Hideous Horner should put down the shovel

I’ve been lucky to have legendary former Meath football manager Sean Boylan central to my life for as long as there’s been a pulse here. There’s hardly a superlative in the English language which hasn’t been used in praise of the man.

Of the numerous articles, interviews, television programmes and books produced about this mosy special of people and his achievements, my favourite is probably one of the simplest.

Penned by Roy Curtis in and around the time of the 1996 All Ireland Final, the piece was simply headlined “Why can’t everyone in sport be more like Sean? “

For you see, in victory or defeat, good times or a bad and, more pointedly, away from sport altogether, Sean never changes. The above applies even more so away from sport.

The Sean people have seen on television or heard on radio over the years is very much the same in the flesh. Patient, gracious, humble, helpful and above all else, inspiring.

Only once have I ever heard my namesake, neighbour and minder be anything other than the above. That being the occasion when Graham Geraghty was brutally taken out by the Australians in the International Rules Series.

Even at that, the furthest Sean went was to label the goings on “Bullshit”. Mind you, he probably went and said 15 Novenas immediately afterwards!

The thing is, there were countless times during his long and remarkable stewardship of Meath football that he could have, and should have, called bullshit on the way his teams were cheated and mistreated by inept or just plain biased referees, the Brains Trust of the GAA and scurilous elements of the national press.

But he didn’t. Instead, even that day against Australia, maintaining his grace, dignity and humility whilst at the same time clearly conveying his deep concern for his injured player. Now if only I could get a phone number for Christian Horner and advise him to get lessons in decency from my neighbour!

You get the impression that if the Red Bull Racing top dog was a chocolate bar he’d eat himself. What is absolutely certain, though, is that the diminutive upstart is only the media darling he is because of who he’s married to.

Moaner: Christian Horner

Being a media darling, though, wouldn’t account for him having a neck on him like a jockey’s crown jewels. If you recall, it was his badgering of the now former Race Director in F1, Michael Massi, which led to the race rules on the final lap of the final race of the season being changed to basically hand Max Verstappen his first World Championship title on a platter.

Now, you’d think that somebody who had been the catalyst for such nefarious activity would be keen to keep their head down and their powder dry. But oh no, not the petulant, pint-sized pest.

As if adding breaking the salary cap to the list of Red Bull’s exhaustive rule infractions wasn’t bad enough, his grotesque attitude towards the media after the most recent race again underlines how unseemly Horner’s antics came across as the most recognisable face in the sport.

In case you didn’t know, during post-race interviews, Sky Sports’ Ted Kravitz made reference to Lewis Hamilton being “Robbed” of an eighth World Championship title last year.

Sky’s Pit Lane reporter Ted Kravitz

Which anybody outside of those with vested interests in Red Bull would readily agree with. But no, the Bulls started pawing the ground. By way of Verstappen being downright ignorant to Kravitz and, thereafter, Horner declaring his team would not be co-operating with the broadcaster.

Apart from ignorant arrogance of Horner’s latest hissy fit, the sense is that he and his team will need the media long before they need him. A bit like his wife, a lot of his crew’s success is down to a lack of meaningful competition.

He should beware, mind you, currently snoozing giants like Mercedes and Ferrari won’t be hybernating for much longer.

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