Bandwagon or not, Saturday’s massive Munster-Leinster Heineken Cup match-up will bring Ireland to a halt this Saturday teatime. With Sky Sports holding the exclusive rights, pubs will be packed to the scut as the recession is cancelled for a couple of hours to cheer on the tee-total Peter Stringer et al.
While they can’t afford to think that way, let’s hope Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll and co avoid the same sort of misfortune that has cruelly deprived Tomas O’Leary of his place on the plane to South Africa.
The nation lost a former Lions captain this week, of course. Dr Karl Mullen, who skippered Ireland to their first, and until lately last, Grand Slam in 1948, was anti-professionalism, arguing that it made for unhappy players, motivated by money rather than pride. And unhappy terrestrial broadcasters to boot.
As grandfather of Cian O’Connor, Karl was interviewed at home by RTÉ that Friday evening after Waterford Crystal’s gold medal-winning performance in the Athens showjumping arena.
That was before the horse, bought and named by O’Connor’s godfather Tony O’Reilly, failed a drugs test and all manner of mysterious goings-on followed. Whatever about rugby, the Olympics were definitely cleaner when financial gain wasn’t a factor.
*Footnote: The Triple Crown and Grand Slam silverware will be on show and available for fans’ photo op’s at the 02 Store in City Square next Tuesday from 12.30 to 1.10pm.