All Ireland Football Championship 2018 - front door, back door, and the rest


i skipped the last 20 or so posts here cos i’m supposed to be cooking so dont have time to read but hopefully my point is still relevant.
the game has gone to shite over the last 15-20 years, especially in ulster, with fermanagh being the most painful county i can remember watching over that period, followed by donegal. it has often resembled rugby league with these 2 (though not alone) with hoardes of players swinging out of the man in possession until he coughs it up or the game is stopped for a free, often every 15 seconds. when in possession, you have the same scrumb like bunch literally THROWING the ball 2 yards at a time to each other. not one can kick it. not gaelic football.

having said all that, i’ll now seem like a clown by saying dublin’s win over tyrone last year was one of the most enjoyable games i ever watched. not the way dublin want to play but they can if forced and the technical accuracy of what they produced just had to be admired and the tactical battle-of-wits was enthralling. i wouldn’t want to watch it every week though and my wife who is not irish watched it at home and said it was “a boring load of shit”. the difference in how the casual fan and the diehard perceive these games is important cos it has big implications for attendances.

one other point on this- i was laying flooring when fixing up the house a few years ago and pulled out old newspapers from under the floorboards from when the house was built in 1952. of course i went straight to the sports pages of the irish press and no surprise that the resident gaa writer at the time was a kirrrrraa man. anyway, the thrust of his article was “when did football become playing the man and not the ball?” that will tell how long the same shit has been going on in the game and nothing done about it. my point is that the game would never have reached the state it is in now with defensive systems/no kicking/ no risk, etc if the handpass and the tackle were properly addressed. no basketball/rugby league shit if you have to use a closed fist to handpass instead of throwing it with one hand and tipping it with 2 fingers on the way out. no flocks of sheep passing the ball 2 foot each time if you have to kickpass after 4 handpasses. its easy done as we know from compromise rules last year. no forest of arms and legs tripping/dragging/slapping the man in possession if only 2 men are allowed in the “tackle-zone” at a time. some simple changes that have been crying out for decades would solve a lot of the crap.


Well said. As usual some of our own are buying into the national begrudgery narrative, as that is the only reason we have these annual agendas getting aired about state of the game etc. It’s because people are sick of Dublin winning and want any sort of deflection around it.
The f.ucking irony of it is that we are by far the most exciting and best football g team and yet the national agenda has managed to twist things so much to the point that we are getting blamed for all the ills of the game. It’s quite incredible really but I suppose with enough muck spouted consistently the past few years eventually it becomes accepted as the norm, and people ask why we keep reacting to it? Because obviously if there is no counterpoint to the incessant propaganda it becomes automatically accepted wisdom. The new truth.

Anyway, football for me anytime over hurling. Too many scores in hurling, it gets that the tension isn’t really in it, you just know that 10 point lead will get wiped inevitably. That’s very entertaining but in itself becomes predictable.
Some people are just never happy unless they are whining about the end of the world. This is not uniquely Irish but I think we are clearly world champions at it for about the last 20 years running. We should be split into 5 provinces…


I’ve made it quite clear, more than once, that I am not talking about Dublin. It is the game itself I am growing tired of. Throwing out a few good games a year and then claiming that everything is fine is a nonsense. Present day intercounty football is a bore fest of handpassing and possession. Who is playing makes no difference. And someone other than Dublin winning the All Ireland will not change that one iota. You’re arguing about something else entirely.

I don’t know how anyone could watch the two games on RTÉ on Sunday and claim the football was better.


A lot of the football in the earley 90s was CAT. Low in skill and low in scoring somehow becouse it was man on man that makes it better. I am not so sure.


Remember Kerry walloping us out the gate in the 00s…everyone just praised Kerry as unstoppable…imagine if Ye had done that to us…lol. Be calls to split ye in 20


I respect your opinion on it but not that you talk about it as if it’s a given or as if you know everyone agrees with you. They don’t, it’s your opinion.
Theres aspects about football I don’t like, as others have said the handpass and tackling rules. But to constantly go on about it and saying the game is doomed like it’s an inevitable fact is not helpful. And you do have a consistent line of inferring that you don’t like the way Dublin football management are doing things.

