Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

The hand of God meets the foot of BOD

You can only imagine the levels of excitement down at RTE this week as Ireland packed up their green holdalls to head off to Rome to try and seal fifth spot in the Six Nations table.

It wasn’t mad enough that the fixture planners had pencilled in a game for St Patrick’s weekend, but for it to coincide with the arrival of a new pope meant levels of Irish excitement in Europe usually only matched by a Johnny Logan success.

But before the strains of What’s Another Year could waft across the screens and before an unloved Declan Kidney could even utter ‘Hold Me Now’ we were politely interrupted by the intelligentsia, armed to the teeth with knowledge and Latin.

“Once again smoke pours over the roofs of the Eternal City, once again it signals the changing of the guard. Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, as Ovid puts it. Times are changing, we are changing with them,” said presenter Tom McGurk.

As a holder of a Latin O-Level myself I find that there really aren’t enough sports presenters prepared to throw a wee bit of Latin into their presenting and confidently expect Alan Shearer to turn up this week and proclaim a manager to be infirmos sicut psittacus after a game.

Then again, perhaps he should try English first.

I digress, back in Rome McGurkius was still at it, proclaiming that whether ‘spiritual or sporting, farewells and valedictions are in the air’ with the possible exit of Brian O’Driscoll meaning ‘veni, vidi, vici’, loosely translated as ‘I came, I saw, I stamped all over that fella’.

In the Vatican there was a new Pope, while in Dublin there was the same old one, as Brent was joined by Father George Hook and Cardinal Conor O’Shea to pass the Last Rites on Ireland’s campaign.

It appeared to be Kidney’s fault, with some help from the pesky Ulstermen who had somehow got onto the team, and we conveniently over-looked how the hand of God had been swapped for the foot of BOD, but the explanation of Ireland’s demise may be more sinister.

Who are Ireland’s closest rivals in the rugby standings? Argentina. Give Dan Brown a shout, I sense a conspiracy here.

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