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TV Wrap Gordon Strachans ignorance shows the Premier League is not beyond

first_img Gordon Strachan during his appearance on Sky Sports’ The Debate last week. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 42,410 Views 16 Comments Gordon Strachan during his appearance on Sky Sports’ The Debate last week. Image: Sky Sports YouTube Image: Sky Sports YouTube Short URL https://the42.ie/4581318 Subscribe Monday 8 Apr 2019, 3:08 PM Updated Apr 8th 2019, 3:08 PM “TO UNDERSTAND IRISH politics, you must first understand the GAA”, is a favourite line of ours, as if the Gah offers a kind of FETAC course in the dynamics, structures, whims, oddities and occasional gombeenism of the political rule we have deemed good enough for ourselves.This isn’t an idle comparison, and there’s plenty of public dysfunction to which both bodies can stake a claim.Forgetting it was April, TV Wrap last night reached for the remote to watch Allianz League Sunday, only to belatedly realise that this was the twitching of a phantom limb given we are amid the month-long moratorium on inter-county action.This is the GAA’s solution to The Fixtures Issue, so as to allow Marty Morrissey do reality TV and county players play a few club games.With a few honourable exceptions, most players are still spending their midweeks training with their counties, so it is the classical GAA compromise whereby everybody argues and nobody truly ends up happy.It reminds this column of a 2017 motion in the Dáil as to whether to end the practice of starting parliamentary proceedings with a prayer.Rather than a simple vote to retain it or get rid of it, the motion was made heavy with amendments.So TDs ultimately voted on: removing the prayer altogether; removing the prayer and replacing it with 30 seconds of silent reflection; removing the prayer and replacing it with 60 seconds of silent reflection; or keeping the prayer and adding in 30 seconds of silent reflection afterwards.The last option was the winner, so today our lawmakers are obliged to stand for a prayer and stand there for another half-a-minute, a period of silence some are rumoured to be using to think.It is the kind of ludicrous, drawn-out compromise that the GAA will surely study.So while the separation of Sport and State hasn’t quite been achieved here, we are relying on it having happened in England, where The Premier League is needed as a distraction from that other television show in which millionaires come together in petulance, The Brexit.The latter has jumped the shark. It’s become incredibly repetitive: John Bercow’s throaty ‘the Noes have it’ precipitates a cabal of self-interested, hypocritical Roald Dahl characters who can agree on nothing other than the fact that, whatever it is, they disagree about it.Even Jon Snow’s occasional ‘We’re a laughing stock’ lament can’t save the whole nightmarish event.So thankfully we had almost a full week of football to help distract ourselves from it.Monday’s indicative votes clashed with Monday Night Football and Arsenal vs Newcastle, the broadcast during which Jamie Carragher bounced around studio wearing that strange Virtual Reality headset. Jamie Carragher plays with his virtual reality headset on Sky Sports last week.This provoked plenty of sneering, of course, but TV Wrap could appreciate that Carragher was making a fool of himself for the sake of his art, given the news channels were packed with people making fools of their art for the sake of themselves.On Tuesday night – after Theresa May held a cabinet meeting long enough to be scripted by George RR Martin that delivered all the thematic heft and character range of a Mr. Men book – we were happily fed the opiate of Wolves vs Manchester United on Sky.The following night, swirling talk of an EU extension didn’t startle the ears of noted Brexiteer Neil Warnock, who was busy standing by as Sky brought us live coverage of Cardiff’s trip to Manchester City.With Liverpool’s trip to Southampton slated for Friday night, there was a worrying gap in the schedule on Thursday night.It seemed, however, that the friendly Gods intervened as the House of Commons was that day suspended by a leaking roof.Sadly, it wasn’t to be, as the utopian ideal of separate spheres collapsed with Gordon Strachan’s appearance on Sky Sports‘ The Debate.You’ll likely have read Strachan’s comments by now: when asked whether it is impossible for Adam Johnson to return to football, given the “stigma” attached to Johnson’s being convicted for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl, Gordon said the following:We’re talking about vile abuse. Say he goes onto the pitch and people start calling him names, are we going to do the same as it is with the racist situation? Is it alright to call him names now, after doing his three years? Are we going to allow that to happen?“Or are we going to clamp down on it? Any vile abuse should be clamped down on.”This wretched moment showed that, regardless of how we might like it so, sport is inseparable from its political context.Racism in football was on the show’s agenda given its shocking prevalence in stadia of late, which is a function of its rise in British society; racism and hate crimes have rocketed since the Brexit vote.That these and other weighty issues are discussed on television by men unfit to talk about them is another very Brexit phenomenon, and while Strachan has since said that he didn’t intend “to confuse or conflate the very serious issue of racism targeted at footballers with the potential verbal abuse towards a player who has been convicted of a sexual offence”, it only offered further proof that he wasn’t qualified to talk of what he was asked about.A week in England, then, to remind us that to fully understand sport, you’re best to look at the society within which it is played.- First published today, 12.43 pmSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Share1 Tweet Email TV Wrap: Gordon Strachan’s ignorance shows the Premier League is not beyond the UK’s madness Elsewhere, the GAA disappears from our screens for a month. Apr 8th 2019, 12:43 PM By Gavin Cooneylast_img read more