By Noel Dundon
Last weeks Tipperary Star story entitled ‘Tipp in the dock’ went viral after being published on Wednesday morning last with an overwhelming reaction expressed on the sentiment, tone and tenor of the article.
Well in excess of 150 phone calls, emails, tweets and letters have endorsed the comments in relation to some members of the Tipperary senior hurling team and our website was viewed on 10,000 occasions over three days as the article reached the four corners of the globe.
The hard hitting piece, together with match report and reaction, completed our coverage of Tipperary’s defeat at the hands of Limerick in the Munster semi-final in Semple Stadium. But, it was the back page article which really set the talk agenda for the rest of the week and into the weekend, with many of the national newspapers picking up on the themes visited.
In all, we have encountered just three negative reactions to the piece and the general view from the Tipperary public was that, what was said, needed to be said. The comments go along the lines of : ‘It’s about time somebody wrote about what’s going on’.
‘Fair play to The Tipperary Star for highlighting a problem.It can’t have been easy.’
The public reaction has been very forceful and the main reason for it, is that people believe that there is much more in the team than we are seeing. But, we will not get to see the necessary qualities until off-field disciplinary matters are sorted out and the focus returns again to hurling.
The important thing to point here again is that not all of the Tipperary senior hurling squad members are guilty. Those who were, and have been for some time, have let their colleagues down as well as the management team and their county.
People have expressed the view that players should be entitled to have a social life and a few drinks after a game. No major problem there at all. However, when the few drinks extends into Monday and Tuesday, it is a different story entirely - the hard hitting and critical one you read in last weeks issue.
We have received so many letters on this topic that we decided to publish a selection in an additional Letters to the Editor page (page 2) just to give a flavour of the commentary.
Enough about all that now though. It is time to move on and start focusing on what matters next for this Tipperary team - the qualifiers.
Without doubt, The Premier County can still have a major say in the 2014 championship. And, one would hope that the sharp criticisms directed towards all and sundry will help to galavanise the squad and management, and give them an extra incentive to answer the critics. If that is the case, then we will have done the county some service.
There is still plenty of time to turn this thing around and get the heads right for the battles which are to come - the process has commenced already.
Readying mind and body for championship requires an honesty which comes from deep within, a sense of purpose and an insatiable desire to succeed. Whatever must be done has to be done to restore pride to the blue and gold jersey. Simple as that.
Oh, and remember, we criticise because we care.