More than a feeling: why a Waterford win in the Munster final would represent a victory for ideas

A victory for Waterford in the Munster final would represent a victory for ideas – Derek McGrath has set out to beat the game and the example set is as convention-defying as anything we have ever seen.

Pundits are concerned about the trajectory of the game; they argue that the spectacle needs to improve and that tactics in general pose a risk to hurling’s future – more specifically Waterford’s counter-attacking approach is regarded as pejorative.

The misinterpretation of Waterford’s style, however, begs the question: do followers of the game actually understand what they are looking at?

Australian journalist James Coventry identified a disconnect between how supporters and pundits perceived Aussie Rules and how the game actually worked – in 2015 Coventry published a book which attempted to explain the game to the general public and drag the stakeholders together in a practical way.

Is something similar required to explain hurling?
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Do we really want our sports (coverage) to be this stupid?

In an interview with The Blizzard former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson declared: “I don’t think the media are actually that interested in what happens in game of football”.

This is significant – the narratives which dominate media coverage of sporting events, generally, do not mirror the conversations that elite sports people or those interested in the factors which actually contribute to sporting success have with one another.
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