The first instalment of the evening edition of the Sunday Game for 2014 has attracted criticism. And it is the paltry footage of the games in the Leinster championship, both hurling and football that has alienated people in particular.
Longford chairman Brendan Gilmore has attacked the programme in the Examiner for their scant coverage of the Longford-Offaly game, which was brought to us in the style of a (slightly elongated) Six-One report, with Adrian Eames describing the action in the past tense. Gilmore also critiqued the analysis which he felt was excessively focused on Offaly's failings rather than Longford's triumph.
I was disappointed with the coverage... I was involved in our last championship win over Offaly and that was back in 1965 so that tells you how much we needed to win this. Everyone in Longford then was looking forward to sitting down and watching the Sunday Game on Sunday night to see what the pundits had to say about Longford, to see how the game was analysed.
Fair play to Ciarán Whelan who congratulated Longford on the win and focused on Longford despite the fact that he was asked to comment on Offaly. I was looking forward to see who the lads thought played well, what areas they believed we were strongest in. There was none of that.
We deserve fair coverage and I don’t think our lads got that. I was disappointed that the rest of the pundits didn’t even comment on Longford’s win.
It's not just Longford who were wound up by last Sunday's programme. The short report on the Carlow-Westmeath game irked Carlow hurling supporters. There was the odd complaint about Carlow hurlers being referred to by their positions and, somewhat amusingly, (and perhaps this is unfair as there was probably little time to prepare this report) the phrase 'to the delight of John Meyler' was used twice in the course of the short segment. It also managed to omit the fact that three players had been sent off, two from Carlow and one from Westmeath.
@TheSundayGame At least know the players names instead of calling them by their positions if yer gonna give limited highlights #Carlow #GAA
— Paul McElligott (@PawlieMac) May 18, 2014
Carlow and Laois got a combined total of about 4 minutes on The Sunday Game tonight ???? #LoadOfShite — Kevin Regan (@KevRegan91) May 18, 2014
@KevRegan91 didnt even highlight we were down to 13 and westmeath had 14
— Petey Shaw (@PeteyShaw1) May 18, 2014
It's true that in the early days of the championship, there are more games to be shown and just an hour and twenty minutes in which to get through them.
However, supporters from smaller counties have humbly suggested that less time be given over to Colm Cooper recalling the toughest markers he's even faced (if you didn't see that bit of TV, there weren't any shocking surprises among the trio he named) and a bit more time go into showing and discussing the championship games that they were actually involved in at the weekend.