TV View: Analyses styled on ‘meh’, ‘ehhh’, Gump and Einstein

The gods look down with cruelty on all of the weekend's action

Sunday's sporting viewing began with Ireland's 69-0 Six Nations annihilation by England and ended with Everton holding on for 62 minutes before their rearguard was pierced by, of all people, Andy Robertson and Divock Origi, so all you could conclude, really, was that if Monday isn't any better, there's no end to the gods' cruelty.

Jürgen Klopp, incidentally, confirmed that said higher powers, who should be neutral on these matters, divinely intervened in the Merseyside derby when he spoke to Sky's Geoff Shreeves after the game.

Geoff: “What was the story of the game?”

Jürgen: “Thank God.”


Earlier, over in Leicester, the gods were on Ireland’s side for 50 per cent of their game against England, who led by a mere 10-0 at the break, but, as we know, these contests tend to be games of two halves.

"They're tyrants at the breakdown," said Ciara Griffin, a guest pundit on the BBC, of that first-half effort by Ireland, but come full-time, well, she was just grateful that Gabby Logan hadn't too much time to chat because it was time for the snooker.

While, naturally enough, the BBC focused mainly on England’s awesomeness through it all, they did take time to pop a graphic up on the screen that showed how many key players Ireland were missing for the game – seven – because they were off on Sevens’ duty.

‘Pick your lane’

Ciara was left trying to explain this eternal effort to banjax our Six Nations hopes, but struggled because, as we know, there is no actual rational explanation.

"Make your decision and pick your lane," said Jenny Murphy over on Virgin, suggesting that trying to keep an Irish 15s and sevens set-up ticking over was, well, nuts. We're Six Nations folk, she said, our general feeling about Sevens' rugby being "meh".

The whole chat had a Groundhoggish Day feel to it because it seems like it’s been debated since Methuselah was in short pants, but nothing ever changes. And it still doesn’t seem to have clicked that following Niamh Briggs’ retirement, we really should have concentrated on finding someone who can kick penalties, conversions and the like.

There was a Groundhoggish Day feel, too, to the analysis of Mayo's hopes of winning you-know-what this year, Pat Spillane concluding that they still haven't the forward line to complete the feat, so the agony would persist.

Not that he had much faith in Galway either.

“A bit like the little girl in the nursery rhyme, when Galway are good they’re very very good, when they’re bad they can be awful.” Soon after. “It’s a bit like Forrest Gump, he said ‘my mamma said life was like a box of chocolates, you never what to expect’ – and with this Galway team you never know what to expect.”

‘Theory of insanity’

Cora Staunton was stony-faced, in a did-I-come-home-from-Australia-for-this kind of way, a mood that was heightened when Pat started quoting Einstein come full time after Galway had been horrid to Mayo by beating them and Pat was crucifying the Mayo attack again.

“They talk about Einstein’s theory of insanity,” he said, not actually specifying who talks about this theory, “doing the same thing over and over again and hoping that it might be different.”

So, that was the little girl with the little curl, Forrest Gump and Einstein all in the one afternoon in Castlebar, Joanne Cantwell not sure whether to thank Pat or call security.

Mind you, when it came to sporting analogies, it was hard to top Ronnie O’Sullivan last week. Self-praise is of course, no praise, but Ronnie should always be granted an exemption in this area because, well, he’s Ronnie.

After he came back from three frames down in the opening round of the World Championships, he was chuffed with himself. "It's like Gladiator. Russell Crowe has a hole in his arm and knows he is going to die but you just have to find a way. That is what winners and gladiators do."

Although paid by the BBC to analyse things, all Steve Davis and John Parrott could say was "Ehhh . . . ". Not the first time Ronnie has left folk speechless. Godly, that lad.