Monday, February 06, 2006

Underdogs or Underachievers

Underdogs or Underachievers

Now I know this one is going to get me in trouble, but to be honest I just don’t care. I have been opposed to the idea of the 'Underdogs' from day one and I will continue my resistance even if by some miracle they ever manage to beat Kerry or Kilenny or whoever they come up against each year. The relentless airing on TG4 has allowed me to watch and squirm through the countless pep talks, challenge matches and heartfelt one on one interviews. (As Gaeilge, well sort of) In the end I am still left with this feeling that the concept of the 'Underdogs' is all wrong, whether the current crop of Underdogs realise it or not..it is disrespectful to GAA players whether they be the Colm Coopers of this world or the ordinary Seamus O' Bloggs who trod up and down pitches from February to November.

So why would any self respecting footballer even contemplate taking part in this farce?

Tough question, but the answer confirms my theory that the 'Underdogs' is just an even crasser version of Pop Idol..or X Factor.!....

Contestants

The Average Club Player
Much like the singer who cant hit the high notes, the average club player is what makes the GAA tick, they are the lifeblood of grassroots GAA but here is the catch, they are grassroots for a reason. Like the singer mentioned above they just don’t have a little bit extra that separates club from county..whether it’s a yard of pace or accuracy of kick the fact of the matter remains..Simon Cowell would not let these fellas through to the next round….but then again Simon doesn’t always get his way!

The Failed County Player
Nobody likes to see genius falter….but the problem with this particular brand of player is that they are the only ones who consider themselves 'genius'. My theory was backed up when recently on the show one of the players began talking about himself in the third person wondering why he wasn’t on the county team when so many of his former teamates now wear the county jersey!!!...the third person…not even Bush has descended into that type of introspective hero worship…

The Moron
This is a type of person who queues for ten hours for a pop idol audition and when the big moment arrives he goes in and does his version of Swan Lake!..there will always be morons in this world..even in the GAA..but God help us to we have to watch them make fools of themselves trying desperately to make it as an 'Underdog'. And whats worse is we (the viewers) actually warm to these fellas and their struggle with the weight and the dodgy knee and the even dodgy knee bandage..the Gooch must be shaking in his boots!.

The Student
These fellas can actually play and some day may actually be county players..but they are students with not much else to do..so the thoughts of been an Underdog seem appealing..but lads beware….in years to come..this will bite you in the ass..

But all of this does not explain why I think the concept of the Underdogs is disrespectful to GAA players…to be blunt..the GAA is all about the county..if your good enough and your dedicated enough then you make your county team and you become a sort of semi God within your own area….this gives young lads something to aim for, it gives them people to look up to. Now with the best will in the world no team of players who couldn’t make the grade in their own respective counties would come within as ass's roar of the championship Kerry team inf football or Kilkenny in Hurling.

But TG4 and the makers of the Underdogs know this, so instead they play them when the top teams when they are still probably enjoying the few weeks of the year they have off (relatively speaking)…but boys oh boys..The cream always rises to the top and they will still win and now a bunch of ordinary decent lads who have trained themselves to bits will be beaten by a team probably only getting together for the first time that season…and any real GAA player would know that..and anyone with pride would realise the embarrassment of that. There is no fairytale romance to this programme, its just another version of Pop Idol or X factor and in my mind all it does is make a mockery of what it is to be a GAA player..whatever level you play at.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couldnt agree more!

The Special One said...

to be honest i've never seen an episode of the underdogs so i speak with a certain element of ignorance (in fairness when don't i) but as a concept i think it is quite good. Apart from your listed contestants there must be some players who genuinly are county standard and have been overlooked. Surley this is one stage that can allow those players to shine.

MR X said...

You cant compare the underdogs to such crap as the X factor and Pop Idol There are players out there who aren't making county teams for reasons such as politics and county board s***. If they do make it and do well they will be noticed by theie home county as what happened when the underdogs played Kerry!

MR X said...

You cant compare the underdogs to such crap as the X factor and Pop Idol There are players out there who aren't making county teams for reasons such as politics and county board s***. If they do make it and do well they will be noticed by their home county as what happened when the underdogs played Kerry!

Shane said...

You're only sour cause you queued for hours and didn't get on the team.

Hotspur said...

What is Underdogs all about? As correctly pointed out, it revolves around the grassroots player. The GAA as we all are willing to acknowledge is built upon the average to good, overlooked, under-estimated grass roots player. Underdogs is a concept that pays homage to the local club man.

Limited Edition said...

A critic is someone who knows the way but is unable to drive.