BBC BLOGS - Austin O'Callaghan

Archives for February 2011

My predictions for the 2011 National Football League

Austin O'Callaghan | 14:09 UK time, Tuesday, 1 February 2011

My 'to do' list at work this week has largely revolved around preparations for our live radio coverage of the new National Football League season - and buying an umpire's white coat.

It could well become a collector's item now that the GAA has revamped its wardrobe for match officials.

The white coats will be a thing of the past as GAA umpires get a makeover for 2011

There are two Sportsound programmes on BBC Radio Ulster 1341 medium wave this weekend, Saturday evening from 7 - and Sunday afternoon from 2, and we are spoilt for choice in terms of commentary matches.

The most atmospheric venue is likely to be Armagh v Dublin at the renovated Athletic Grounds. Supporters who have bought tickets for the front rows of the new stand will think they are actually playing themselves, such is the proximity of the front seats to the sideline.

Apart from the lively banter between fans and sideline personnel, Armagh will probably be hoping it unsettles the visiting Dubs a little. This game also marks another first for the GAA - it will be the association's first fixture to be broadcast on TV in HD.

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