Sport’s top 10 bleedin’ obvious: No one gives a stuff about golf at the Olympics

You’ve got to be a bit of a weirdo to play senior intercounty GAA and MMA isn't a sport

1: Cristiano Ronaldo is a knob. Anyone possessed of even the slightest embarrassment, that vital brake on the worst excesses of our appetites, knows this. It is a brake "CR7" either doesn't possess or chooses not to employ. Instead this pouting Portuguese poseur shamelessly freewheels through his ridiculous repertoire – a living, breathing, muscle-flexing rejection of the idea that talent is a reflection of personal probity.

None of which matters much except that his glittering football CV has led to grandiloquent claims of how Cristiano is actually some “zeitgeisty” postmodern expression of our post-digital disregard for anything bar rampant narcissism. He’s just a wanter.

In any other environment he would quite rightly have had some sense of proportion battered into him by now. It makes one wonder what kind of salons football dressing-rooms have turned into.

That such graceless attention-seeking can be proclaimed as a virtue says a lot more about his excitable cheerleaders, and their slurping need to suckle at second-hand success no matter what, than it does about the puffball himself. But he’s still a knob.


2: Rory's right: no one gives a stuff about golf at the Olympics.

3: No one gives much of a stuff about the Olympics, period. OK, obviously some do. All that advertising isn't being directed at thin air.

But most of us don’t, not really, having long since made out minds up about Track & Field especially. We’ll dip in and out of Rio, watch the 100 metre finals, try not to perv too much at all that toned sprint muscle; but we won’t properly engage, for the simple reason that no one knows who or what to believe so we wind up believing nothing: which is sad, but there you go.

4: You've got to be a bit of a weirdo to play senior intercounty GAA. Those Galway stats about players opting out of county service got "shock-horror" headline treatment but they are actually a tribute to good western sense.

Only the GAA could produce a culture where sacrificing the best years of your life on an altar of joyless penitential deprivation is something to shoot for, or it is if you’re high enough up the spectrum in terms of the obsessive commitment required to do it. For free too. And mostly on condition you keep your mouth shut. Hell, even Trappists get to talk sometimes; they can even eat something with gluten in too.

5: John Giles got bulleted from RTÉ because he is 75. Not technically, obviously; god forbid, ageism in Montrose – never.

No it’s more of a profile, spreadsheet, demographic thing, reflective of our modern digital media reality. Giles isn’t Sadlier smooth. He doesn’t have half a million followers swinging from his tweets. He isn’t good for the shrill online “outrage” that his pal Dunphy specialises in either.

Giles doesn’t do “edgy” or anything else dumbly fake. He is old-school enough to believe his job is to deliver honest, enlightening, straightforward and agenda-free opinions. And that clearly isn’t enough, which is god-awful when you think about it.

No one anywhere has ever opined with more authority or sense on this ridiculous game than Giles. So the only logical parsed-down-to-its-basics conclusion to his exit is that it doesn't matter what's said anymore. Damien Duff going "pfff" is better value. Hooray for public service broadcasting.

6: A horse can't talk. So a High Court standard of proof about whether or not the dodgy little jockey on its back stopped it from winning, because he was told to in the first place by even dodgier owners and trainers, is impossible. That is unless the jockey talks, and in Ireland it's odds on the horse squawks first.

That means those in charge of racing will ultimately at some stage have to go through the whole legal rigmarole to establish whether or not stewards room judgments – which by definition are just opinion – are more than a mere exercise in optics.

Otherwise even the merest slap on the wrist will automatically be followed by the rattle of a solicitor’s tail.

7: MMA isn't sport. It is tighty-whitey violence packaged for an audience of mostly tight, white males blissfully unaware of how homoerotic their throbbing adoration of McGregor & Co actually is.

Or at least it is until the blood starts flowing. And then some other more regrettable impulses take over.

It isn't enough to say other sports are violent. The problem is MMA regards elbowing a prone, defenceless opponent in the head as a legitimate manoeuvre. That's just violence. There is a distinction, one that some of MMA's Guardian-reading apologists clearly choose not to acknowledge.

8: Professional rugby players are no different to other professionals. They follow the money. That's bad news for Irish rugby as it currently operates.

IRFU noises about not being the lender of last resort to the professional game here strike an ominous tone but they are no more than an acknowledgement of the reality.

The money is in France and England. So is an increased workload, the increased likelihood of injury and possible burnout. But you have to be very expensively professional indeed not to follow the money.

9: Sam Maguire can be sub-let to Dublin for the next couple of years. But those predicting beyond that might take into account how population is no guarantee of success.

If it was Cork, hurling wouldn’t be on a respirator right now, gasping for “structures”, whatever the hell that is exactly supposed to mean.

10: Beware of sports hacks who are employed to predict: if the tips were any good there wouldn't be any need to flog them for employment's sake in the first place. And that really is bleedin' obvious.