TV View: Final whistle was an act of mercy for Westmeath

If Lewis Hamilton had been wired to a heart monitor it would have exploded

“It’s like a Ferrari racing against a combine harvester,” said Pat Spillane. And that was only half time, the gap between the vehicles widening considerably after the break.

Ger Canning describing the referee’s blowing of the full-time whistle as an act of mercy. It wasn’t, he had said, “so much All-Blacks and Lions, more like lions and Christians”.

“A turkey shoot,” Pat concluded. Westmeath gobbled by the All-Dubs, 31 points the margin of defeat.

Even if you were from Meath (which Colm O’Rourke had somewhat provocatively reminded viewers, just as wounds were beginning to heal), which used to contain Westmeath until the latter was sliced off in 1543, you couldn’t but feel for them. Not least when they thought the worst might be over, then looked over to the sideline and saw a bloodthirsty Bernard Brogan and Kevin McManaman waiting to come on. “Imagine facing that when you’re getting tired,” said Colm.


After witnessing the “annihilation”, Colm reopened the debate about whether a spot of revamping might be required to ensure we no longer have to view the vaporising of smaller counties in the Championship.

Pat was having none of it. “Sport is a mirror image of society, the strong get stronger and the weak get weaker, alas. In theory, communism and socialism were great ideas, everyone being equal, but they’re failures.”

Red Flag

Hold your horses, mister. If he had tuned into events in Armagh the evening before he would have seen the Red Flag flying so high only residents of the International Space Station would have spotted it.

“This Down team was in the gutter,” said a gobsmacked Ciaran Whelan after they had seen off Monaghan, leaving them looking at the stars of Tyrone and reckoning they can probably beat them too in the Ulster final.

Even if you had not a drop of Down or Monaghan blood ambling through your veins, it was a contest so thrillingly mighty your heart would have been pumping, the underdogs’ tail wagging merrily come the end.

Hearts and canines were called to mind when Marty Morrissey referred to all the hi-tech gadgetry county teams use now to give themselves an edge, RTÉ's GAA Nua, for example, telling us that Kildare are now using things called occlusion goggles in training.

At this point you would actually have handed over a Lotto win to hear Newstalk’s Ger Gilroy have another chat with Mick O’Connell, the first being one for the ages, this time asking him for his views on the use of occlusion goggles in training. The sound of the phone being slammed down in Valentia might well have been heard in the International Space Station.

(Heart-rate monitors are among the gadgets currently being used, allowing managers to track the efforts of their player, when out of their sight to keep their fitness at acceptable levels. Ian Holloway tried this with his squad when he was manager of QPR. How did it go? Grand, generally, apart from the one player who put his monitor on his dog. The player’s engine, as it turned out, was decidedly less good than his mutt’s).

Face to face

If Lewis Hamilton had been wired up to a heart monitor in Azerbaijan it would more than likely have exploded.

“If he wants to prove he is a man we should do it out of the car, face to face,” he said to Channel 4 after his road-rage incident with Sebastian Vettel. There are many channels that would pay big bucks to pay-per-view-broadcast such a dust-up, and there are cynics out there who would suggest it would be a more credible sporting contest than, dunno, McGregor v Mayweather.

Mind you, the wackiest of all contests took place at the BMW International Open in Munich when Sergio Garcia took on a “spinach baji”, as our commentator described his unfortunate lie early in the final round.

Martin Brundle v Mariah Carey on his gridwalk in Baku was up there too. “NO, NO, NO,” said Mariah’s assistant when Martin attempted to have a word. “Well, that doesn’t spoil my life,” he said, before adding “I do love her music”.

In one fell swoop Martin went from being a Ferrari to a combine harvester.