'Say what you see' TV commentary has to end
Published 01/07/2015 | 02:30
Good live radio commentary is a soundscape. Undulations, sketched out vocally as events unfold, now made real in the mind's eye of the listener.
Television is different but for all the new technology GAA matches still largely take place off screen. Who is marking who, how have the teams lined out, how many sweepers are just some questions being asked and answered by both teams as the ref throws the ball in.
On radio, it's a breathless time as the best analysts explain what brainpower the managers are unveiling. Jamesie O'Connor is a master at it in hurling. His excitement at finally seeing the masterplan unveiled is infectious. It's the foundation text of the game. It is knowledge, shared and imparted and explained.
Last Sunday on RTé for the Kildare-Dublin game, we got none of this. Here's Dublin, they're good. Here's Kildare, well they're not so good, they are hard-working though and look they've kicked a point so the entire teams' confidence is back. Jack McCaffrey is fast, here he is, running there, that's good to watch, isn't it?
There was no explanation of how you might, if you were a good team, attempt to play against the Dubs. No sense of why the Dubs were kick-passing a lot in the first 15 minutes. No idea of what Kildare were failing to do. Perhaps the commentators didn't care or maybe it was a mystery to them. Either way, it wasn't and won't be good enough.