How powerful is tradition?
All the talk after Killkenny won the 2015 All-Ireland, was about the speech Jackie Tyrrell gave at half time to rally the team. And going by the reaction of the Killkenny players, it was one hell of a motivator for them.
But as Jackie himself said, the players still had to go back out and perform on the pitch?
But what if Jackie had given the same speech in the Galway dressing room, what sort of reaction would he have garnered from the tribesmen. Would they have understood what he was talking about? Of course they would have known what he was talking about, but would they understand.
How were Killkenny the Hungrier team when it mattered? How did their players raise their game when they were being completely over run in the first half?
Some will say it was Jackie's speech, but the ones who know, will understand that it was much more than this. The tradition that has been built up over decades of success was the ultimate deciding factor. The tradition that forces boys to become men, and men to become giants when the question is asked. The tradition must be upheld, not to do so would be shameful. So when you add up the number of reasons to push on, there are 35 for starters. No other team and players plays with the pressure of such a tradition, and in the end no other team or players are inspired by such a tradition.