'If I had to choose between Ireland winning the World Cup and my county winning a provincial title, I'd choose the latter any time'
So begins Darragh McManus's accessible, witty, original and observant look at the GAA. We've had books written by pundits and experts, from players, managers and commentators. Now, for possibly the first time, we have a Gaelic games book written by a card-carrying, grass-roots fan of anything and everything GAA.
In this humorous, deprecating, Nick Hornby-esque account, McManus takes a look at the GAA; the history, the haircuts, the personalities and the defining moments, from Offaly's Seamus Darby who buried the ball in the Kerry net in the last 60 seconds of the 1982 All-Ireland, to the abolition of Rule 42. He looks at how it's structured and organized, and what makes the Gaelic Athletic Association one of the most successful and vibrant sports bodies in the world. In short, snappy, easily digestible sections, McManus waxes lyrical on how socially, culturally, historically, even philosophically, the GAA is the soul of the Irish nation; and how Gaelic games have yet to take their rightful place on the silver screen - We must look forward to that glorious moment when an Irish director, on scooping the Academy Award for Best Film, leaps on stage, hits Billy Crystal a clatter, grabs the mike and roars, 'A chairde gael! Ta an athas orm an Oscar seo a glacadh ar son an scannan - Caman Everybody: the Secret Hurling Life of Buddy Holly'
This quirky, intelligent labour of love will be bought by GAA fans and players... but will be read by everyone.