Pat Spillane and Sean Cavanagh tear into each other about "cute hoors" Tyrone
A heap of drama, spice and recriminations, all well before a ball was thrown in.
Kerry and Tyrone took a back-seat, for a while anyway, to Pat Spillane and Sean Cavanagh ripping into each other about Covid-19, bluffs and information vacuums.
The RTE pundits went toe-to-toe in an extraordinary exchange, before an All-Ireland semi-final that was fixed for August 15, re-fixed for August 21 and is eventually being played today. Tyrone had several panel members affected by a Covid outbreak and successfully pressured the GAA to reschedule the game for 13 days after it was originally slated.
Spillane began cordially enough by stating today's fixture date was the best of a series of bad choices, but he already had Cavanagh triggered before he dropped the words "cute hoors" to describe Tyrone. Spillane commented:
"I'll tell you what Tyrone did - they played an absolute blinder. They called the GAA's bluff, Kerry's bluff and played the game of poker, then they hurled the grenade in. The GAA blinked and Kerry blinked.
"You talk about anger [Sean], and people not knowing facts. Of course they don't know facts, because no-one has been told anything.
"When there is a vacuum of information, as there has been from the Tyrone camp, into that vacuum comes disinformation, innuendo and false narratives, and that's what you got. I've still got so many question marks (about the situation)."
Cavanagh had been trying to get a word in from almost the moment Spillane opened his mouth. Eventually, he got his chance to reply.
"There's 35 Tyrone players sitting together in the changing room, right now, under the Hogan Stand. In the Ulster Final, there would have been 30 players. Is there a chance they would have been close together? Of course there is."
Cavanagh said that he was aware of 'eight or nine' Tyrone players that tested positive for Covid, so many teammates would have been ruled out of training as they were deemed close contacts.
Spillane then poked the beae further by saying he knew ALL the Kerry panel were vaccinated while the same could not be said for Tyrone. Again, Cavanagh was not letting broad accusations fly.
It was riveting stuff from the Kerry and Tyrone legends"
Pat Spillane is not happy with the "vacuum of information" that he feels is coming out of the Tyrone camp in relation to the Covid-19 outbreak within the Ulster champions' squad #rtegaa #kerryvtyrone pic.twitter.com/cuNioPCJWI
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 28, 2021
With all that brio and bluster out of the way, it was time to focus on the match itself.