Imagine this scenario:
You are arguably the best attacking player in the country. You are in the last minute of the biggest game of the year so far. It is a drawn game. You have possession in your half of the field. You look up, pass the ball thirty yards to a team mate and get the jets on…knowing you will create space for a chance to potentially win the game.
As you accelerate up the pitch, you are confronted by a defender. He jams an arm across your chest into your throat. You slap it away. You play Gaelic football and the physicality is part and parcel.
The defender retreats for a moment and you see he is slightly wrong footed. You accelerate towards him in order to put him off balance and go past him. He grabs you by the neck of your jersey, preventing you from running past him.
You slap away his hand again…aggressively and with a closed fist. This defender is tough and strong and will not release you without a fight. The defender loses his grip and for a third time you try to accelerate past him.
This time the defender grabs you in a rugby tackle Brian O’Driscoll would be proud of. He drags you to the ground and your momentum causes you to roll over and over on top of each other. You end up on top of him, but the defender has now got your head twisted into the ground. He will not let go.
You try to get up but he has your neck clamped under his armpit. You struggle and try to use your core and arms to push your body up and away. But he won’t release you. You get some leverage, free an arm and manage to power down into his upper body, in an effort to get him to release you. He doesn’t.
A team mate of his comes along and grabs at the two of you. He strikes you into your stomach and you fall off the defender who has finally released his grip on you.
As you get up to your feet you look around at the linesman who is coming onto the pitch. Instinctually though, you turn your attention back to the game and return to try and get into a position to attack. Meanwhile, the second opposition player is shouting and motioning at the referee that you punched the initial defender.
The linesman calls the referees attention and deems it fit that you should be given a red card, while the defender who illegally tackled and restrained you FOUR times in 15 seconds is given a yellow card. The second player who struck you and waved and harassed the linesman in a manner abhorred with those of any honour in GAA, does not get a mention.
The game ends in a draw and you are suspended automatically for the next game. You appeal the decision but the learned men of the higher councils of the GAA see no wrong in what has happened.
Update: I had to take the video down which I made as I never asked for permission to use the footage. Apologies to the original owner of the footage: an amateur mistake on my part. Dermo has been freed to play tonight and may the best team win…