OPINION: 9 reasons why football is better than hurling
Look there are a lot of divisive issues in the world.
In Ireland things can get nasty when you bring them up.
Barry’s vs. Lyon’s, Brennan’s vs. Pat the Baker, Croke Park vs. Aviva Stadium (we actually answered that one) and of course hurling or football?
SportsJOE’s resident hurling writer Niall McIntyre may have argued that the ultimate honour goes to the stickball but he’s wrong. Oh so wrong.
And here are nine reasons why
What is the most common thing you hear people saying about hurling? “It’s so skilful”, no complaints that it is a more skilful but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better.
Not everyone can go for a puc but everyone can go for a kick, and sure it’s never too late to start playing a bit of football. You can pick it up fairly quickly.
2.For all different shapes and sizes
Most hurlers are expect to be lean, mean mobile machines with not a pick on them but some of us just aren’t built to be like that.
Football is a game for all shapes and sizes, you can be a big busty lad like Aidan O’Shea or Michael Murphy or be slight and scrawny like Colm Cooper or Diarmuid O’Connor. There’s a position for everyone.
You certainly wouldn’t want to go into a senior football match without doing some conditioning in the gym, there are lads that are disguised as battering rams and you must be prepared to go to war.
What footballers lack in the form of sticks to inflict pain they do so with pure brute force and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
4.The All-Ireland Final
Anyone that watched Dublin play Mayo a couple of weeks ago will know that that was football at its very best.
There was nothing between them from start to finish, you were nearly tired watching the players bust their guts coming around.
It had everything from big hits, the cynical play, the fantastic scores and just overall being the spectacle that we don’t deserve and got anyway.
And it was the same the year beforehand too, the two best teams showed the very best of the sport.
5.No balls given without a purpose
Possession is just absolutely everything in football, it’s a game of fine margins and the experts say that Stephen Cluxton has revolutionised the game with his kick outs.
The reason is because his completion rate is something magical, so much so that the ‘Cluxton-rule’ has been brought in to discourage the short kick outs and make kick outs more of a contest.
And, yes, it will be great to see more 50-50 balls but in hurling the restarts are just that, 50-50.
In football a criticism is that the long foot pass is no longer but at least footballers play the percentages instead of aimless balls into the full forward line.
Hurling has its fair share of barren streaks, Waterford for one but nothing compares to the wavering emotions even the neutrals feel watching Mayo.
The players make it hard on themselves and the fans but provide one of the greatest narratives in sporting folklore.
The Chicago Cubs, The Boston Red Sox, The Buffalo Bills and Mayo can all be treated in the same bracket, they all got so close and failed for so long.
Fortunately for the Cubs and Red Sox they broke their streak but the curse of Mayo is something that hurling just can’t measure up to.
7.Harder to work a score
Yes, you might be thinking why is it better that it is harder to work a score? Well, It’s no fun just watching scores go over all the time.
It’s a bit like watching basketball compared to American football, they might score more but that doesn’t mean it is any better.
Watching clever build up play and players making space to work a score is great.
A bit of a follow up on the last point, football is by far and away tenser.
If there is a minute left on the clock and a point in it in hurling there is a very good chance there will be a score, you can pop it over from any angle anywhere within a reasonable distance but in football it is all men behind the ball. The nerves.
Every possession counts in football and stupid mistakes will be punished and harder to make up for.
9.Cheaper to play
This is a simple one really, your average hurl is going to set you back €25 and upwards and you can bet your bottom dollar that a couple of them will break throughout the course of the year.
A good helmet is going to cost somewhere in the region of €70 too, all you need in football is a pair of boots, gloves and a gum guard.