The Dublin defender has highlighted the problem of simulation after he was sent to the line and replaced in the drawn All-Ireland final when he was adjudged to have deliberately body-collided with Cillian O’Connor.
“I think there is an element coming into the game now of guys feigning maybe, putting guys off or feigning injury and stuff.
“Nobody wants that in the game. It’s definitely something we wouldn’t want to buy into and I wouldn’t buy into myself.
“I’d hate to put a guy off by pretending to go down or something like that. I wouldn’t do it, but I guess that [black card] opens up that it can be done. Maybe some teams are willing to do that, as well. I don’t think anybody wants that.”
McCarthy was upset with O’Connor’s behaviour at the time and at the interval. His handshake with the Mayo captain prior to the All- Ireland replay was also tense.
“I suppose in the heat of the moment, I was thick,” he admitted. “I might have felt he went down a bit easier than he should. I don’t know how many times in a game where guys crash into each other like that. It’s just part of the game. You get on with it. It wasn’t Cillian that gave me the black card, in fairness. We did clash fairly hard and one of us would have gone down. I think it was the linesman that called it in the end.”
McCarthy agrees the principle behind the black card is solid, but questions how it has been applied by referees.
“The idea of the black card is right, to try and stop that cynical fouling and stuff, but it’s the way it’s being implemented; it’s just very inconsistent. One moment you’re put off for something that’s barely a free and the next moment some guys are getting away with cynical fouls.”
A sin bin would at least make the punishment for any questionable cynical foul temporary, says McCarthy. “I personally think there should be a better way of dealing with it. I think a sin bin might be a good way of doing it. Gone down to 14 men for 10 minutes in a big game, that’s a pretty big punishment for a team… you’re on the ropes then, really. You suck it up, it’s 10 minutes. At least the biggest day of your life is not over. I’d look at it that way; you are training 10 months of the year for it and it’s done after 20 minutes.”
A TV match official would also be beneficial, said the Ballymun Kickhams man.
“Thirty seconds it takes to go to a TV match official, that’s another option as well. Especially for decisions that are not clear-cut. You see the rugby is very quick, they are on the ear-piece and get the call very quick, so I think that’s definitely another way to go, but they [the GAA] seem to be kind of slow to go that way.”
McCarthy doesn’t want to experience any time soon what he felt when black-carded.
“Just distraught. What happened before [injuries], and then this happens now, you’re kind of going ‘I’m not going to get a break this year.’ I thought it was very harsh. I thought it was a very soft black card. I was just angry, initially. Of all things, an All-Ireland final and you’re preparing yourself for it, you don’t expect that to happen.”
McCarthy said he won’t lack motivation next year.
“I want more. You get a taste for it. Once you get a break after a couple of weeks, you start thinking about it and you miss it, you miss going back training and the competition.”
Dublin GAA sponsor AIG Insurance held a reception at its offices yesterday to mark the Dublin football team’s All-Ireland success. The Sam Maguire made an appearance, along with Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan, James McCarthy, Colm Basquel, Bernard Brogan, Paul Flynn, David Byrne, and Michael Fitzsimons.