Larry Ryan takes a look into his crystal ball...
“This is shameful, Darragh. Muck. Bankrupt. Embarrassing. The game is sick. It’s dying around the world. There are no great players out there.”
“But how can you say that, Eamon? Surely these guys have been custom designed to be as good as they can possibly be.”
“Nooooo. I’m thinking of the great players; the Alan Cadogans — nine All-Ireland medals — Gina Akpe-Moses, Aidan O’Brien, Brian Cody, this guy beside me, real people. This is the bar. Not this rubbish.”
“Wait a second, Eamon…”
“Let me finish, Darragh. This is false. It’s a sham. You can build a footballer in the lab, but you can’t put it in here. You can’t give the guy a heart.”
“Ok Eamon, but it’s nearly 35 years now since Dr Shoukhrat Mitalipov first edited a human embryo. July 2017, I think it was. We know this is the first Champions League final where all the players are edited, have all come through academy laboratories. They are calling it the Super Human Final. This is as good as it gets.
“It doesn’t always work out like that, Darragh. I remember when I was at Millwall, we’d been to this genealogist in pre-season, who’d traced all our family trees back to royalty. A lot of the lads felt on top of the world. Then we played Derby and they’d all been to the same guy, same results. But that game never got going.”
“That’s interesting, Richie. In case you’ve joined us from another dimension, it’s 0-0 at the break in Paris. Though Real Madrid have already used one of their challenges to get a Max SuperUltra HHHD review. Paulinho just offside by a millionth of a millimetre. So that could prove to be a factor later on. What did you make of that first half, Liam?”
“Well to come back to Eamon’s point on the DNA design, I don’t think it’s right to say you can’t give a lad a heart. We know they can do that, Darragh. These guys have the warrior gene, whatever you want to call it. I just think they’ve cancelled each other out.”
Dunphy: “Hold on a minute, Liam. It’s guys like you I’m thinking about. The little guy. Not these giants. These mutants.
“Ok, they’ve got an immaculate touch and impeccable temperaments. But where’s the guile? These guys have never had to solve a problem, Darragh. It’s been handed to them in a test tube.”
“Looking at the wider issue Eamon, obviously there’s controversy, many feel this is getting out of control. The rise of private armies. The world on the verge of chaos. There’s even talk rugby could start up again, now they’ve developed people durable enough.
“But should football be setting an example? Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants a ban. Like tennis has done. Like snooker did for example, after the ten 147s final. Cycling even, though your pal Paul Kimmage isn’t so sure about that.”
“Listen Darragh. Liam won’t say it about Wenger. But I’ll say it. I’ve a lot of respect for the guy. I think what he’s done at Arsenal is remarkable. And some of the criticism has been disgusting. This is what, the 35th season in a row he’s got them back into the Europa League. He was ahead of his time. The Vieiras, the Henrys, the Petits. Those guys were super human. But Wenger is yesterday’s man. You can’t stand in the way of progress.”
Darragh: “Have we fallen too far behind the curve? The world class laboratory those guys in Bray promised still isn’t open. The League of Ireland is still developing problem children. The genomes are there but do we have the structures, Richie?”
“No chance, Darragh. Look at the work the GAA are doing. Frank Murphy in Cork. Twenty years without an All-Ireland since the 15 in a row. And they’re finally moving with the times. They want to catch Cody again. The rebuilding of Páirc Uí Chaoimh postponed, all the funding pumped into genetic modification until they’ve nailed Corkness.
“If these guys take Roy Keane into captivity first, it’s over for Irish football.
“I remember when I was at Millwall, we had a sperm donation session once and the gaffer…
“Sorry to cut across you Richie, but we’re almost ready to go back to George Hamilton. A final word on Ireland from you Eamon. Wes Hoolahan is coming under growing pressure since the defeat by Norway. Though he seems to have the backing of John Delaney. We know your views, but is there any way he can turn things round?”
“Listen, Darragh. Hoolahan is a spoofer. A bengal lancer. Would you let this guy drive the hoverbus to Cork?
“This kid O’Leary at Qatar Dynamo has been developed in the top laboratory in the world and he can’t get in the side.
“I know I haven’t always agreed with it, maybe as recently as five minutes ago, but you’ve got to trust the science.
“I couldn’t manage the rest of this side to the World Cup. And I’ve managed to stay alive for 106 years, baby.”
Hurt Maria rises above the haters
Quite a moving account of her rise above adversity by Maria Sharapova on The Players Tribune website, the self-styled “voice of the game”.
Sharapova isn’t impressed with her fellow players’ reliance on what she calls the ‘Validation Machine’.
“Literally before they’ve even changed their clothes or taken a shower — grab their phone, log on to Twitter, and then search through their mentions.”
Maria won’t be popping up in those mentions. She’s determined to take the high road and won’t be responding to those peers who think it’s a disgrace she’s back on court so soon after her doping ban.
“I’ve always wanted to respond by showing grace,” Sharapova said in the teaser for her upcoming book, which will doubtless spill her full horror at the hands of the haters.
We learn a lot about Sharapova’s hurt feelings in the 4,000 word piece, though restrictions on space seem to have denied her the scope to let us know how she is coping without the mildronate for the variety of ailments she suffers.
Heroes & Villains
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
Duignan and Davy:
Ah sure, what harm? Perhaps this is only the start of the spats and a follow-up to Hurling: The Revolution Years will soon be on the way? Hurling: The Controvassy Years.
Curb Your Enthusiasm:
Can’t curb mine for the prospect of the long-awaited Season 9, particularly the promise of Larry facing justice on Judge Judy.
HELL IN A HANDCART
Until such time as one of these protracted sagas concludes with anything other than a lucrative contract extension, is it time for a blanket blackout on transfer stories concerning the top top top tops?
Proudly going viral and working busily to erode every scrap of international credibility the League of Ireland has hard won in recent seasons.
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