God help us all if the Lions actually win next Saturday

‘Immortality. Is. Beckoning,’ Graham Simmons informed a bemused Seán O’Brien

It was while listening to Robert Hall and Ted Walsh discussing Tinder before the 4.10 at the Curragh on Saturday that you got to wondering, after a weekend and a half of sport, what particular moment would receive the most right swipes? Conor Murray’s try? Owen Farrell’s winning kick? Seán O’Brien’s face during his interview with Graham Simmons? And that was only Saturday morning. The nominees kept rolling in, the entire county of Cork, for example, voting for the final whistle in Killarney.

“What?” Walsh had asked when Hall tried to explain to him what “the quick-fix dating website” was all about, although the choice of “quick-fix” was unfortunate, making it sound more like an emergency drain-unblocking service rather than one that could potentially pair you with the love of your life.

Walsh: “Jaysus, you’re a bit auld to be availing of that service.”

Hall: “I never have, Ted.”



Walsh: “Jaysus, you must be fairly hard up if you’ve to go to Tinder.”

Hall: [Silence].

Hall was sorry he had ever mentioned the damn thing, only doing so because there was a horse called Tinder running in the 4.10. There was no love lost between her and anyone who had backed her – she was still running when the winner was accepting his cheque.

You’d have to assume that Sonny Bill Williams – whose Gaelic name, Gavan Reilly of Today FM quite excellently noted, is Mac Liam Mac Liam – would collect the bulk of the weekend’s left swipes after that moment of unpleasantness, although it would seem that Sky’s coverage of the whole business is running him very close.

“Immortality beckons – you know that, don’t you? IMMORTALITY. IS. BECKONING.”

O’Brien looked quite sympathetically at Simmons, in an ‘Are you all right?’ sort of way, and possibly warned Conor Murray what to expect when he headed in for his chat with the Sky man.

“Conor, when you could feeeeeel the thing coming your way, when you could feeeeeel the buzz, feeeeeel the adrenaline, feeeeeel the moment, feeeeeel what you were about to do, how good a feeeeeeling was that?”

“Eh,” said Murray, overwhelmed by all the feels, he and the rest of us left fretting over how Simmons will cope if the Lions actually win next Saturday. Not to mention Will Greenwood and Scott Quinnell, the Cannon and Ball of rugby punditry. Quinnell, in particular, would need a horse tranquilliser to calm him come full-time in the event of victory.

And if Sky used Theodore Roosevelt for match two, where do they go for the decider? George Washington? “You will . . . afford occasion for posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to mankind, ‘Had this day been wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.’ ”

Anyway, we’ll see. Maybe they’ll surprise us and let the occasion speak for itself. Kidding.

No Spillane

There was no such drama in our live Sunday games, Galway pulverising Wexford and, before that, Kerry doing much the same to Cork.

Most disappointingly, there was no Pat Spillane in the studio, the man possibly measuring curtains for Áras an Uachtaráin now that he’s assured of a landslide in the next election.

Joe Brolly, then, has achieved the impossible, making Spillane loved, the Kerry man’s campaign slogan of ‘Make Brolly grate again – vote for me!’ certain to resonate. The Derry man is, of course, the punditry equivalent of a Trump tweet: needlessly nasty, designed to garner attention and best ignored.

Teddy Atlas got himself a bit of attention, too, on Saturday when he emoted on ESPN after Australian Jeff Horn was deemed by the judges to have beaten Manny Pacquiao in their WBO welterweight title fight. Many a boxing aficionado greeted the decision by lowering their jaws to the floor, but the important thing is, especially as a commentator, that you accept the judges’ better wisdom and warmly congratulate the winner.

“Listen, congratulations, great effort,” Atlas said to Horn. “I thought you lost, but great effort.”

Now, that’s just rude. A left swipe for Teddy, a right one for Jeff – immortality is his.