Poor old Tommy Carr has been getting an awful doing in the wake of the Tipperary vs Mayo game today. Mainly because of quotes like this:
''I'm sure he's had much worse at a disco in Castlebar at 3 in the morning''- Tommy Carr re tackle on Aidan o Shea.. RTE substitution needed
— Eoin Cleary (@Smiley_014_) August 21, 2016
Back in the day, when the great Michael O'Hehir was calling the shots on the wireless during big games in Croke Park, we had to take him at his word. What Michael said, went. It wasn't as if there was any contradictory evidence that what he was saying was wrong. Michael could have said that the game had to be interrupted for fifteen minutes because of an alien invasion, only for Mick O'Connell to fling the green martians and their UFO back to space, win the resulting throw-ball and score a point from his own goal-line. We'd have no choice but to believe O'Hehir until we managed to read the papers the following day, or chat to someone who had travelled to Dublin for the game.
Now, though, commentators are more vulnerable to questioning and criticism. They have to call the shots accurately or face the sharp tongues of every Paddy, John and Mary sitting at home with a Twitter account and a television. They are, no doubt, paid handsomely for the task, but it is still a high-pressure role.
Perhaps in O'Hehir's day Carr would have been able to get away with what many perceive as poor commentary. As an All-Ireland winner and former inter-county manager, listeners would perhaps take him on his word.
In the social media age, however, the Twitterati snap up a below-par commentator like a swarm of locusts from Mayo snap up a breaking ball. Carr got it in the neck.
Tom Carr would drive u to drink #mayovtipp
— Rory's Stories (@RorysStories) August 21, 2016
Listening to Tom Carr commentary should be the sentence received by societies worst offenders. would make sure they don't reoffend! #painful
— Paul Geaney's Bar & Restaurant (@GeaneysBar) August 21, 2016
— Shane Scanlon (@ScanlonShane) August 21, 2016
But, credit where credit is due, as one punter rightly pointed out. At least Carr was attempting to make headroads into reversing important lapses in the Irish dialect.
— Anthony Daly (@antodaly) August 21, 2016