody is the great, surviving constant of a practice getting more layered and nuanced by the season. He is old-style, a one-man rebuke to the management by numbers impulse that seems so increasingly de rigeur.

You look at some county teams today and everything they do is so trussed up in theory and philosophy, it’s little wonder that their thought processes seem robotic.

Dublin footballers reside in a claustrophobic world and, increasingly, they look spooked by that world. The search for an edge has carried them into easily lampooned territory, the choreographed march to the hill, the arm-linking intimacy of the backroom, the practiced hostility to media.

In a sense, the harder Dublin tried to distance themselves from others, the more fragile they became.

Somewhere within the camp, a lust for mind bending overtook the plain demands of preparing young men for hard football games. Mental preparation morphed into dangerous psycho-babble.

This year, Dublin came up with the ‘Blue Book’. You won’t have seen one because it came with pretty stark ‘rules of engagement.’

Holders had to (literally) sign up to a creed. And rule four of that creed declared: ‘I will not show or admit to the existence of THE BLUE BOOK to any other person except another Blue Book holder.’

It didn’t quite promote the cyanide pill solution to interrogation, but this was loopy stuff. A constitution written in Branch Davidian language.

The Blue Book was constructed in diary form, running from January to September. Every month carried an assembly of quotations, each page topped with the line ‘Dublin, All-Ireland Champions 2008’. Page One demanded that the holder sign up to the seven-point creed, which had to be then counter-signed by a ‘witness.’

And point number five of that creed declared that the holder would accept ‘any disciplinary measures including withdrawal of MY BLUE BOOK, should I not apply myself as a BLUE BOOK HOLDER is expected to.’

The line between constructive motivation and oppressive thought control wasn’t so much blurred as obliterated.

Thirty eight years after his death, Vince Lombardi’s little wisdoms exist as such pet tools for lazy GAA psychology, he ought to be claiming Irish royalties from the grave. Lombardi’s wall mottos have become clichd through over-use. They need to be de-commissioned.

The Blue Book is – naturally – speckled with his words, but it’s the company Lombardi keeps that leaves the starkest imprint.

The profundities of Bruce Lee, General George Patton, Confucius, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, Isaac Newton, Churchill, JFK, Gandhi are all invoked within as a kind of booklet-form mission statement for the modern Dub.

Page after bullet-point page itemises the specifics of preparation. Players are invited to fill in ‘Game Reports’. Everything is segmented, broken down. Confidence. Success. Feedback. Mental Preparation.

The Blue Book seems intent on shining a light on every mental shadow.

The Feedback section proposes ignoring media as ‘publicity is like poison, it only kills you if you swallow it.’ It celebrates Omagh '06 as a day ‘we crossed the line together as a Dublin squad hasn’t done in years.’ It lists being ‘more cynical’ among the positives.

Sometimes the attempted air of gravitas is lost in a curious lurch of language, as in the declaration that ‘some of the people making these judgements are the ones that had us as sh*** from the start.’

Reading the Blue Book, you get a sense of lost perspective. Of an attempt to intellectualise the pursuit of All-Ireland glory when the obligation should surely be to simplify, to rinse away all vain threads of mythology.

Watching the great, looping carriage of Brian Cody cross another mountain-top yesterday, you could see he had reality pegged like few others in the great, soaring horse-shoe of Croke Park.

It wasn’t just the glow of achievement that drew his people to him. It was the quiet, knowing carriage. The sense of an uncomplicated man enjoying an uncomplicated moment.

Nothing quite became him like the simplicity of his pleasure.

By Vincent Hogan
Monday September 08 2008

http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/vincent-hogan/cody-simplicity-exposes-futility-of-the-blue-book-1471424.html

Christ that’s some load of shite from Caffrey.

Absolutely no need for Dublin to try and create a forced persecution complex. Everyone knows that other counties like to beat Dublin. That’s not surprising, and should be mildly motivating, but that’s not why Dublin lose matches.

The hype, the far too public bonding, the disdain for the media all adds up to far too many distractions.

Oh how I laughed when I read that, astonishing shite from a management team that disappeared up their own holes many years ago.

They should have copied fight club and had the secrecy rule as the first one. Looks like whoever had this copy didn’t get to rule four
‘I will not show or admit to the existence of THE BLUE BOOK to any other person except another Blue Book holder.’

and the penalty for doing so…

‘any disciplinary measures including withdrawal of MY BLUE BOOK, should I not apply myself as a BLUE BOOK HOLDER is expected to.’

Apparently the Dublin players are none to happy with the leak.

Neither would I be if I were made to look like an idiot along the lines of a Scientologist in the National Press.

That’s gas. Now, I know teams often use stirring quotes and speeches to inspire them but it’s funny to put them all down in a little book and make up rules about the secrecy of the book. It’s like something 10-year old children would come up with if they built a fort and decided to keep it secret and not tell their parents where they were hanging out. Clowns.

very easy find the culprit…everone needs to hand back there copy

some pile of my bllocks

[quote=“dancarter”]very easy find the culprit…everone needs to hand back there copy

some pile of my bllocks[/quote]

Nah wont work, weelo will just go and ask for his book back off Hogan.

