SportTV View

‘Sensory blitzkrieg’: McGinley somehow keeps a straight face when met with Chamblee’s golf guff

Bandwagoners are, mercifully, only subjected to this kind of guff in glory weeks

Yet another weekend when you’d be in desperate need of a bank of TVs to keep an eye on the copious amounts of rich sporting fare on the menu, and in the absence of such a luxury, you know yourself, you end up missing the bulk of the tastiest stuff with all the channel-hopping.

And what Sky Sports Golf missed, because it happened on the Golf Channel, was possibly the highlight of the weekend, namely the fortitude of their joint pundit Paul McGinley when he, somehow, retained a straight face when Brandel Chamblee, sitting to his right, started talking about “sensory blitzkrieg” during the Masters.

“Solitude is important,” Brandel declared. “There is so much discovery in solitude, but it is so absent on the driving range. I see all of these great players and they are surrounded by sensory blitzkrieg. At some point somebody has to have the guts to say ‘go away, I’m the genius, leave me alone’. The greats of all time were so good under pressure because they didn’t have sensory blitzkrieg.”

Most of us might have opted for “people yapping in their ear”, but Brandel isn’t most of us, a good egg but one who delivers the kind of golf guff that us bandwagoners are, mercifully, only subjected to during the glory weeks.


Mind you, our Paul can deliver no end of guff himself, mountains of it, but in fairness he didn’t describe Bryson DeChambeau as “an intellectual earthquake that transforms itself into this athletic majesty”. Brandel, what are you like? “It’s not bomb and gouge, it’s laser-guided missiles that you’re watching here.” Stop.

Bandwagoners, as you know, can also be quite parochial folk, so once Rory and Shane drifted out of contention ... okay, okay, plummeted ... it was time to put our heart and soul in to rugby.

(And after Tiger hit that 82? Ah here, heart shredded. It was like seeing your favourite fighter being pummelled when he should have stayed retired. Watching Tiger limping about the place will never not be a heartbreaker, even if the cameras’ focus on him, while neglecting the leading bunch, will never not be amusing – and telling, as they desperately search for a box-office successor).

The happy relief came on Virgin Media. Hearts mended. “This is the first time we’ve smiled during our coverage in a year of doing it,” said Joe Molloy after the women of Ireland slayed their Welsh visitors at Musgrave Park, Jenny Murphy having to offer an effusive apology for ever doubting them.

“I hope I’m wrong, but the Welsh to potentially get the win,” she’d said when Joe had asked her for her prediction. But here, look-it, it had been so long since Ireland enjoyed a happy Six Nations outcome, she was forgiven for struggling to picture one. Would she have taken a 36-6 triumph prematch? She’d have bitten off your hand, wrist and elbow.

As for Leinster. Well now.

First, some housekeeping.

“You laid out the red carpet for them in Cork,” Cork woman Jacqui Hurley said, somewhat accusingly, to Cork man Donal Lenihan prematch after the Rebels made the city a home from home for ROG’s lads during the week.

Dónal tried to explain himself, while half promising that he wished Leinster well against La Corkchelle. And he tried to change the topic by swooning at Joe McCarthy’s size 17 boots. “I’ve never seen a man as big as him. At six foot five, Donal is no pygmy, so this was saying something.

Over on TNT, Craig Doyle was whipping Brian O’Driscoll in to a frenzy. “Whatever happens, this game will go to the wire,” he promised him. The promise ended up being well and truly broken, Leinster mullering ROG’s reigning champions, Leo Cullen losing the run of himself in his post-match chat with RTÉ. “Yeah, the guys are pretty happy.”

Next? A semi-final against Northampton Saints in Croke Park. “I grew up on the Wicklow/Carlow border, so I never imagined getting to play there,” said Bernard Jackman, somewhat dissing the counties’ GAA credentials.

The chat before that semi-final will amount to a sensory blitzkrieg, but Leinster, quite evidently, are now an intellectual earthquake that transforms itself into this athletic majesty. “Wha,” Leo Cullen might ask. Ourselves too.