Friday, September 09, 2005

GAA Writers Could Learn from the Warne of Attrition

Marvellous writing by Simon Barnes in this morning's London Times on Shane Warne's imperious day's play for Australia against England on the first day of the final Ashes Test against England at the Surrey Oval. The GAA writers of Ireland could worse than take note - after they had all gone overboard on the supposed wonders of Dublin's draw with Tyrone a month ago, they suddenly realised that they had used up their store of superlatives with still over a month of the summer to go. If Sunday's All-Ireland turns out to be the finest in living memory, which is entirely possible, how the scribes can possibly find the words to top what they've already written earlier in the summer? What word is better than best?

An Spailpín Fánach's considered view is that when these men are writing their pieces there's always a little voice in their heads saying, bizarrely, that they have to somehow defend Gaelic Games; they write on the defensive all the time. It could be they spend too long at home in the winter nodding their heads in stupor at the relentless hyping of the Sky Sports Premiership Propoganda. If so, they ought to haul the cable out of the wall, dash the television set onto the sharpest of the rocks on Dollymount Strand, and escape the Pale straightaway. They've turned shoneen.

Simon Barnes feels no such need to protect cricket from criticism, real or imagined. Barnes is, in fact, sufficiently confident in the game that he starts by drawing a basketball parallel, before going on to expertly outline how Shane Warne has bestrode the cricket world like a peroxide colossus for a decade and a half, and may even be on the verge of his greatest ever feat on English soil. Irish papers, please copy.