Belfast Telegraph

Hey Joe, don't make it bad, things will get better again

By Billy Weir

Unless you've been living in a small cave somewhere in the Sperrins for the past week, you'll have heard that Joe Brolly had one or two things to say about Sean Cavanagh's tackle as Tyrone defeated Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

His rugby wrestling of Conor McManus to the ground would have been rightly lauded in Dublin 4 but on the northside at Croke Park it was lambasted by the RTE pundit convinced that gaelic games had finally sold the rest of its soul to the dark side.

You knew it was going to be a good rant, as Joe wriggled about in his chair, quietly smouldering and fiddling with his cuffs as Colm O'Rourke and Pat Spillane trotted out their post-match platitudes.

And then Michael Lyster got the pointy stick out.

"Joe, you look a bit pensive after that match," he said, and off camera, you could picture Colm and Pat diving behind their seats.

What followed was five minutes of TV gold, a Brolly (pictured) unleashed with such venom that you expected an advert for polonium to appear at any moment, and at the end of it you sensed that it wasn't quite the end of it.

Thank goodness he wasn't on the BBC as the Championship was rudely interrupted by a fire alarm, but Austin O'Callaghan, in his best Corporal Jones, told us not to panic, kept calm and carried on.

And let's hope that Joe carries on too. I didn't agree with much of what he said but at least he said something, unlike in Broadcasting House where the blue-tinged darkness of the studio makes it feel like you've stumbled into a wake for a Smurf.

Belfast Telegraph

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