Well....more RTE SPORT to be precise, but the only RTE sport logo I could find was too small, and didn't give the dramatic impact of such a large logo that I wanted!
Anyway.... So what's my beef with RTE sport? Their coverage and broadcasting rights? No. Their dedication to every sport they can get their hands on? No. Their commentators and sports analysts? No. Wait. YES!! That's the one.
I'll start way back when this particular beefing was a mere cocktail sausage (don't fuck with me over the fact that a sausage is in fact pork and not beef alright!). Let me take you back to the summer of 2006. A fairly warm summer if I do remember, though definitely an infinite amount of times better than this summer. Yes weather, I will have a good grinding over you in time... What happened in the summer of 2006? My leaving cert? Yes. My last Gaeltacht? Yes. The happiest moment of my life? Yes. A solar eclipse? No. The Germany World Cup? YES!
Ah, the Germany World Cup. I was routing for Germany you know, even bought a jersey there when I was over for the Ireland match after the World Cup. In fact I'm wearing it right now as of 16:54 on July 17th 2007. Ah memories.
Anyways, the World Cup. Of course RTE had coverage rights to broadcast all the testosterone filled action right here to our own TV sets. But what pissed me off most? Bill O'Herlihy (sp?), John Giles, Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady and co. What was wrong you ask? Well perhaps it was the fact that no team in the entire tournament was playing good enough. Yes that's right. At the end of every match, with the exception of the Final obviously, the lads were keen to mention how every team was playing poorly, below par football and what else. For me, this spoiled the enjoyment of the games as this would piss me off greatly.
But my disatisfaction with the lads didn't end there. Bring on the 2006/2007 Premiership title race. The contenders; Manchester United and Chelsea. What were the two key things this panel was concerned with? United's Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea's summer purchases bonanza. And who won the title and played the best football all year? Why Manchester United of course. Did the panel think that? Oh no. Chelsea were the best team, because they spent the most money buying players who ironically had no impact, if any, on the teams performance during the season. Cristiano Ronaldo was obvious the most overrated player of the year, and yet not only managed to win both PFA Young Player of the Year and PFA Player of the Year, but also scored more goals than the entire Manchester City team scored at home. The lads never once acknowledged any of this fact, because they are anti-United.
Don't think for one second however that it stops there. Enter the world of GAA. And this my friends is the very reason I just had to write this blog. If the soccer panel is anti-United, then the GAA panel is most certainly anti-Dublin.
Last Sunday, the Dubs cruised home with a thrilling performance beating Laois in the Leinster Final. Dublin's third succesive Leinster crown I might add. What could be criticised about the Dublin performance? Well perhaps the bried period of about 5-10 minutes in the second half where the Dublin forwards went to sleep for a bit, but what did Pat Spilane suggest? That Dublin were the one team in the country that was the main example of the aggressive nature of the game. Two words stuck into one Pat, bullshit. The particular incidents he was referring to was Mark Vaughan throwing his fists in the air in front of a Laois player after scoring Dublin's first goal and Alan Brogan waving goodbye in front of the Laois goalkeepers face and then raising his fists in the air at the crowd.
What isn't mentioned is how these two incidents were provoked. The first, right after Vaughan scores, the offending Laois back tried to reef him as he was running away to celebrate the goal. The second instance was where two Laois players squared up to Brogan, and rather do the stupid thing of throwing a punch, Brogan did the slight less stupid thing of pissing them off further. This was also to the same Laois keeper that on two occasions cheated on the kick out when the referee's back was turned by taking the kick further away not on the required spot, which allowed for short unmarked kick outs which wouldn't happen under normal circumstances. These things can't be avoided, but actions like Brogan's and Vaughan's are brought out from the intensity of the game. To suggest that Dublin are the only team responsible is ludicrous. Remind me which two teams fought it out in the tunnel before the match....that would be Cork and Clare. And on which team did one player punch another much younger player to the ground during training? That would be Meath. Which team deliberately started their warm-up in front of Hill 16 in last years All Ireland Semi Final against Dublin? That would be Mayo.
See RTE, you're just pissing people off, if it wasn't for Tommy Lyons (former Dublin manager) in the Studio last Sunday, then all the country folk would have had a great lashing at the Dubs and their intimidating.
God it was good to get that off my chest!!