Tall, dark and?

26 January 2007

I finally got around to watching Tall, Dark, and Ó hAilpÃín[1] last night. It was an observational documentary looking at the lives of three of the Ó hAilpíns; Seán Óg, Setanta and Aisake.

Seán Óg[2] is a hurler for Cork, but the two others have headed Down Under to become professional Aussie Rules players. And seeing the difference it’d certainly make you think about whether or not the GAA should turn professional. Is it any wonder that the Aussies won the International Rules series? Their players don’t have to worry about jobs as well as playing football; they just train and play. Course, I’m not so sure if it’d work. Are we a big enough country[3] to support 32 full-time professional teams? Actually, it’d be more than 32 wouldn’t it, cause there is football and hurling.


Anyways, I don’t get the drooling over the Ó hAilpíns, they aren’t ugly, but *shrug*.

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5 Responses

  1. Harlequin says:

    Going by that picture alone I'd have to disagree with the 'not ugly' statement. Bleccch.

  2. DJ says:

    Actually, I thought the whinging about the lack of payment for GAA players which permeated the programme was sickening. At the end of the day Seán Óg is a very successful hurler who has three All-Ireland medals, captaining one of those teams and has represented his country in both hurling and Compromise Rules.

    The other two have acheived very little in their adapted code (to date) yet the programme seemed to suggest that they were getting more out of their sport (i.e. they were being paid for it). It all boils down to what you consider a successful sportsman is, one who gets paid more, or one who acheives more.

    E.g. is David Beckham a better sportsman than Ronaldinho?

  3. Fence says:

    But surely it would be easier to be a better sportsman if you could do it full-time. It isn't an issue of payment exactly, more about being able to go out every day and train or play.
    Seán Óg is a successful hurler, but at the same time, he could have been a much better player if he had been able to dedicate his life to the game, rather than having to work in the bank during the day.

  4. DJ says:

    Of course it would be EASIER to be a better sportsman if you do it full time, but that is not my point. My issue was that the programme suggested quite strongly that the younger O'Hailpíns were the more successful sportsmen when it is obvious that they are not. I wasn't necessarily commenting on your post.

    And I don't agree with your assertion that Seán Óg would have been a better player if he had been able to dedicate his life to the game. Going back to your original point, it would have been easier, but you can't say it would have made him better. As it stands I am sure that he probably dedicates himself 2-3 hours a day, 6/7 days a week to it.

  5. Fence says:

    I guess that would depend on your definition of better. I would say the two younger brothers would be fitter and stronger and, having more time to spend at the game would possibly be more skilful, though that is hard to say given the fact that they are playing different game.

    Had Seán Óg, and other hurlers, the time to spend constantly training then they would be better sportsmen themselves, simply because they put in more practise.

    I don't think it'll happen soon. And I'm not convinced that professionalism should happen at all in the GAA, however, in my mind, there is no doubt that the players would be better sportsmen if they didn't have to spend x number of hours working.
    Just look at the differences in the rugby players since they turned pro.