Gatland haters so ill-informed
I had almost given up in finding anything positive in your paper about the Lions' magnificent win, until I got to Eamonn Sweeney's level-headed and informative article.
As a Welshman living in Dublin, I have had to bat away the smart remarks all week about Gatland and, sadly, about Jonathan Davies too. I would never profess to know better than those individuals who have been credited with the job of creating a winning Test team, but I've never come across so many ill-informed individuals who have gone from being Lions' supporters to Gatland haters in a week. Their bias against Davies, who was magnificent, stems from an unhealthy obsession with Brian O'Driscoll.
No question he is possibly the best player to have graced a rugby field and worthy of all the accolades he has received, but the coach is there to make those calls – not us. My sympathy lies with those fools who were shouting for Australia (not the Australians of course) on the back of this decision even though there were three other Irishmen in the team. Bad luck that your team lost.
Just one more point. Neil Francis maintains the Lions will lose the Test series against NZ in four years' time. Last week, he assured us the Lions would lose the third Test. No offence Mr Francis, but I might hedge my bets.
COMMON SENSE NOT SO COMMON
Whilst I disagree with your call on Drico's selection, I do so appreciate your common sense reflection on Gatland's decision. Excellent article. Would so many more pundits and ex-Lions read and take note. Keep up the good work and especially the good sense.
SWEENEY VIEWS WAY OFF TARGET
EAMONN Sweeney's claim that the Lions were able to play positive rugby without Brian O'Driscoll says more about him that it does about O'Driscoll.
The Lions won the third Test because for the first time in the series Warren Gatland picked the right team, a team capable of winning ball and making it count.
O'Driscoll, in his defence, never had that luxury. As for that Irish whingeing, so much for people being entitled to their own opinions.
KIELY'S PASSION SHINES THROUGH
I would like to concur with the sentiments of your From the Stands team last Sunday, July 7, when they accurately described how RTE Radio commentator, Martin Kiely portrayed the Kilkenny v Dublin replay from Portlaoise.
I know that your paper has rightly been critical of RTE coverage on a number of occasions, but the national broadcaster is to be congratulated for nurturing a talent such as Mr Kiely.
I felt like I was in the stadium as Kiely's passion and undoubted knowledge of the game came thundering through my wireless.
With every puck of the sliotar, his passion was becoming more evident but, more importantly, the pace and quality of this broadcast has set Kiely apart, and it would appear a new voice of Gaelic games has been found. Former Cork hurler Tomás Mulcahy dovetailed perfectly with him as they delivered this epic encounter.
I would dearly love to hear more broadcasts of this quality and I thank Mr Kiely for transporting me to the magic of O'Moore Park that evening.
John G Power
ARE THE BEST
I recently watched part of the 1977 All-Ireland football final between Armagh and Dublin on TG4. I'm from a hurling county originally but the nostalgia brought on by the activities and pictures I saw were powerful. When was the last time you saw the ball being kicked back to the players by the Red Cross guy strolling down the sideline, or the magic sponge for injuries or photographers on the endline with their box cameras?
The sponsorship of the day was advertisement hoardings around the pitch and upper stands. This included banks, AIB and Banc na héireann, car manufacturers, Ford and Chrysler, fuel retailers, Texaco and Esso, sweet manufacturers, Tayto and Silvermints, insurance companies, PMPA and New Ireland, drinks companies, Coca-Cola and Paddy Whiskey.
Others included names like Carrolls, Go Greyhound Racing, Go B+I, The Irish Press, McInerney, Nescafe, Wavin and Dunlop.
In business we have learned not to put all our eggs into one basket. In view of the current debate around alcohol sponsorship, maybe instead of having one super sponsor perhaps the GAA should spread the sponsorship like before.