Jackie Tyrrell: Kilkenny to edge Sheedy v Cody Part III
The two managers will send their sides out with a simple message: Do your job
Kilkenny manager Brian Cody shakes hands with his Tipperary counterpart Liam Sheedy after the Allianz Hurling League game at Semple Stadium back in February. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho
Bill Belichick and Brian Cody have a lot in common. Not just in terms of timescale, although it is kind of mad that Cody is finishing his 21st season in charge of Kilkenny a few weeks before Belichick starts his 20th with the New England Patriots. But all the other stuff too – the success, the consistency, the constant team-building, the ability to adapt to the way their sports have evolved over time.
Belichick is setting out on a season where he will be looking for a seventh Super Bowl ring. Cody walks out in Croke Park on Sunday on the cusp of a 12th All-Ireland. These are numbers that won’t be matched in either sport for generations. When somebody sits down in 2099 to draw up each sport’s list of iconic figures from the 21st century, both men are a dead cert to be on it. It’s amazing to be able to say that with 80 years still to go.