Real sport loses out as Vegas farce steals headlines
DUBLIN’S quest to touch upon true greatness and take a vitally important step towards a historic three All-Ireland football titles in-a-row should have been the single greatest sports story occupying our minds for the last few days. Certainly it’s a real story, and one that we can believe in – and a story that did not need manufacturing or a blitzkrieg of hype, like the business in the TMobile Arena in Las Vegas last night, in order to ensure that it was fully noticed.
There is a view among some sports fans that Conor McGregor’s fight with Floyd Mayweather in today’s early hours was a circus, plain and simple.
Ther is a view that the hundreds of millions of euros and dollars spent attending and viewing the spectacle were sucked out of the pockets of fans by business people far more adept at three-card tricks than the staging of sporting events that deservedly take their place amongst the greatest of performances in history.
What we got in the T-Mobile Arena was wall-to-wall showbiz.
This afternoon in Croke Park, as Jim Gavin’s men set about breaking down the brilliant defensive walls erected by Mickey Harte’s Tyrone, we will see honesty at work. We’ll see two teams that can not be doubted, whatever the result.
At the end, same as at the beginning of the game, there will be no second-guessing the merit of either team — or any questioning of either their worthiness or intentions. Croke Park is indeed far, far removed from the T-Mobile Arena, but today (as it was yesterday) it will be a place where real sporting heroes will put on a brilliant day’s entertainment, not for money, but glory. Only glory. Dublin, of course, have it all to lose. They are the greatest football team of the last decade, and winning against Tyrone, and making it a hat-trick of All-Ireland titles next month, will further strengthen their standing and make them one of the greatest teams of the modern era. Maybe even the greatest.
In a boxing ring, the last man who could carry the label of the ‘The Greatest’ without fear of anyone douting him or his fighting record was the late Muhammad Ali. There have been none since. In the T-Mobile Arena this morning the overhwelming impression, regardless of what took place in the ring, was of a manufactured event designed to generate a record sum of money for one night’s work.
SHOWBIZ: Conor McGregor (right)