I’m a Dub. Born and bred. Lived in Dublin all my life. All of which makes my decision to place a bet on Kerry to win this years All Ireland football final against Dublin seem a little strange.
Sport is one of life’s great inventions. It has the ability to take us out of our day to day existence and transport us off to a different world, where we engage in passionate conversation and debate with friends and strangers alike around the perceived rights and wrongs of any given sporting incident. The beauty of the conversation is the differing opinions that exist. Nothing is absolute.
So why did I place a bet on Kerry to beat Dublin?
It goes to something that I call ‘The Steve Davis Syndrome’.
When I was a younger lad than I am now, the game of snooker was all the rage. It was filled with absorbing characters that I, and many of my friends, identified with.
Alex ‘hurricane’ Higgins, the swashbuckling, unpredictable genius. Jimmy ‘whirlwind’ White the greatest male bridesmaid never to make it to the top table of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, home of the annual snooker World Championship. Bill ‘beer guzzling’ Werbenuik, Ray ‘dracula’ Reardon, steady Eddie Charlton, Cliff ‘the grinder’ Thorburn (‘grinder’ had a different meaning back then!).
And then there was Steve Davis. The robot. The ice man. He never seemed to lose.
Until one fateful evening in April 1985 when he faced up to one Denis Taylor from Northern Ireland in that year’s World Championship final.
Taylor was good but not great. Davis was the king and when he strode into a 8-0 lead, it looked like it was all over.
It seemed the entire world tuned in as Taylor slowly clawed his way back into contention, frame by frame.
Until the scor reached 17-17.
The deciding frame.
It went down to the very last black ball. Davis had his chance, missed. Taylor stepped up and knocked it in.
The King was dethroned. The underdog had taken the day.
All of which brings me back to Dublin v Kerry, September 2019. Arguably, the current Dublin team are the greatest of all time and have won the last four All Ireland’s.
Kerry, the overall leader in terms of All Ireland’s won, stand in their way.
Dublin are akin to Steve Davis, Kerry are Denis Taylor. Who to choose? My upbringing says blue, my underdog leaning says green and gold. The latter argument won out, so I paid my money, made my choice and I will be shouting for the men from the Southwest come the big day.
Come on The Kingdom!