This is todays Indo, its get better lads…

Opening up the secret Blue Book
Dublin’s guidebook to bringing back Sam exclusively reveals the covert code by which they live and the philosophers, poets and artists that provide inspiration

DUBLIN called on a wide range of internationally acclaimed stars, philosophers, poets and artists of every persuasion in an effort to enhance their prospects in this year’s football championship, but it all came to nothing once they collided with a driven Tyrone team who weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer.

Dublin were operating from their special ‘Blue Book,’ a top-secret publication which was presented to the squad in the week before they played Meath in a highly controversial National League game last April.

Creed

Emblazoned with the slogan “Dublin – All-Ireland Champions 2008” at the front and on the top of each page (as illustrated in the adjacent picture), it includes a seven-point creed outlining the rules of engagement for the year.

Bizarrely, among the points in the creed is a promise not to show, or admit to the existence of the ‘Blue Book’ to anybody. There is also an intriguing reference to the ‘BS logo’ and a commitment not to divulge its meaning. And in what appears to be an outbreak of paranoia there is a mention of “thirty one versus one”.

Presumably that’s a reference to the rest of the country being anti-Dublin, a perception which exists only in the minds of a minority since most counties are far too busy with their own plans.

Confucius, Isaac Newton, Muhammed Ali, Churchill, Bruce Lee and Vince Lombardi are among the famous names whose quotes are dotted through the book as inspirational role models. A number of quotes are attributed to each month from January to September when the plan was to deliver a first All-Ireland title since 1995.

However, it came unstuck at the quarter-final stage as Dublin suffered their biggest championship defeat for 30 years.

Despite the attempt to keep the Blue Book strictly within the camp, the Irish Independent has acquired a copy. A reference to Dublin as All-Ireland champions 2008 has turned into an embarrassment at as they again failed once they moved beyond Leinster.

Intimidation

The 52-page book deals with a wide range of aspects including the challenge of the championship, intimidation by opponents, coping with favouritism, recovering from injury, inconsistent refereeing, unfair criticism, coming on as a sub, being substituted, making a mistake, starting a match poorly, taking the lead, recovering from a deficit, a dip in form.

The various categories are covered in bullet points, designed to equip players with an understanding of themselves and the game. However, most of the tips are extremely basic. It also outlines what was expected of the players on a line-by-line basis.

The secrecy surrounding the book, as underlined by the promise not to acknowledge its existence, is interesting. Nobody is attributed with having written or compiled it, which presumably also comes under the secrecy code.
What’s inside Dublin’s guide to success

Goalkeeper

  1. Effective, positive communication at least 12 times per game.

  2. Sweep up 100pc of ball over last defensive man.

  3. Save 100pc shots on target.

  4. Complete 100pc of passes.

  5. No goals conceded.

  6. 100pc success rate into target area.

  7. Active, positive encouragement after every play.

  8. 100pc possession retention (distribution) in open play.

  9. Be available as an option (outlet) for defenders under pressure.

  10. 100pc no handling errors.

(There are six other tips also)

Defenders

  1. No goal conceded.

  2. Two blocks.

  3. Complete 100pc of restarts at speed.

  4. Get something on 100pc of ball in your area.

  5. Work and turn opponents 100pc of the time.

  6. Apply three-second rule 100pc of the time.

  7. Complete ‘starting’, ‘during’ and ‘final’ position for kick-outs 100pc of time.

Midfielders

  1. 20 possessions

  2. Two dispossessions.

  3. One block.

  4. Complete five passes to full-forward line.

  5. Keep direct opponent scoreless.

  6. Score one point.

  7. Be available as a link man from defence to attack five times.

  8. Four clean catches from kickout.

  9. Limit opponent to one clean catch from kickout.

  10. Win two breaking balls.

(There are five other tips also)

Half-forwards

  1. Make three scoring opportunities for yourself.

  2. Complete 80pc of scoring attempts.

  3. Three assists per game.

  4. One block.

  5. Win 80pc of breaking ball versus your direct opponent.

  6. Two dispossessions.

  7. Keep direct opponent scoreless.

  8. Win two frees.

  9. Be available as a link man four times in the link area.

  10. Apply 15 v 15, one v one 100pc of the time.

Full-forwards

  1. Win 80pc possession versus direct opponent.

  2. Have one goal attempt.

  3. Get three scores.

  4. Be involved in three assists.

  5. One block.

  6. Win one breaking ball.

  7. Work opponent to force 50-50 clearance four times per game.

  8. Apply 15 v 15, one v one 100pc of the time.

  9. Win two frees.

  10. Complete 80pc of scoring attempts.

The Blue Book on . . .

Being a Dub

“We want to display some typical ‘Dublin Arrogance’. We want to produce the performance to substantiate this arrogance.”

