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'Pub banter' causes offence
I watched the All Ireland hurling final last weekend and three things have really bothered me since then.
1. Should pundits/commentators be discussing and commenting on gambling during such a game? Michael Duignan got very excited about Liam Sheedy having a great bet for the draw at 14/1.
2. Should Michael Lyster be posing questions regarding players drinking after matches? Was he implying that they could not survive without a drink for another three weeks? Why would he pose such a question?
3. Cyril Farrell's comment about the Clare team "jumping in the Shannon" if they had lost that game. Is hurling that important? Did the Galway minors consider jumping in the Corrib when they got back to Galway after their loss? These words although said in jest are very powerful and could be heard differently by people in difficult situations.
What subliminal messages are said comments sending out to people dealing with gambling or alcohol problems or contemplating suicide? This banter also normalises these behaviours for our teenagers. What are they thinking listening to these comments?
These are serious problems and I know that the above-mentioned commentators did not mean to cause offence but they have a greater responsibility than maybe they realise.
With 1.3 million watching this programme at some stage, surely we should expect a higher standard of broadcasting?
Keep the pub banter for off air in the future.
New boss has to be positive
It is difficult to feel sorry for the Irish soccer team, considering the money they earn for playing the game. Every one of the players who togged out for the Republic last week is a millionaire.
However, each one of them is human and I've no doubt that each one is very proud to represent their country. These young men are undoubtedly the most talented footballers in the country.
If we cross codes for a moment and look at the Dublin football team over the last decade. We saw that until 2009 the Dubs were the also-rans of this sport. Nobody thought they had the talent at their disposal to win an All-Ireland, let alone become the most dominant team in the country, maintaining that position for a number of years. New management with fresh ideas and a positive approach changed their fortunes.
Good management is about motivation, encouragement rather than criticism, and, most of all, positivity. It seems to me that Giovanni Trapattoni had little confidence in the ability of the Irish players from day one. He was "making the best of what he had available to him" and to announce that to the world's media would knock the confidence out of any group of players.
Even RTE's panel on Friday night were publicly lamenting the lack of talent in the Irish set-up. Tell any group of sportsmen or women that they are not up to the task for long enough, and they will begin to believe it themselves.
The FAI must appoint a manager who genuinely believes in this team. Forget about star-spangled names who have won trophies with Spain, Germany or Italy.
The players he manages may not be household names at the moment, but remember three short years ago who had ever heard the names of Kevin McMenamon, Michael Darragh Macauley or Jack McCaffrey? Now they are household names and regarded as the best players in the country, all because of good management.
Sport can be very fickle!
Good riddance to negativity
What a great spectacle it was to see another rip-roaring game of hurling today, freed at last from the albatross that has hung around its neck for the past ten years. No more crowding of midfield or other spoiling tactics, but open, honest endeavour. Gaelic football is also a winner, with the merchants of negativity out of the way. We can now look forward to two finals, the quality of which we could only dream about in recent years.
Maloney earns place for final
An additional feature of the classic Dublin v Kerry football semi-final on RTE2 was the brilliant commentary of underused broadcaster Darragh Maloney. Truly outstanding, he should be given the honour of commentating on the All-Ireland final on September 22.