Thursday, May 03, 2007

RTE unveils its championship coverage

The RTE crowd were out in the bright May sunshine at Croker yesterday for the formal launch of their 2007 championship coverage. The action begins on Sunday week with the Leinster football clash between Longford and Westmeath, followed later in the afternoon by the Ulster football opener between Cavan and Down. Then it’s our turn the following Sunday. Yikes!

This year, over 50 championship matches will be broadcast live by RTE with highlights of all the others shown too. For the first time, live video streaming of the games will be shown on but, as this will only be accessible within the country, I doubt many people will use it for the simple reason that it hardly competes with the telly. It would be great if this were made available to punters all over the world but the usually thorny issues relating to content rights covering multiple countries have presumably scuppered any such plans. (Don't Setanta hold the rights to the live matches abroad?)

On the football side, it looks as if the same crew are back again fronting the action. Smirking Michael Lyster will do the honours for the live matches, aided and abetted by the pair described last year by the Spailpin as the Podge and Rodge of Gaelic football analysis, Messrs Brolly and O’Rourke. Pett Spillane will once again continue his Gary Lineker role of presenting the Sunday night highlights show. I like old Pett, I have to admit. (You'd have to, with such memorable lines as "I call a tug a tug" and "jiyn us afther the break"). He used to be a complete and utter tool as an analyst but his highly opinionated style works well as a presenter, as he’s always able to provoke the panellists into saying something that’s worth listening to. He could, however, do with a few livelier guys on the panel: for example, has anyone checked Anthony Tohill's pulse recently?

In terms of Mayo’s matches, the position is clear – if we proceed via the front door, all our matches will be shown live. If we are forced to take the scenic route, they might be shown but it depends on who we get drawn against. We should still aim to take the direct route, even if it means having to put up with the considered opinions of that obnoxious eejit Brolly. O’Rourke I don’t mind, especially since he said those famous words in the aftermath of our victory over the Dubs last year. Play it again Colm: “if I live to be a hundred, I don’t think I’ll ever see a game as good as this one”. Ahhhh! More of the same this year, only this time in September with Kerry finally put to the sword.

Finally, with my thanks Tom’s Sporting Almanac, here’s a selection, from the Irish Slang Top Ten, of some appropriate jollities with which to impress your new lady friend when you take her along to see some of the live action over the course of the coming season. Up the yard Harry and bull that cow!

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