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Tuesday
Jul072015

Rory McIlroy On Playing Football In 2014: "Probably not a good idea to play anymore"

Several stories noted Rory McIlroy's comments after spraining his ankle during a "kickabout" in late 2013.

Here's the full transcript from the March, 2014 WGC Cadillac Championship:

Q.  When you went over in that game of associated football, was it a worry?

RORY McILROY:  No, it wasn't a worry.  It was a worry, I went over on it, and I went to net and I shouldn't have went to net either; I was standing up about half an hour and it really hurt.  It was fine.  I stayed off it for a week and it was okay.

Q.  Did you ban yourself from playing now?

RORY McILROY:  Yeah, sort of‑‑ probably not a good idea to play anymore (smiling).

McIlroy's silly ways earned him a free pass from Fleet Street.

Kevin Garside for The Independent:

McIlroy was engaged in nothing more than downtime, the kind that prevents him going mad as a result of the demands associated with the goldfish bowl in which he is required to spend his working life.

He was unlucky, that’s all. Clearly, if he hadn’t played, he wouldn’t be injured. But take that argument to its logical conclusion and he would never leave his house.

Two weeks before The Open at St. Andrews with his game in top form? I'm fine with house arrest.

Ewan Murray for The Guardian:

Would Jack Nicklaus, or Woods, have stopped playing other sports? The answer is of course no. Woods, his former coach Hank Haney revealed in a detailed account of the 14-times major winner’s character, would be more prone to dangerous expeditions with navy seals.

Nicklaus’s downtime was more quietly spent. He, though, lived in an era and environment far detached from the global superstar of 2015 where every move is closely monitored. In an endearing attempt to defy such interest, McIlroy makes it his business to try to lead as normal a life as possible. It is what makes him such enjoyable company.

He attended a Neil Diamond concert in Belfast last week with friends he has retained since childhood. Rather than being criticised for the supposed recklessness of his Saturday pursuits, McIlroy should be credited with continuing to behave like every other 26-year-old would like to.

No 26-year-old I know would be caught dead at a Neil Diamond concert. But I'm sure the Sweet Caroline singalong was fun.

James Corrigan of The Telegraph sounded the least enthused about McIlroy's injury.

Predictably, question marks flashed across the internet as to why he was playing football so soon before a major. It is not the first time McIlroy has injured himself in a kickabout. In December 2013, he sprained his ankle, but was only sidelined for a week. But when asked soon after whether he would ban himself from playing he replied: “Yeah, sort of - probably not a good idea to play anymore.”

However, McIlroy has always expressed his wish “to live as normal a life as possible” and his down-to-earth attitude is regarded as one of his charms. Alas, it seems his desire to stay real will come at a huge cost.

Philip Reid offered a rundown of other golfer freak injuries.

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Reader Comments (14)

'Moronic' ways?

C'mon, Geoff, that's not nice. Dumb, maybe.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut
"Moronic"??? please expound.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
Neither moronic or dumb. Youthful recklessness maybe and he is paying a high price for it. My father defined success as being able to get up in the morning and go to bed at night and do whatever you want in between. That's all Rory was doing. Too often in his young life, he has to do things that he might prefer not to be doing. It's the price he has to pay for his millions. He can now spend as much of those millions as necessary getting his injuries fixed.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
Rory McIlroy is a mindless bufoon!! - Not my opinion but I thought it might make a few people on here happy! Most of us over here think it was a pretty daft thing to do but we like him so we'll let him off.We like the fact he still has his old friends and does normal stuff. His music taste has to be questioned though. Now if he does it again he is a fool.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered Commenterchico
Went to a Neil Diamond show when I was about 26. Easily one the best concert I've been to. The man can entertain !
07.7.2015 | Unregistered Commenterdoug m
Usually like what you have to say but to call what he did "moronic" is...well, moronic.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBen Jones
What would the reaction be had he been dutifully walking TOC with Jordan Spieth and tripped over the tee marker...
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBDF
And here I thought that all injuries in soccer were faked...
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
That's a pretty poor list of 'Freak Injuries to Tour Players'...

My all-time favorite was Jack Nicklaus in 1972. He was two strokes away, from having a chance at the most historic grand slam in history derailed by a manicure. Here's the short version of the story.

As we are now recalling in this 2015 Year Of Jordan Speith, the last guy prior to Tiger Woods to have won the Masters and U.S. Open together was Jack, in 1972. He won one of the greatest Masters tournaments in history (see the wonderful book "Tour '72"), and then he won the '72 Open at Pebble Beach with that heroic 1-iron on 17. He went to Muirfield and lost the British Open when Lee Trevino holed out a chip shot on the 71st hole to finish at 278 to Jack's 279.

Had Jack won at Muirfield, he'd have gone to Oakland Hills outside of Detroit with a chance for the Grand Slam in the 1972 PGA Championship (won by Gary Player with yet another heroic shot, his 9-iron over a willow and a pond to within feet of the flag on the 16th hole). But as it turns out, Jack's play was not up to his standards that week. Why? On a whim, he had decided a week or so earlier to get a manicure and a haircut when he returned home from Scotland. The only manicure Jack ever got. And as a result of the manicure, he got a bad infection in one of his fingernails that required surgery and the pain (and a bandage) lingered into the playing of the PGA. He finished, fittingly, 13th.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
I understand that RM's parents and close family are big Neil Diamond fans, Geoff...next time you see Gerry, ask him how the concert was.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterCentre Cut
Geoff - +1 on the Sweet Caroline shot. That was sweet.
07.7.2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
Neil Diamond usually gets the ladies all lathered up after a show...same with Tom Jones. Woulda been a fun night i'd think.
07.8.2015 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
"Q. Did you ban yourself from playing now?

RORY McILROY: Yeah, sort of‑‑ probably not a good idea to play anymore (smiling)."

Wait, so which is it? He going to shelve "footy" or not?
07.8.2015 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
He's clearly too into 'the craic' than some would wish. I can't say 'good on him' because I will miss watching the Number One player in the world, but at the same time, I get that a guy with eight or maybe nine figures in the bank can do exactly what he likes. Besides, I can take McIlroy's version of being childish as opposed to Bubba's.

Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson...whole load of players who have injured themselves to the point of missing tournaments.

Timing is everything.
07.8.2015 | Unregistered CommenterCenter Cut

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