Kilkenny legend, Tommy Walsh, has hit the nail on the head with regards to the great debate over which is the superior sport, hurling or football.
Football has seen an upturn in 2019 while hurling has failed to live up to the unrealistic heights of 2018 and this has given fans, media and pundits alike reason to goad one another on the other’s failings.
The Tullaroan man highlighted that the two sports are so vastly different it’s tough to compare but did admit that hurling is such a fast game that it tends to appeal to fans.
However, the nine-time All-Star winner admitted that enjoyable football games often come along when they mirror hurling in that they are end-to-end.
“It’s tough to compare because you’re comparing two different sports. Hurling is so fast.
“One thing you could say is the GAA people, in particular, they love fast-moving games. If you see a good football game, why is it? It’s because it’s open and there are scores and goal chances. It’s end-to-end stuff.”
Gaelic football has often been hit with a big stick over the years for its perceived tendency to turn into a defensive game of chess which often makes for quite a boring spectacle.
However, Walsh claimed the same applies to the ‘small ball’ and that the reason last season is viewed as the greatest summer of hurling was that teams went all out against one another.
“When it turns into a defensive system all the criticisms will come out.
“Look at hurling, it’s the same thing. When everyone is going at it, everyone is in love with the game. Look at last year, they reckon it was the greatest summer of the century. Every team was just going at it, gung-ho.
“When there are defensive systems put out, the games are not as exciting. When teams go at it with great forwards, those are brilliant games.”
Walsh spoke with great sense around the issue, quite often a football fan will use hurling’s failings as a stick to beat the game with and vice-versa, however, the truth is that both sports are very different but when played well they are truly amazing spectacles that we Gaels should be proud of.