Have you noticed how we only ever win the All-Ireland when wearing white shorts?*

No doubt it was meant to be ironic. In the week that saw the political incineration of the Blueshirts, the Déise boys treated us to the return of the Blueshorts. It’s not right. Watching the intermediates beforehand, knowing that the seniors were going to be wearing the same ensemble most famous for being hockeyed by 31 points in the 1982 Munster final, it wasn’t right. All due respect to Monaghan, but it’s simply not as aesthetically pleasing as the white shirt, white shorts, blue socks number. Blue shorts . . .

Waterford 1-16 (19) Cork 1-15 (18), 25 May 2002

The era of darkness is over, ushering in the pure, White light. The blue shorts that Waterford have worn for the last ten years have never sat (pun unintended) well with me. It wasn’t ‘change’ that bothered me. When Bill Shankly decided to kit Liverpool out in red shorts for the first time in November 1964, it brought to end 68 years of tradition. But all the fans I have spoken to who were around at the time – both of them – were insistent that it was universally popular from the beginning. And besides, there was hardly anything official about the white shorts back in the day. I’m pretty sure that the reason everyone wore white shorts was because County Boards wouldn’t provide shorts for players, so white was the universal short colour. Seemingly timeless kits such as those of Down and Dublin in black/navy blue shorts are relatively recent inventions, lacking the lineage dating back to Brian Boru that so many zealots claim for everything GAA. My problem was that it looks aesthetically wrong, lacking the pristine splendor of the all-white kit. And, for some (probably Freudian) reason, it makes the players look a little Munchkin-like. All through the last decade, with all our undoubted success, it has never stopped bothering me.

So imagine my joy today then, to see the new kit being unveiled in WIT, the white overwhelming in its pearly brilliance. I’m sure Azzurri and the County Board were more motivated by a desire to justify the new shirt. We had to have a new one owing to the new shorts, eh? Never mind though. It looks great. Now all we need is Clann na Poblachta back in the Dáil and victory will be ours.

*with apologies to Harold Wilson

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