Semple’s New Sound System
Semple Stadium is the unofficial home of Cork hurling and the victory over the Blaa’s on Sunday was our sporting highlight of the year so far. Ah we love the trip to Tipp!
As usual with the GAA not all entertainment came from the field of play however.
Unlike Pairc Úi Squeeze, supporters with stand tickets for Semple can be seated in relative comfort without the aid of an orthopaedic surgeon and the new PA system in the stadium is certainly the business.
Unlike the piercing tinny tannoy down at the Pairc, Tipp’s biggest stadium now has a modern speaker system fit for a large rock concert by a quartet of semi-musical tax dodgers from Dublin.
|The announcer's practice room at Semple Stadium|
A grant must also have been acquired for a fancy new microphone for the stadium. The lads below in Pairc Úi Rinn would want to fill out that application quickly – anyone who attended the league fixture featuring the same teams as last Sunday back in February (when Cork hammered Waterford again we should add) will remember the pathetic crackling noise that emerged anytime the mic was switched on.
Even Amhran na bhFiann sounded like somebody making popcorn in a small corrugated iron shed where pigs were being tortured by Jedward in the background. Either that or it was being played from vinyl that had a long running romance with a sheet of industrial grade sand paper in the late 1950’s.
|Semple FM: Now broadcasting into Mitchelstown and Fermoy|
The sound expertise at Durlas Éile also extends to the all-important microphone technique. Authorities at Semple, contrary to standard practice in the GAA, have finally realised that it is best until one’s thoughts have fully formed to switch on the mic to begin transmission. Announcements are no longer prefaced by long spells of heavy breathing and intellectual tumbleweed or frantic back-of-the-church whispering.
And c’mere what about the randomness of some of the announcements on Sunday though? It might take you two seconds to read the following ráméis but only those who were in the stadium can really appreciate the insane volume and long drawn-out articulation of each spoken word:
“Laydees. And. Gintle-min. There is an important announcement. [pause] The parents of Lochlainn Kenny [pause], age fif-teen [longer pause while 38,163 hurling fans burst into hysterics], from Cork wish to meet him at the main entrance [deep breath] after the game. That’s the main entrance for Lochlainn Kennedy from Cork, age [pause] fifteen”.
Then he repeated the whole thing. Again.
Now at this point you’d think Lochlainn’s parents had used up all of their announcement credits but it seems with the spanking new tannoy the authorities were more than eager to ‘bust the mic’ once again with a new update. Twitter how are ya.
“Laydees. And. Gintle-min. There is a further important announcement [pause]. The parents of Lochlainn Kenny [pause], age fif-teen from Cork now wish to meet him [pause for microphone volume increase] IMMEDIATELY. That’s the main entrance for Lochalinn Kennedy from Cork, age [pause] fifteen to meet his parents at the main entrance IMMEDIATELY”.
What counts as the “main entrance” in a stadium with more turnstyles and gates than Kilkenny fans, especially in a young adolescent’s head, is anyone’s guess. Another beaut was a call out for a second un-contactable teenager who was told to meet his parents at “the new stand”.
For a fourteen year old Cork teenager at the mercy of puberty, attempting to guess the construction dates of Semple’s two stands either side of the pitch could result in some sort of hormonal meltdown that could have caused him to get on a train to Dublin thinking his parents wanted to meet him at Croke Park. After all it will have been drilled into any Cork youth that Dublin has almost everything that is considered new in this country.
While it is heart warming in one sense that the GAA will oblige these trivial requests from over anxious parents, is there anyone thinking of the poor misfortunate youth who will now suffer the ridicule of being re-christened by friends with potential nicknames such “Main Entrance” or “New Stand” ? Absolutely morto!
|Two noise makers who are now very quiet|
As for the plethora of announcements this year about modern cars with lights left on, can some motor savvy Corkonian send the Munster Council an auld bit of data about the longevity of modern car batteries?
Dear Munster Council, most modern batteries are more than capable of starting an engine even if one’s lights are left on for a few hours. And if the worst comes to the worst and you bought yours from a dodgy dealer in Dublin surely one out of the tens of thousands of cars in Thurles will give you a jump start – especially the sound ones with C-reg’s.
Maybe some GAA sub-committee somewhere can pass a motion on car batteries.
The stadium’s speakers were tested again when The Rock O’Sullivan and retired Wah’fud forward Dan Shanahan were interviewed for the supposed benefit of the crowd. Along with a note about car batteries we’ll have to stick in some amateur advice on interviewing technique - namely rule uimhir a h-aon: point the microphone at the mouth of the person speaking to you and turn him up if he can’t be heard.
|Even babies on the internet know it|
We all heard the questions. Nobody heard the answers. We’ll just have to guess what might have been – a bit like guessing how Waterford might have done against Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final or if the most mortified Cork teenager in Thurles will ever forgive his parents.
Thankfully, in both cases, we’ll never know.