what ye make of this article?
onday September 08 2008
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 clichéd 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.
- Vincent Hogan
my god, that is unbelievable. i thought the march to the hill palaver was ridiculous, but this brings it to a new low. psycho-babble at its worst.
wonder who squealed??
yeah, i got yesterdays indo and read this. i am frankly appalled. whoever came up with this ****e, and lets face it its so much like a garda handbook to look very ****ing far, needs to be laughed and giggled at.
really......... you couldnt make this up, its like the things we did in 4th class, no smelly girls club.
We honestly deserve every bit of ridicule we get for this.
wonder who the mole is????
Woeful! Please don't tell me that any team could take such s**** seriously?? And BTW am I the only one who thinks whatever nutty sports psychologist "dreamt" this one up was taking a leaf from the IRA's Green Book or Chairman Mao's Little Red Book or maybe Colin Farrell's Little Black Book... BS indeed!
I have to ask the question but does everybody believe what they read in the papers?It could be BS.Then again,if it is true,it is one thing the Dublin management and team should be embarassed of.
Agreed, very Green Book, but it doesn't exist!
I read this monday, was hoping nobody else saw it and would bring it up. This is the most shameful thing i have heard of a team doing.
This is worse then the walking to the hill arm in arm which was Embarrassing enough, the leinster final speech "i want to thank all our fans on the hill" what to f*ck what about all the fans else where in croke park! Or the dubs fans in other countries spending money to watch the match too?!!
Please tell me this is just a pile of stinking steaming sh*te. This is as twice ive had to hold my head in my hands with shame this year supporting the dubs (1 being Tyrone)
Depends on what paper you read it in but Vincent Hogan is one of the more respected journo's in Ireland.
Page 72 of the Indo today - "Opening Up The Secret Bluebook".
2-page spread by Martin Breheny.
I heard this on Newstalk this morning and I couldn't believe it, no point in slagging Dublin fans about it as nothing that could be said would embarass them any more than they are embarrassed at the moment. The BS look apparently is the Zoolander Blue Steel look :http://www.wikihow.com/Do-the-%22Blue-Steel%22-Pose-from-Zoolander .
It really is Dublin's anus horibullus starting with the Meath row, losing to Westmeath in Div 2 Final the Colie Moran incident, a brief respite with the Leinster Championship and then the nightmare with Tyrone fans leaving early etc, I genuinely feel sorry for the Dublin boardsies here.
It definitely is taking the whole thing too far. I'd be all for some words of encouragement on the dressing room wall, or positive thinking or whatever, but it was 52 pages ffs. I could see some of the Dublin players being embarrassed at this when they got their book.
Couple of things though. However bad it is, it should have stayed within their ranks and it certainly looks like Breheny has seen the whole thing. Whoever ratted must have a gripe with management.
Also, if it worked and then was announced, you'd probably find every team in the country would have one next year.
Still hard on the Dubs after the year that was.
I seriously feckin doubt it could you imagine Brian Cody doin this
this had us all in stitches at lunch, thanks Dublin management!!!
What kind of Kn00bs are they, i can imagine the stick the players will get off opponents next year!!
I Doubt it but then again most KK people like to pretend gaelic footie doesn't exist!!!
This has being one of the worst years for dublin football fans, this is icing on the cake. I wonder who spat it all over the news appearing monday and now today in the paper.
Although if the dubs had a victory in the final like the cats and this came out it'd be adopted in every "club" in the country, like when it came out that armagh listened to al pacinos speech from any given sunday before the all ireland (in 2002?).
How many clubs do make there players sign a pledge to the club? but i bet its never a "BOOK" of 52 pages.