Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Green with envy as blue is the colour

The old saying ‘blue and green should never be seen’ was never more appropriate than on Sunday when I left the house with a confident gait to my step, secure in the knowledge that upstairs my wee Sky+ box was working away like a Trojan on double time in the wooden horse factory.

Safely tucked away in my little box of delights for perusal at my leisure would be the live sectarianism, sorry, Old Firm clash and the All-Ireland funny accent competition, apologies Kerry’s encounter with Dublin, where one crowd in green would try and knock seven shades of something of another hue out of the boys in blue.

But no. The cruel mistress that is technology, unless you’re talking about Suzi Perry and she can do what she wants, conspired against me. As my posterior touched leather, that’s the sofa by the way, I hadn’t borrowed some of Suzi’s clothes, I was met with the F word.

No, not that one, although it did cross my mind as ‘Failed’ came up on the screen, and suddenly I could empathise with the feelings being experienced by Neil Lennon and Jack O’Connor.

At least I had a second chance. That’s not strictly true, given Rangers and Celtic play each other, on average, 37 times a season there is ample time for redemption but for poor old Jack he’ll be kicking his heels for another 12 months until they’re there again.

I had to resort to more technology, and this time the internet would surely rise to my rescue. RTE wouldn’t fail me now.

I’ve seen the ads on telly, I’ve been on their site telling us if you’ve missed a programme then it couldn’t be easier to catch up. And you could — if you lived in Dundalk — as despite being available in the ‘island of Ireland’ my RTE player sat looking at me shaking its head.

What I really need is someone from the neck of the woods who can sort this out — Martin over to you.

Post-match analysis was the best they could offer, so at least we got to hear Pat Spillane and Joe Brolly arguing, even if we couldn’t see them with the camera seemingly focused on a stray Garda officer getting very pally with the Dubs.

I know they are the boys in blue but this sort of blatant police bias needs to be nipped in the bud.

Martin, you’re going to be busy down there.

It turns out it was Paul Caffrey, the former Dublin coach, who had conveniently been sent to keep an eye on things at Croke Park, with Joe commenting that the ‘you’d have thought the Guards would have given him a day off.’

Pat wasn’t laughing, one of the Kingdom’s finest, refusing any cheap ‘we was robbed’ talk but Colm O’Rourke wasn’t listening and insisted it was ‘greatest smash and grab raid since Seamus Darby’.

It turns out he was an Offaly player who was awfully bad to Kerry and not, as I thought, a relative of Terence Trent, but Pat will have to go back to the wishing well for another year.

Meanwhile, over on Sky no trace could be found on their website of the game, the tapes already with Strathclyde Police no doubt, but BBC Scotland came to the rescue with a re-run of Sportscene and some highlights.

Presenter Rob MacClean pointed out that ‘the authorities were keen that we concentrated on the football’ and in the midst of all the mayhem at Ibrox a cracking game broke out.

It was hard to focus on what studio pundit Craig Levein was saying though as he appeared to be presenting from inside a Smurf.

It was that sort of day really, blue was very much the colour and as Kermit the Frog would have said ‘it’s not easy being green.’

Belfast Telegraph


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