GAA acceptance speeches - what the players really mean to say

GAA acceptance speeches - what the players really mean to say

GAA acceptance speeches are often criticised for being boring. That’s only true to the uninitiated though. We’re having a quiet day in the office here. So, for the uninitiated, (perhaps one of the thousands of British viewers who have just seen their first game on Sky Sports 3) here is a typical GAA acceptance speech with what is said in bold, and what is meant in the smaller print.   

I don’t have anything prepared (I have fantasized about this moment since I was old enough to catch a ball) so I’ll keep this speech short (if anyone tries to take this mic I’ll bludgeon them with it).

Well, we did it! (about f***ing time). It’s been a long road to get here but we never gave up (I’ve thought about quitting so many times. The only thing that sustained me was the hatred I have for this shower we’ve finally beaten – that and the grief I would have gotten off my fellow parishioners if I spent my Tuesday and Thursday nights watching Netflix and eating Spicy Nacho Doritos with mild salsa dip, which is eight times out of ten the more attractive option. And I could have saved myself a lifetime’s grief from herself over having to book holidays at weird times of the year and then see those plans threatened as the ‘master’ fixture plan gets ‘tweaked’ to accommodate a county team who happen to have just won a match.)

There are some people I’d like to thank (there aren’t really. If I was truly sincere about wanting to thank them I’d walk up to them, shake their hand, look them in the eye and say “thanks”. But you’re expected to do it this way, so here goes…)

To our sponsor Muldowneys’s Refridgeration (get this one in first because if I forget him, he’ll walk and we’ll be selling raffle tickets until 11pm every night to pay for the new jerseys that show off the guns better). You’ve stuck with us (threatened to “leave us on the side of the road” if we didn’t get our act together and stop disgracing you and your logo) through thick and thin and your backing is appreciated (but doesn’t necessarily give you the right to be in the dressing room giving ‘motivational speeches’).

To the wives and girlfriends and boyfriends (as far as I know none of the lads are gay, but Brennan got savage credit for saying this so I’ll say it too. Anyway, the physio has a boyfriend so that counts I guess … I wonder how he feels about her rubbing oil into hamstrings as 25 lads march around naked? I don’t think I’d like my girlfriend doing that, not with some these lads anyway, Jesus no) I’ll say thanks for being so supportive (yeah, and thanks for giving me hell every time I’ve said we couldn’t go to yet another Sunday wedding. I wouldn’t mind but you’d swear she didn’t know I played ball when we got together. The first time she saw me she was standing on the sideline with her friends. Maybe it’s true that what first attracts people to each other is what repels them ultimately. I’ll have to think about that some more later on because I’m losing my thought train here …. Shite, who else do I have to thank?)

… Thanks to Brian for doing the stats and analysis, savage stuff Brian man, well done (I can’t believe I’ve thanked Brian third. Of all the people to list third! ... He’s only doing that job as a project for his sports management diploma. I don’t think he’s ever even got the wide count right, I certainly wouldn’t be placing much stock in his possessions-won-in-middle-third-when-kickouts-are-lost percentage … Shite, who am I supposed to thank now?)

To the volunteers of this club I say … thank you! (yeah fair enough, but that didn’t get much of a cheer. Shit, people are starting to chat to each one another, they’re bored! What now? … Ah yeah …)

And a big thank you to ye the supporters – the best in the county, no, the best in the land! (yeah, that’s right, you keep cheering and waving that flag there son. Where were you for the league matches? Where were you for the group games? And you, ya hoor, you weren’t even at the semi-final and the ground is a short puck out from your house)

None of this success would be possible without the three (biggest mouthpieces within 20 square miles) wise men. Cyril (you violent maniac), John (couldn’t even get your game for the Intermediates in your day and I’m supposed to listen to you when you’re bawling me out from the sideline?) and of course, the main man himself, our bainsiteoir, the legendary (in his own mind) Seamie Mac. Some people say your methods are unconventional (balls to sports science, eh, get out there and do 15 laps in the dark), but you kept us on our toes, we never knew what to expect (laps and the fact that all three of your sons would be starting in every game) and you have savage passion (for the sound of your own voice). This one is for you (if you try and take credit for this you’re class of a chancer – if Muldowney still had the cash he had in the boom then it definitely wouldn’t be you counting those mileage cheques you dinosaur)

… (Who else am I meant to thank? Tick-tock-tick-tock. Bollox.)

To anybody I’ve forgotten, I say, thank you …. You know who you are (that is going to haunt me for the rest of my days. I’ve just made at least four lifetime enemies).

Last of all, but certainly not least, I’d like to say to our gallant (hated) opponents, ye lads have set the standards around here and we look up to ye (we loathe and are extremely jealous of ye). We’ve had some mighty battles over the years (if the stuff that happened on the field happened on the street most of us would be in jail), we’ve often come out the wrong side but thankfully we got over the line today (ye’re not as good as ye think and we’ve proved it now, what goes around comes around my friends). I know ye will be back (I’m not psychic and don’t know anything about the future, but if we have anything to do with it you won’t be back).

Let’s have three cheers please (that’s right Foley, I’m looking at you ya tall glass of water. I bet highlights to match your yellow boots doesn’t seem like such a clever idea now.)

Hip-hip (up yours)

Hip-hip (up yours)

Hip-hip (up yours)

Right, let’s go have a drink (In four hours I won’t remember my own name. Good thinking to take Tuesday off as well, there’s no substitute for experience. Speaking of experience, maybe it’s time I bowed out. On a high! Get my weeknights and weekends and two-week August holidays back… Feck it, I’ll give it another year.)