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Commentators miss that X-factor
As we are at the business end of our GAA championships, once again we have had to endure a summer of discontent in the form of sub-standard and boring commentary.
While some describe everything but the contest, another might be five seconds behind the action. One commentator clearly has no feel for either code and it is doubtful if he played, not that playing is a prerequisite for accurate, descriptive, informative, painting-with-words commentary, but surely it is a help.
When some commentators do attempt, I stress attempt, to string a sensible descriptive sentence together, it is monosyllabic, like for example: "Eoin Kelly to Corbett, Bonner, Maher, goal. This game has really come to life." Yawn, yawn.
Their descriptive powers and charm should be used as an American tour guide on bus journeys around Ireland describing historical but inanimate beauty spots like the Cliffs of Moher, Molls Gap, the Sky Road and Slievenamon.
One commentator has a language all of his own, with a vernacular akin to a nuclear physicist with words like "latitude", "exclusion zone", "ozone layer" and "options available either side".
If one were to close one's eyes during his commentary, his depiction is more like a hybrid of cricket and soccer, aimed more to audiences in Lord's or the Stretford End, but definitely not Thurles or the Canal End. His commentaries are high-browed, lofty and very boring.
I contend that during Micheál ó Muircheartaigh's reign there was a collective scramble on the couches throughout Ireland to hit the radio dial, changing from TV. To whom do we switch to now? Is it any wonder that Pat Comer's brilliantly produced A Year 'till Sunday, describing Galway's triumph in the All-Ireland of 1998, chose the radio commentary rather than the TV one.
Our national games are brilliant, exciting and in commercial parlance, blue chip.
Sadly, RTE is falling short in the portrayal and broadcasting of our games. We have had great commentators in the past in the form of O'Hehir and ó Muircheartaigh and the sad thing is that people of that calibre are in every parish in Ireland.
Daragh Maloney is an exception to the present crop and should be given an All-Ireland slot. His commentaries are very good, describing the real action in an exciting fashion and when he interviews sports people and managers he is not patronising like some of his colleagues.
It is time for RTE to start trawling the parishes of Ireland to unearth hidden gems of talent. Maybe there is a programme for RTE in all of this called 'Commentating Factor'. They could use Effin' Eddie from 'Aherlow Boys' fame as their Simon Cowell character. A mouthwatering prospect. Let the debate, if not the games, begin.
'County Rule' has to be maintained
John Greene is to be complimented on his article [Aug 28]. He forcefully and eloquently argues the case for the Parish Rule.
That rule has served the GAA so well for so long, it is impossible to countenance any serious justification or even support for the decision in favour of Curraha (is my memory playing tricks on me or used Curraha not be a well-known centre of excellence in the game of draughts, some years ago?)
Equally, if not more important, is the 'County Rule'. There has to be ongoing great vigilance to guard against the abuse of the rules of residence -- the creation of doubtful or even deliberate fictitious home addresses for players of and from other counties.
Time to put cork in champagne antics
Could the practice of every winning team, in golf, rugby, soccer or any sport, of squirting big bottles of champagne over each other in supposed celebration, be literally corked as it's one in the eye to every poor and sick person in the world?
Thousands could be saved and fed if this money was diverted to good causes and charities.
Genuine class still impossible to beat
While reading Tommy Conlon's article about football strategies and tactics [Aug 28], I was reminded of what West Ham manager Ron Greenwood once said when a reporter remarked that Bobby Moore often looked slow -- "Most players will beat Bobby from A to B, but Bobby never starts from A."
Sunday Indo Sport