The Greatest ... Not Sure

Boyne Rover is not at all sure that Matt Treacy has called it right with his characterisation of the current Dublin team as "the Greatest."

Whenever I hear or read about a sports person or sports team or whatever combination being referred to as "the Greatest", my mind immediately goes into overdrive. The first thing we must remember is that this is one person’s opinion.

Recently while sitting having a quiet drink, the local soccer facts and figures expert (and he really is) was having a debate with a few friends about soccer in general. Paying very little attention to them, he suddenly got up looked at me and asked who was the best club team I had ever seen. When I asked if he meant live or on TV he appeared taken aback. He stood for a second then said, "it doesn’t matter."

Before I gave my answer, I made him completely aware that I was not getting involved in his debate but would give my opinion - AC Milan. They looked at me startled: what, where, how and when seemed to flash across their faces. I knew they were itching to get into debate but I refused.

After a lot of chit chat between them the Expert said to me "why AC?" To which I replied that they had to win their own league to get there, and then a straight knockout to win with no backdoor system. They did this 3 years in a row and I had seen all 3 wins. So that was, in my opinion, no debate.

He turned around to his mates:  "Jesus that was some feat, ok".

Presently, there is the on-going debate about who the better player is, Maradona or Messi. In my opinion it's Maradona.  But if Messi does go to win a World Cup then it’s up for debate.

Dublin are good no doubt, but great ... not sure. Kerry were great. Of that there’s no question. But most times their opposition were Heffo’s Hero’s. At a recent championship game in Croker I was sitting beside a Dublin man and we got talking about the merits of this current crop. He gave a whole list of reasons about why they were so good. After listening for about 5 minutes I interrupted him and asked did he think they could contest the next 4 All Ireland Finals. Silence ... "why do you ask that question?"

"Well," says I:

for my tuppence worth, I thought the Dubs of the seventies were supermen. They contested six All Ireland Finals on the trot. That meant six Leinster Finals had to be won because there was no backdoor then. It was winner takes all. Even the great Kerry team couldn’t do it: their best was five.

He looked at me got up and went to the “Jacks”, returned sat down looked at me again.  "Jesus, that was some going. Six Finals in a row. I’d say that will never be done again." To which I informed him that much as I admired the Dubs of that era I admired Wexford even more. They achieved that feat from 1913-1918 losing the first two, then went on to win the next four, to which he replied, "that was some going alright."

Needless to say I never saw Wexford in action but I did see Heffo’s Heros and to me this current crop have more All Ireland medals in their pockets ... but six All Irelands finals in a row ….Wow

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

4 comments to ''The Greatest ... Not Sure "

  1. Really enjoyed that and I recall those Heffo games even though I was only a auld fella never stopped talking about that Dublin team. Kevin Moran played on it too.

  2. some have suggested that this Dublin team are full of the steroids. There is no testing for substance abuse in GAA so its hard to prove. I have my doubts about this suggestion but it's possible.

  3. GAA players are regulatory tested for example the most recent being that of a Kerry player who failed because some banned substance,randomly selected players will be tested over the next few weeks plus during the league campaign

  4. Cheers 🍻 Niall I've always enjoyed debates around who is the greatest at whatever Sport because it should be one mans opinion rather than using someone else's


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