"I don't like these headlocks. They're really dangerous and you can go out" - McGee on chokeholds in the GAA
Eamon McGee remembers Donegal's 2014 All-Ireland quarter final against Armagh.
How could he forget it? It was a tight, tense affair and, like many of the clashes between these two counties, it was never too far from boiling over. It was just on the stroke of half-time that day when, with Aidan Forker and Karl Lacey getting stuck into each other, Aaron Findon joined in and the two boys got the Donegal man in a headlock.
"I remember chatting to our team doctor about that game in 2014 and Aidan Forker and someone else (Aaron Finden) had put Karl Lacey in a chokehold. The doctors had explained to me that that's really, really dangerous because you're gasping for air and you can go out," McGee said on this week's GAA Hour Football Show.
There were more headlocks earlier this year when, with Armagh meeting Tyrone in the League, four Tyrone men and an Armagh player got their marching orders from David Gough. What was most noticeable about that row was the headlocks, as in the middle of the chaos you could see players from both sides stuck in chokeholds.
It wasn't quite as violent on Sunday but it was still something you don't like to see. The final whistle was blown and it was only seconds later when, with everything kicking off near the subs' bench on the far side, there were up to 25 men in the thick of it.
Some nervous heads this morning as potential suspensions could be issued following the clash between Armagh and Donegal players in yesterday's game.
The two teams meet again in just a couple of weeks in the Ulster championship. pic.twitter.com/K3ZRGlWROT
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) March 28, 2022
The pushing and shoving is unnecessary but it's understandable according to Eamon McGee, who says that headlocks are the big problem we need to look out for now.
"Like all rows, it started over something silly, with a bit of shoving before another fella comes in, and then a third fella and then it just escalates," McGee says.
"But what I don't like about these rows nowadays and look, I've been in many of them, but what I don't like and what's becoming commonplace is these headlocks. I don't like the headlocks.
"When there's three or four men in on top of someone and one of them puts you in a headlock. It can be dangerous. It can be really, really dangerous because you're gasping for air and you can go out."
"Particularly Armagh, I find, and I'm always going to say that after the row yesterday but particularly Armagh, they done it against Tyrone a few weeks ago where somehow Tyrone got four or five sent off in the one incident. Look, pushing and shoving is silly and there's no while need for it, but I just don't like these headlocks that seem to be going on an awful lot," he added.
Darran O'Sullivan agrees with McGee and feels that, come a few weeks' time, it will be some spicy game between them in Ulster.
"It takes two to tango but it is the second time Armagh have been involved in this League alone and when you are gasping for air, you start to panic and it's not a nice place to be. I do think there'll be suspensions, and they're playing each other in a few weeks so that'll add a bit of bite to it."