The Cadigan reference reports that rugby league identity Terry Fearnley first introduced Gibson to the sayings and attitudes of Vince Lombardi via a 1971 sales and motivational film called The Second Effort which contained a Lombardi segment. Gibson's charges at St George had at that stage of the 1971 season won only four of their first eight games. After embracing the film and its messages and showing it to the entire St George playing roster, all three Dragons sides were unbeaten for the next seven weeks; lost just two of the remaining 14 matches; and all three grades of the club made it to their respective Grand finals that year.
By the early 1900s James was increasingly inclined to socialism and the Irish language (he spoke and wrote Irish) and by 1912 was a dedicated Irish Republican. He was a close friend of the 1916 leader Thomas MacDonagh , who was then editor of "The Irish Review" and deputy headmaster in St Enda's , the radical bilingual school run by PH Pearse and would be manager of the Irish Theatre, and spent much time with MacDonagh in 1911. His growing nationalism brought a schism with his adopted family, but probably won him his job as registrar in the National Gallery of Ireland, where he worked between 1915 and 1925, having previously had an ill-paid job with the Mecredy solicitors' firm.