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13th Aug 2017

Safe to say John Mullane didn’t follow press box etiquette at Croke Park

This is passion

Conan Doherty

When you love your county, you love your county.

John Mullane loves his county. So much.

There are these unwritten rules in media zones all over the world that risk having your professionalism questioned if you even toe the line with any of them.

Don’t wear the colours of any of the teams you’re supposed to be reporting on.

Don’t ask for photos or autographs of any of the players afterwards.

Don’t kick out in frustration and, for the love of God, whatever you do, do no celebrate.

You’re impartial, remember? You’re professional.

It’s safe to say that those guidelines are taken with a pinch of salt in the GAA. All around the country, press desks will be slapped and men and women will leap up whenever the occasion takes them. What’s best is that very few would say anything about it – everyone understands.

Besides, someone like John Mullane isn’t a journalist and, when Waterford are playing in an All-Ireland semi-final, you can bet your bottom euro that he doesn’t give a shit about looking professional or upholding etiquette.

The Waterford legend was tremendous value ahead of the big game with Cork on SportsJOE Live on Wednesday night and gave a lesson in class to everyone appealing suspensions in the GAA.

On Sunday, he was in Croke Park to watch the clash with the Rebels – where the hell else would he be?

But Mullane wasn’t in the galleries of the headquarters stands with his people, he was up in the press box calling the game as he saw it but, Jesus, how could anyone expect him to keep his counsel?

As enthralling as the clash was and as magnificent as Waterford’s final flurry was to burst into the decider, you’d have gotten as much value watching John Mullane and thank God RTE Radio 1 were on hand to capture the big man’s reaction to Austin Gleeson’s magic.

He might be a fantastic media man to have around. But he’s still John Mullane. He’s still Waterford to the very core.

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