'The subs were practically snorting': Tomás Ó Sé on the time he was the first victim of the sin bin

The Kerry legend also pointed out a major flaw with the black card that could cause problems

BY Sinéad Farrell 11:01 Saturday 4 June 2016, 11:01 4 Jun 2016

INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The black card has been an operable form of punishment in the GAA for almost two seasons and never has a ruling been greeted with such derision. 

That's not to say that rejection is on a wholesale level, but a large proportion of analysis after games does seem to be consumed by the black card moments of the match.

One person who has repeatedly condemned the introduction of the black card is Tomás Ó Sé. And based on an anecdote he included in his Irish Independent column today, it appears as though Ó Sé's disdain for this ruling, dates back to the time of its predecessor - the sin bin.

Apparently, Ó Sé was the first player adjudged to have committed an offence worthy of a spell in the sin bin, which explains a lot about why he holds such a critical view of it.

After being slapped with the sin bin penalty, Ó Sé was naturally bullish on route to the dugout. But his mood quickly changed to something more light hearted as soon as he piled in with the other substitutes. 

"The black card reminds me a lot of the sin-bin. When it was brought in for the second time in 2009, I was the first Kerry player to fall victim to it. We were playing under lights in Tralee and I remember walking off the field past Jack O'Connor with a face of thunder, but I was only putting on act. I just thought the whole thing was a farce."

"Once inside the dugout, the subs were practically snorting, trying to hold the laughter in. And what could I do but join them? I was full sure that, soon enough, the sin bin would be binned for ever more which, of course, it was."

"But the black card is still with us and I hate the thing. One phrase missing from the rule-book is 'common sense' and more's the pity. The black card highlights why."

Ó Sé also points out a potentially lethal flaw in the black card that could lead to an increase in the number of players who will dive after a tackle, in order to force the situation into black card territory.

He writes:

"I would also make the point that black cards only seem to apply when the recipient of a bad tackle goes to ground. If he stays on his feet? No black card. If ever there was an open invitation for people to start diving then here it is. Now, in fairness, I don't think diving is really in the GAA ethos, but let's not issue an open invitation."


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