Colm Cooper may be one of the greatest forwards ever to play the game – but he wasn’t above a little bit of cynical play when the situation demanded.
The black card was brought in to Gaelic football in order to cut down on the amount of cynicism and to protect its most skilful players, footballers like the Gooch.
Speaking on the latest episode of the RTÉ GAA Podcast though, Cooper says that there will always be a cynical aspect to the game due to teams’ will-to-win.
"A prime example of it is when a goalkeeper goes for a short kick-out, more often than not that corner-back is going to be fouled because it allows his team to get back to their structure," explained the Kerry legend.
"Remember, managers are spending hours and hours on video analysis, they’re looking for every inch where they can slow things down – it goes on all the time in football.
"I think the black card is good. Is it always used in the right way, I’m not so sure. But it does give players something to think about. If I pull a guy down, I’m going to the sideline so for me it has been a positive."
Players who engage in a number of cynical fouls, including body checking off the ball and the pull-down, can be black-carded by the referee. This means they have to leave the game and be replaced by a substitute should their team have replacements left.
It’s likely this will be tweaked next year via a GAA Special Congress in late 2019, moving to a ten-minute sin-bin which would leave sides with black-carded players a man down.
Cooper says managers don’t have to coach cynical fouling because players know themselves when it has to be done and he admits to encouraging it from time-to-time.
"By in large players know themselves," he said. "I’ve been in teams and I would have said ‘well done, that was a foul worth taking with two minutes to go and four points up to stop a goal going in’.
"Of course I have and there’s no point in my lying about that. The punishment of a card for doing that, you’re going to do that every day."
Cooper hasn’t yet lined out for his club Dr Crokes this year, though he hasn’t given any indication so far whether or not he has played his last game of competitive football.