The media

“Our motto is – the less we say the better.”

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.” – Confucius.

Confidence

“Our key thought is… we will do whatever it takes. Be confident in tough situations.”

Success

“Our key thought is… set your goals high and don’t stop 'til we get there.”

Squad training

“Our key thought is desire. Our motto is – fight one more round.”

Matches

“Our key thought is… winning is not the only thing, it is everything. Our motto is – we are not in a popularity contest.”

Lifestyle and discipline

“Our motto is – no one saves us but ourselves.”

Mental preparation

“Our motto is – we will not let the lows get to us.”

September quotes

What they would be reflecting on if they were in the final

“So long as there is a breath in me, that long I will persist. For now, I know one of the great principles of success; if I persist long enough, I will win.” – OG Mandino.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Meade.

I know AFL teams are given a playbook in pre-season training that they have to return if they’re cut. Contents are known to be secret and the property of the team; but they are edited around the holder, therefore contents are stictly restricted to plays and tactics; opposing players; dos & don’ts. The holders strengths & weaknesses, what they need to work on etc.

Pocket book McMuffin self help stuff doesn’t feature. Thats for the team talk, like Mentors in our game.

But when I read “Blue Book” I thought we were talking about a hotel & resturant guide. Its very title “The Blue Book” only proves what is wrong with Dublin Football. Obnoxius, arrogant and candy floss - a pastry cutter guide to winning the Dublin 4 way; rather than traditional skills training, stamina training, opponent research, scouting for new talent.

Does anyone think the Kerry or Tyrone Panels were issued with anything more than training and team orders; and Kit?

Or Davy and his bars of soap !!

haha what a load of bollox. Dublin should just shut up and stop getting involved in the hype madness year in year out

how is this in any way involving themselves in hype
how did they involve themselves in hype this year?

[quote=“north county corncrake”]how is this in any way involving themselves in hype
how did they involve themselves in hype this year?[/quote]

i was referring to a hype in a general context. Instead of sitting down, analysising their weaknesses and working on them they go out expecting to win and being genuinely surprised when they get thumped by teams with any real quality.

they need a manager from outside Dublin who doesn’t buy into the hype and will get an honest work-rate out of the players. Only problem is that the job is a poisoned chalice- any manager that would do that doesn’t want the scrutiny on him for dropping old darlings.

[quote=“tiger”]i was referring to a hype in a general context. Instead of sitting down, analysising their weaknesses and working on them they go out expecting to win and being genuinely surprised when they get thumped by teams with any real quality.

they need a manager from outside Dublin who doesn’t buy into the hype and will get an honest work-rate out of the players. Only problem is that the job is a poisoned chalice- any manager that would do that doesn’t want the scrutiny on him for dropping old darlings.[/quote]

I’d imagine Dublin spend a huge amount of time and money analysing their weaknesses and trying to work on them, even going so far as to say that they over analyse themselves.

And I think Caffery in the last couple of years hasn’t done anything to creat hype, its just something that follows the Dubs because they are the Dubs. Everyone wants to beat them, and seemingly they sell more papers so the meejia are naturally going to write about them, hence the hype.

They are not a piss poor football team either, they had a mare this year after hammering the fook out of Leinster. They are not as good as Tyrone or Kerry but who is?

As for the Blue book, so what? Clive Woodwards black book or whatever the fook was part of his set up, maybe it made a difference maybe it didn’t.

Journalists are often cunts and this is a good story. Makes the bold Dubs who dislike the cuntish journos out to be silly. And now the pen is mightier than the sword.

[quote=“north county corncrake”]how is this in any way involving themselves in hype
how did they involve themselves in hype this year?[/quote]

Don’t be standing up for a gaa team ncc its unbefitting

That book story is crazy, way to much psycho babble going on there.

While some of the stuff in there is a bit over the top (that 31 v 1 shite, and the stuff about Omagh making them as a team) I don’t think there’s a whole pile wrong with the general jist of what’s outlined above. While it’s a bit extreme to expect players to complete 2 blocks, 4 link plays, 3 assists etc like they are ticking things off a shopping list, I don’t see any major harm in emphasising and outlining players’ roles and what’s expected of them. The motivational quotes are pretty standard stuff.

The code of secrecy and signatures with witnesses is what makes it wacky. Also calling it ‘The Blue Book’ is cringeworthy stuff. If it was just a folder of info given to each panel member with no secrecy shite there would be no talk about it. Bad form by whoever provided the media with it too.

What a load of absolute horseshit. A bit less time with crayons and books and more time practising kicking and catching and they might have got within 10 points of Tyrone

That was my take on it too earlier in the thread. A list of specific detailed instructions and motivational quotes might actually be useful but the secrecy and players signing up to it like they’re members of Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven makes them look like fools.

They look like fools coz they got a whupping.

If they had won the AI you can be fookin sure there would have been a red book, and a purple and gold bookk next year