Usually at this time of year, terrestrial television sinks into the listless interval between the launch of its new fall schedule and the pampering party that is Christmas.
His year was different, as the World Cup was out of season to fill the void. Whether that’s good or bad depends entirely on your view of football.
I happen to be allergic to most sports, but neither here nor there. Not everything has to appeal to everyone.
The BBC started its coverage of the World Cup with a monologue about gay rights and the treatment of migrant workers in the host country of Qatar by the former England striker. Match of the day (BBC One, Sunday, 3pm) host Gary Lineker.
It’s been described as “tough”, but it’s actually quite tedious, as if the broadcasters just wanted to talk about the issue before rushing on.
That done and dusted off, it was the opening game between the home team and Ecuador, a score that I have sadly forgotten about now.
I’m pretty sure the yellow team won. Or it could be red. It’s definitely one of them.
RTÉ’s own World Cup coverage (RTÉ2, Sunday, 2:30pm) opened with a video pack set to the David Bowie song ‘Heroes’, ostensibly about two lovers in opposite sides of the Berlin Wall dream of freedom.
Perhaps it was a subtle political statement about Qatar.
Like Lineker, Peter Collins immediately admitted that the tournament was held in a country with a “very questionable human rights record”, before heading to Doha, where George Hamilton was injured in the eye after an accident. at the airport.
Hamilton points out that the first World Cup he ever commented on was Argentina in 1978, when the country was under a military dictatorship. After that, no team withdrew. Money always trumps morality.
George hopes that, when looking back in the years to come, what will be remembered about this World Cup is football. The cut of Peter back in the studio doesn’t look very convincing about that.
Video of the day
He duly promised that they would “discuss” [human rights] long” in the coming days. What else can they do? They were all forced to become political commentators.
For now, it’s the series that fascinates me. Peter and his guests sit every day on a red curved couch with a high-tech screen behind them.
It’s all very polished, but you’ll miss the table where Bill O’Herlihy, Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and associates used to gather the day before. There is something special and intimate about it.
Now, the RTÉ studio looks like everyone else’s studio, and the conversation seems to be a lot less lively, too.
Liam Brady is the last man to survive from the O’Herlihy era, although he recalled on Monday that he had actually commented on Italia ’90 and USA ’94 for the BBC, only joining RTÉ for France ’98.
When pressed, he confirms that he “absolutely” prefers RTÉ, certainly hoping that such loyalty will help him say goodbye to the next one.
Then they all talked during the opening ceremony, which featured spotted whales swimming in the desert sky with some 2001: Space Adventure-style monolithic black. It’s about what anyone’s guess is.
Of course, it could help if we could hear it.
I turned on RTÉ2 early the next day (RTÉ2, Monday, 12:30pm) for England’s first game of the tournament, only to watch the last 10 minutes of the classic war movie Von Ryan’s Express Train.
It used to happen every Christmas, but I hadn’t watched it in years and had forgotten how fun the ending was when Frank Sinatra ran to catch up with the train, only to be shot down by the Germans (sorry). for disclosing content).
The ad ends, it goes straight to a video showcasing England’s checkerboard history at the tournament from, yes, 1966 to Maradona’s handball and Gazza crying and all those missed penalties. Miss.
It then returned to the set for a more serious, serious talk about Qatari politics. Football programs are more and more like gold time Daily.
The match itself had just begun when Des Curran, commenting, also wondered if England could “close that gap with ’66”. Call me silly, but we can’t really expect the British to end their obsession with 1966 if we keep talking about it like this.
It’s an entertaining game, to be fair. So was the match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia the next day, which ended in a shock defeat for the South Americans. I’m starting to worry that I’ve gotten into it a little too much.
A couple of goalless draws after that quickly cured that illusion for me, but I decided to rest the rest of the week before starting another full game just to be on the safe side.
Political fury was put into context by Late Night Football Club (BBC One, Monday, 00:50 a.m.) – and when they say “late night,” they’re not kidding.
Almost an o’clock in the morning before it started, which made sense when I turned it on and realized it was from Wales, the country’s first World Cup in 64 years.
Booking it earlier would have risked being seen by the “home crowd” in England, who might not have noticed that other teams were also competing in Qatar.
The show was one of those loud, ludicrous, behind-the-scenes things, and that’s okay. The fans in the audience were happy to be a part of it all. Surely this is what the World Cup is really about.
Fans shouldn’t be ashamed of just wanting to watch a few football matches. Qatar in November is not their choice. Let them have their fun. There will be enough time for politics later.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/world-cup-on-tv-let-football-fans-enjoy-the-matches-its-not-their-fault-its-in-qatar-42174125.html World Cup on TV: Let football fans enjoy the game, it’s not their fault, it’s Qatar