The cancellation of all sporting events due to the international COVID-19 crisis has devastated fans all over the Globe. The lockdown stopped the Soccer season in its tracks; GAA, in all its iterations, has been postponed until at least October and Northern Hemisphere Rugby is eyeing its start dates with apprehension. While outdoor individual sports in track and field may restart sooner than their team counterparts it still leaves many sports fanatics, parish diehards and bandwagon-ers twiddling their thumbs this summer.
Fear not! RTÉ has a stopgap to help quell those sport watching urges. In mid-April, RTÉ Sport began a campaign of reshowing classic sporting events from years gone for Irish viewers until the end of June.
There is little fear of struggling to enjoy old matches given the tweets bouncing around under the #rtesportsclassic. Judging by the reactions on twitter some of the injustices still smart years later.
Softest free ever………#rtesportclassics
— Joe Ó Muirċeartaiġ (@muirioch) April 30, 2020
Eugene McGee on that 'phantom' free. "There's no logic in it. I was often talking to the ref after that and I never bothered asking him, off the record or anything. He was quiet adamant." #OFFvKER #rtegaa #rtesportclassics #keepthefaith
— Michael Glennon (@MicilGlennon) April 30, 2020
The banter is as fresh as always.
Though generally a positive feeling re-living our glory days with friends, families, and parishes.
Brilliant to watch the 82 final again. Got a few handy frees. Mick o Dwyer very gracious. Have to say Michael o Hehir’s commentary was brilliant #rtesportclassics
— Joe Dooley (@DooleyJoe) April 30, 2020
Though some young ones are scarlet over the style going on on the pitch.
All with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia.
Them were the days, when random spectators were allowed to stroll on to the pitch in the middle of an All Ireland Final. #rtesportclassics
— Leopold Bloom (@leopoldbarnacle) April 30, 2020
It’s a nice way for people to feel connected when we can’t physically be at the moment. Many of those who experienced these days were in large crowds in pubs, pitchside, or at home with family, and remembering that those days especially now certainly worth an hour or two of screen time.
RTÉ will be showing GAA matches, Rugby, and Soccer over the coming weeks. If nothing else we can rehash old arguments about referees, penalties given and taken, and umpire calls.