Pundit Watch: 'Coma in Omagh' casts doubts over the Super 8s series
Forget the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’. Yesterday, GAA fans were subjected to the ‘Coma in Omagh’.
At least, that was the opinion of the twittersphere and of Brolly and co. in the RTÉ studio.
Joanne Cantwell was in the hot-seat for the Sunday Game during Tyrone and Dublin’s clash.
Diplomatically, she said there wasn’t “a whole pile to play for”.
Less diplomatically, Joe Brolly labelled it a “pointless exercise”.
On this occasion, Kerry legend Colm Cooper sided with Brolly, agreeing that Brolly gave a “partly accurate description” of the state of affairs.
At half-time, with little more than a kick of the ball in it, Cantwell was optimistic of an upset.
“It’s up for grabs, there’s only four points in it, is it not still anyone’s to win?”
Brolly looked momentarily lost for words, before saying: “I’m not sure that I can take that question seriously.”
By the end of the game, even Cantwell had given up her enthusiasm, saying that it was all “rather dull”.
During the game, Marty Morrissey also struck an ominous tone.
“Do you think we will have a third year of Super 8s?” said Marty to co-commentator Oisin McConville.
Earlier in the game, McConville mused that this was potentially the “type of game that could come back to bite both of these teams”.
Perhaps it will bite those who favour the Super 8s format.
When asked by Marty Morrissey how Dublin and Tyrone will react to Sunday’s non-contest, he replied: “Just put it to bed.”
Given all the groaning on yesterday’s Sunday Game, maybe the same attitude will be adopted by some as regards the Super 8s.
Marty said it had “all the hallmarks of a challenge game”, McConville that it was played at a “pedestrian pace”, while Cooper claimed that Tyrone meekly “accepted their fate”.
By the end of it all, a beleaguered and worn-down McConville winced when it was announced that there would be seven minutes of additional time.
“You have to go through the protocol”, McConville wearily accepted.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though.
Tyrone’s Benny Gallen received high praise from the Sunday Game team.
Brolly said he was “fantastic”, and I’ll assume it was meant as a compliment when McConville said that Gallen was “an outfield player trapped in a goalie’s body”.
Team-mate Conan Grugan also earned plaudits.
Cooper also enthused over Grugan’s performance, with Brolly adding that “Mrs Grugan will be delighted to hear such high praise from Colm Cooper”.
Despite calling it a “pointless exercise”, Brolly was nonetheless delighted that RTÉ were hosting.
“Thank God these games are free to air. Yesterday so many people where cut off from watching the games.”
Already jaded from the day’s game, Joanne Cantwell was quick to close off this route: “Unfortunately, we do not have enough time to debate that.”