Some admin stuff about Sunday’s match to report on before I forget.
First, it’s been announced that the pudgy Longford official, John Bannon, will take charge of the match. I know he has a good reputation but I’m not one of his fans (then again, I’d struggle to name a ref that I do think does a good job). He can be overly fussy, he often gets the big calls wrong and he’s got to be close to pension age. As well as that, I can’t forgive him for that totally one-eyed performance in the 2004 All-Ireland semi-final replay against Fermanagh when he did everything bar wear the Erneside jersey. (If only he’d tried a little harder that day, we might have been spared the caning we got in the final). Like many refs, he appears to see it as his job to even up the contest a bit so I think we can expect chuff all from him in terms of 50:50 calls. Plus ca change on the reffing front, then.
The other news concerns coverage for Sunday’s game. I know many people out there are gnashing their teeth at the lack of live TV coverage but it’s worth bearing in mind that the match will be streamed live on RTE.ie. So, if you’re one of the 991,970 broadband customers that the telecoms regulator today announced were in the country (that does include so-called mobile broadband, mind you, which doesn’t always have enough voom to support live streaming) and you don’t mind watching the action on RTE’s itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny Media Player (which, in fairness, isn’t at all bad), then this is a viable option for following the action from McHale Park.
It’s a pity, of course, that it’s only customers on the island who can access this coverage as I could imagine there’d be an enormous appetite for it further afield. It’s that pesky TV rights issue again, I’m afraid, which seems an even more intractable problem to sort out than the mess we’ve created for ourselves on the Lisbon Treaty.
Finally, talking of admin and all that, I still haven’t my ticket sorted for Sunday yet. It’s now arse-into-gear time on that one, I think.