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Behind the scenes with Con

Updated: Tuesday, 01 Jun 2010 11:10

Tony McDonnell's Cotton Eye Joe gingham shirt caught the eye of the MNS presenter
Tony McDonnell's Cotton Eye Joe gingham shirt caught the eye of the MNS presenter

My other half Lorraine was on the phone to her friend Ciara during this week’s MNS when she exclaimed that she couldn't talk to her buddy anymore because ‘her man’ was on TV.

When Ciara switched the TV on she saw Gary Twigg and said she must have missed Lorraine's man, i.e. Me, only to be told that no, Lorraine's man is in fact, the Twiggmeister himself.

So I felt bad later on when I had to break it to her that he'd gone and got himself hitched last weekend and in so doing missed the Bohs v Rovers derby.

Lorraine wasn't at the game herself because work commitments meant she was in Boston at the time and so had missed the news of Twiggy's walk down the aisle.

I know Rovers copped some deserved flak in the press for not coming clean about Gary's nuptials in their pre-match team news press release.

The news was always going to come out anyway. The Dublin football community is relatively small, so I don't think the Hoops gained any kind of advantage from not being straight with everyone, and in fact only managed to p*** off the press gang, who had featured Gary Twigg widely in the match previews.

However, the Irish Daily Mail made an interesting observation in Monday’s paper about four clubs issuing statements about players injuries or likelihood of playing in matches which proved to be incorrect.

So maybe Rovers aren't the only ones telling porkies, but in an age when the League is struggling for column inches against the likes of the provincial rugby teams, the Championship and the forthcoming World Cup, annoying journalist by providing them with duff information is not the way to go about winning friends and influencing people and maybe it's something that the authorities will have to monitor.

Speaking of monitoring, I think somebody in RTÉ is going to have to keep an eye on Tony McDonnell's attire. There we were trying to conduct a serious conversation about all manner of League of Ireland related topics, when all I could see was ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’s’ gingham shirt out of the corner of my eye.

Having admitted that he bought the shirt himself, Tony couldn't blame anyone else, and as Dave Barry rightly said after the programme, if Mr McDonnell really wants to go down that road, the next time he might as well wear the ten gallon hat, and start his answers with ‘howdy pardner’.

A couple of people who missed the early part of the programme asked me why a graphic had appeared on screen telling us that he had been watching too much of the X Files.

This of course related to his earlier slip when he referred to the FAI as the FBI. In fairness he was only one letter and a J Edgar Hoover away from being right.

I can't wait for this weekend’s FAI Ford Cup ties. I must say, I love the cup competition. I seem to remember writing before about some of my great Cup memories down through the years.

Every time the third round comes upon us, there's always that possibility that a minnow will jump up and bite one of the bigger boys.

As it happens I'll be working at Thomond Park on RTE Radio as the Irish rugby team take on the Barbarians, but even though I'll be watching the oval ball game, I'll be keeping abreast of developments in the Cup as well. It should be an exciting night.

With matches on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, it should be a very interesting round of matches. The big game at Oriel Park between Dundalk and St Pat's is definitely the tie of the round, but I expect that there will be a surprise at one or two of the other venues. Now that I think about it, can you expect a surprise?

Of course the timing of this round could hardly be worse for the non league sides as they are out of season, but as we saw last year, that doesn't necessarily prevent one or two of them from raising their games and causing the bigger clubs anxious moments, or worse, an early exit from the competition.

With the final due to be played at the Aviva Stadium later in the year I think there's a huge incentive for clubs to make it there.

Having toured the stadium recently, it is a ‘hair standing on the back of neck’ experience to walk out the tunnel and face those magnificent stands. I can only imagine what it would be like for a player on cup final day.

A never-to-be-forgotten experience, I would suggest. The fans would also have a very special day as the supporters of two teams competing in the first ever Cup final in the Aviva.

By the way, with the new name and all that, wouldn't it be ironic if the artist formerly known as Prince, played a gig at the stadium formerly known as Lansdowne!

Ok, I know he's called Prince again, and it probably wouldn't be ironic at all, but Alanis Morisette made millions with a song called Ironic, when most of the stuff mentioned in the song wasn't ironic at all, so cut me some slack.

Finally, I'd just like to mention the fact that I've never experienced anything like the traffic trying to get home from Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Sunday.

I know I long for the day when thirty thousand people might turn up to an Airtricity League match, but not if it's held at Cork’s premier, if now dilapidated, stadium.

It took us almost an hour just to get out of the car park, and with all the Tipperary traffic going the same way as we were, the new motorway to Dublin seemed like a long way away.

So maybe the bijou crowds that we get at League of Ireland matches around the country have some slight compensation.