What Goes Round……..
In the aftermath of the merciless drubbing we received at the hands of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Final, sports writer Tom Humphries didn’t spare Waterford. In fact the vaunted Irish Times journalist put the boot well and truly in to us at a time when our spirits were at their lowest. In his Irish Times Lockerroom column on the Monday following The Sunday of our Humiliation, Humphries more or less said that the Waterford players got their comeuppance for daring to challenge the infallibility of Justin McCarthy. Implicit, no it was more like explicit, in Humphries’ writing was that Waterford players were an ungrateful, unworthy bunch who got what was coming to them. Karma, you called it Tom. It was a low blow, a cheap shot and unworthy of this talented scribe. It was low and cheap mainly because it was false but also for the timing of its delivery. Tom Humphries was well enough acquainted with what was going on behind the scenes in Waterford hurling to have known better. The very limited action taken by the Waterford players at the time was an honourable course of action which was forced on them by weak and indecisive leadership at county board level.
Imagine my surprise then when the Cork players embarked on militant action and the loquacious Humphries emerged as their main cheerleader. No more noble band of hurling brothers ever graced our green fields sayeth the Humph, yes, honourable men in search of truth and justice (unlike the wretched upstarts in Waterford). There was little honourable about the whole sordid mess which bitterly divided clubs and even families in Cork. Nether was there anything honourable about the conclusion which left a hurling hero in tatters while the real object of the players’ disgruntlement remained intact. The problem hasn’t gone away you know. (I couldn’t figure out if it was a grin or a grimace on Frank’s face in Nowlan Park Sunday)
Was it Karma at play in Nowlan Park yesterday Tom? I’m not saying it was. You were there and wrote about the game, brilliantly as usual. There was no mention of Karma. I scanned your Lockerroom column. Nothing there either. But then you couldn’t .You had championed their cause and defended their defiance. It would be the ultimate act of betrayal to turn on them now at their lowest ebb. You would only do that to Waterford…
(H/t to gain feeds over at AFR.)
One doesn’t have to agree with all of it – the Waterford panels behaviour was ‘honourable’? Er. . . – to be able to agree with the general sentiment. If what happened to Waterford in September was a case of bad karma, then what happened to Cork last Sunday has to fall into the same category, right? Tom Humphries is a great hack, but his closeness to the Cork strikers has caused him to lose a proper sense of journalistic perspective, and well done to the Tallow scribe for pulling him up over it.