Is ‘the painful truth’ that McGregor is bigger than his sport?


It’s a nice, warm Monday morning and, believe it or not, it’s actually dry. I nearly started this column with a little fib (nothing new there says you), because I almost said that I had never seen a Conor McGregor fight – something which would certainly put me in the minority of Irish people – but that would have been incorrect.

  Sadly, I was amongst the millions that paid to see McGregor’s boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, thereby putting hundreds of more millions of euro into his already bulging bank accounts, but thankfully I can tell you that I have never looked at the so-called sport that he partakes in.

  In this ‘sport’, almost anything goes in the ring and it seems that you can literally assault another person in the most brutal way possible. I’m told that a lot of the stuff that goes on would certainly result in an arrest if it occurred out in the open, but as it’s all done under the UFC rules, everything is totally above board, and there seems to be no restriction on the amount of pain and brutality one human being can inflict on another.

  However, despite my disgust at the totally unedifying sport, I am man enough to admit that I would have had a certain amount of admiration for his achievement in turning himself into one of the most recognisable, wealthiest, and (hate to say it) popular Irish people in the world, so in a way I’m not too unhappy at his most recent fall from grace.

  This time, while I have no doubt that it was a publicity stunt that went too far, his violent actions in the United States could cost him a fair few dollars in lawsuits, and if it was anyone else it’s fair to say that he would probably do a good bit of jail-time. However, on the assumption that fame and wealth can have a bearing in these situations, and also because of the huge following he has stateside, I believe he will stay out of prison. Still, the episode as a whole could be a very costly one.

  Recently, in a slightly different type of cage fighting (Mixed Martial Arts), a young Portuguese fighter, Joao Carvalho, died as a result of blunt force trauma received in a fight in Dublin when he was struck by 41 blows to the head – with the last nine unanswered ones – before the ref stopped the fight in the third round. Those figures are beyond belief, and how anyone could see sport in such wanton violence beats me.

  However, McGregor will continue to make many more millions, and this episode will soon be confined to his glorious(?) history, and if he does still have a golden future, he will certainly confine to the dustbin the line we often hear about all sport – that ‘no one man is bigger than the sport itself’. In McGregor’s case that is blatantly untrue.


Forget Pep and José, we had our own big derby!

Last Saturday was known as Derby Day in The Premiership across the water, with both the Liverpool and Manchester derbies taking place (how ‘United’ won against Manchester City is one of the great mysteries), but out here in our neck of the woods the big derby was our O’Gara Cup game against our neighbours Fuerty in Mulhern Park.

  It was a 6 pm start. Early-evening matches are the bane of my working life, as they mean I always have to finish a bit early (very hard on me). But, with a little bit of time juggling, I arrived at the venue with a bit to spare, and even though it was a little bit one-sided in favour of our neighbours, I enjoyed the evening – and as usual the banter on the sideline was good fun.

  We concluded that Fuerty are definitely the best team in the Intermediate Championship, that we need to do a bit (a good bit) more training, and that if we can get fit and restore all our injury victims to action, all might not be lost.

  We have another derby match this coming Saturday, this time against Oran in the championship. I will have to close early again that evening. I can’t wait. There is no better craic than having a rattle at your neighbours in a big game, and, win or lose, heading for the pub for the postmortem.

Suffering in Syria

I must confess that I am poorly informed about the ongoing war in Syria, but the horrific images on the television at the weekend of innocent children and women (and indeed men) who were suffering from the effects of chemical gas poisoning were enough to make any normal person wonder how human beings could inflict such suffering on their fellow humans.

  To see children trying to catch their breath, while others were being hosed down in an effort to get rid of the effect of the gas, with other images showing many lifeless bodies with foam coming from their mouths was shocking and upsetting, and surely the civilized world cannot still sit back and allow these atrocities to continue.

  I am no politician, but isn’t that what the Trumps and the Mays and the Putins of this world are supposed to be doing? With all their wealth and power, they should be helping the weak and putting an end to all this stuff – stopping this horrible type of unforgiveable cruelty.

And finally…

Finally for this week, the price for playing with your local football team can come in many different ways…

  This week I met a former Creggs player, much younger than I am, who told me that one Sunday evening after a game he joined myself and a few experienced drinkers (can’t name them for legal reasons) for a few (good few) post-match pints.

  He had to milk his neighbour’s cow in an unlit cowshed later on that evening. So he headed off, got the milking stool (one of the three-legged ones) and proceeded to do the job.

  All was going as planned until the cow’s owner, an elderly neighbour, called in to inspect the operation, and, with the light of his torch he was somewhat surprised to see that the stool was upside down, and our footballing friend was seated, somewhat uncomfortably, on the three legs.

  He explained it was dark when he got there –so he couldn’t see – and he claims he milked the cow perfectly, but he never again joined us for the after-match drinks…still can’t figure out why!

Till next week, Bye for now!