RTÉ suits ensure dressing room spat becomes public row
Has it come to this? Have we really reached the stage where a manly man of the Gaahh can't even tease another manly man of the Gaahh?
Of course, the most delightfully daft aspect about the row between Joe Brolly and Marty Morrissey is that neither of them have even had a public row, but what could have been a dressing room spat between two grown men needed a craven RTÉ to reassure everyone that such comments would not be tolerated.
Yes, it was the suits in RTÉ wot decided that Brolly's comments about Morrissey's apparently aesthetic inadequacies were, apparently, utterly unacceptable to women, children and the sundry livestock which might have tuned in for the live broadcast.
Given the fact that most reasonable people obviously missed the tiny Nordy man's provocative and apparently insensitive comments, it only seems appropriate to reprint them here.
It begins: "Some people have said that Cavan football is as ugly as Marty Morrissey."
So far, so best man's speech.
But hark, there's more! Brolly then added: "I should apologise to . . . to the people of Cavan for that."
Isn't that like every shindig you've ever been at?
Isn't that like every bit of slagging - not sledging - you've ever seen?
Well, apparently the guardians of good taste at RTÉ know better than the rest of us, because RTÉ's head of sport, Ryle Nugent, (a man who should know better), reduced himself to the level of a timorous TV suit where he had to spout: "I have spoken to Joe Brolly about the comments he made.
"His ill-conceived attempt at humour was both inappropriate and extremely hurtful and has no place in any broadcast.
"Similar comments in any future broadcast cannot and will not be tolerated," he added.
Okay, we get it.
Brolly, after all, was a pundit so fuelled by his own indignation that he rather bizarrely said of Tyrone forward Sean Cavanagh: "He's a brilliant footballer but you can forget about (him) as a man."
The common thread in between such apparently preposterous comments?
Well, he's a man who knows a snappy line and knows how to deliver it, in a way that brings the palpable joy he derives from his sport to people who may not have played the game when they were a kid.
Eamon Dunphy was so passionate in his football analysis that he convinced U2 to hire him as their ghost writer.
They knew, or cared, little about football, but respected his voice.
Jeremy Clarkson had a similar ability to make even devout pedestrians watch 'Top Gear' and Joe Brolly has that capacity to throw reckless hand grenades and go off script when the mood takes him.
That is the nature of the beast and the only person Brolly needed to talk to was Marty himself - and that should stay in the dressing room.
Gaahh is a sport that rightfully prides itself on being a man's game, but if RTÉ really feel that Brolly's comments are beyond the Pale?
Well, the Sky won't fall in.
But they might hire him.