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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 16 May 2021

13 lessons every GAA manager can learn from Don Draper

Shut the door, have a seat. These nuggets of wisdom may contain spoilers if you haven’t watched six seasons of Mad Men.

EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE 1960s square is back on our screens tonight as the final season of Mad Men.

Sure, the guy’s an emotional cripple and a selfish, serial philanderer, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t get the job done. Here’s a few things that each and every GAA manager in the land could learn from Don Draper.

Treat questions you don’t like with nothing short of contempt

Stare into the distance with eyes of chipped granite as if the query is so dumb, you can’t deign it with an answer.


Be willing to sacrifice everything, even your family

Would Don Draper drop his son from the half forward line? You bet your Lucky Strikes he would.

Especially if it somehow inspired the rest of the players believe they could ride the Carousel all the way to Croke Park.

carousel Source: AMC/Mad Men

You know how to keep manners on that rowdy u14 girls team

woman talk Source: AMC/Mad Men

And how to decide who should be your successor in that role after you take over the Junior Bs

Sorry, Roger. There were other more suitable candidates.


No need to give too many details about your own championship heyday*

Yeah, best to let the legend grow by keeping the details at a premium.

Source: Eliyahu Oren/YouTube

There’s nothing that can’t talked out over a quick drink

Davy Fitz has his Mi Wadi, Don has his Old Fashioned. Same difference.

drink Source: AMC/Mad Men

Choose the right moment to boost confidence by promoting a promising youngster to the Junior B subs bench

promotion Source: AMC/Mad Men

Now they’re forever indebted to you. So don’t be afraid to tell them when to grow a pair

wah Source: FYEAHMM

Discipline is key

Especially if you’ve dropped your car keys somewhere round the 45 on a wet Wednesday night in January.

hands n knees Source: AMC/Mad Men

But so is empathy (even if it’s not 100% genuine)

EMO Source: AMC/Mad Men

Get that balance right and you’ll be an inspirational leader to all

ken dance Source: AMC/Mad Men

There’s no need to get bogged down in tactics

tactics Source: AMC/Mad Men

And remember, marrying your (club) secretary only SOUNDS like a good idea

There’s all kinds of trouble down the road.


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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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