Apart from all that I’m sick of hurling fans displaying their snobbery and condescension every year. To me in the Dublin context it smacks of an inferiority complex. This will not lead to hurling becoming more successful. Just as alot of clubs who bitch about Vincent’s every year will not learn to be more successful


Again you’re bringing up Dublin. I never mentioned Dublin at all in relation to this particular discussion. The issues with the game at inter county level have little to do with Dublin. They are universal. And something may well need to be done if people aren’t to give up on it eventually.

And I’m well aware it’s my opinion, expressed forcefully. I do not expect anyone else to agree. If they do, fine. If not, so be it.


Which people , the supporters ?


Maybe them. Maybe the players. Maybe both. A rising number of players are already giving up on the inter county game.


Pat Spillane was right. Gaelic football has been destroyed by the Blanket. No other way to look at it. Fear of making a mistake. Rigid. Energy sapping. Very difficult to play against. Creativity stifled for defence. But as there is a god so I’m told. We have the Dubs. Adaptibility. We will dictate the state of play and ultimately will win out. Not the final solution but it might encourage others to emulate Dublin and play football against us as Mayo did so valiantly. Won’t happen. They are afraid.
I agree with you that the game has declined measurably as a spectacle over the last 10-15 years however I don’t think it’s lost and gone forever. I didn’t like it when that Blanket shit began festering
a long time ago and as Spillane said, “they have a lot to answer for”. Dublin will continue to evolve and change the game. It’s up to the other mopes to adapt and challenge. Then the game might be a better spectacle.


Is that a fact? If it is, is it because of the way the game is being played? I doubt it, I would say it has more to do with the demands of inte county football, but in saying that if you become the best at any sport, albeit it at amatuer level, the demands are very high, it is not just a GAA thing, I mean I do a bit of running and there are guys out there that build their lives around getting a PB, training, diet, physios the lot. ( Not my case I might add:) )


ah sure lookit, we ahve been told that players are giving up intercounty because dublin will win the all ireland ffs.

the reason they are giving up is because when you come along to do the winter training or the full on training it isnt like it used to be when you could get by without killing yourself or living like a monk. Today you have to do all of the things the runners you mention do - all for one or two championship games and maybe five or six league. The return on investment is lousy.

I am sort of a member of a running grup who have imposed upon themselves crazy schedules, diet and nutrition plans. I like getting PB’s and have been gettnig them all summer but I also like my crisps and chocolate bars and generally lounging around. The difference is that I dont have a manager, a county board and a community on my back if I choose to do so. ■■■■ that.


That’s a very extreme fear. As ever, popularity will ebb and flow but I think it’s a bit far-fetched to envisage the end. Would SKY Sports be investing if there were any substance to the worry? I am not aware of attendance or viewing figures that reflect anything like a terminal decline. And the governing bodies of pretty much every sport under the sun review the rules and how they are working on a regular basis. As soon as you think or act as if something is perfect, that’s when they real conerns should set in.


It’s all a part of the same clusterfuck in my view. Out of control managers are the issue.


I think we all know what will save football.
As soon as we start to lose , all will be well again in the world .It is interesting though that it didn’t collapse during the noughties when Kerry won 5 AIs .
Here’s the breakdown
Kerry 2000
Galway 2001
Armagh 2002
Tyrone 2003
Kerry 2004
Tyrone 2005
Kerry 2006
Kerry 2007
Tyrone 2008
Kerry 2009

In the last 8 years we’ve had Cork , Donegal & Kerry win one while we have won 5 .
Id say if there has been a bigger spread between our wins there wouldn’t be as much animosity.
Your only hearing these calls because we have been so dominant in the last 5 years .


A lot of players giving up club football for similar reasons or dropping down to inter or junior just to enjoy playing again


its progress and the more sports science advances, which is an industry in iteself, the more marginal gains can be made. However the effort to achive those marginal gains is tremendous. Thats acceptable if you are a full time paid player, but for amatures it is not.

The only solution was curfews and restrictions on training and that was easily got around.


That started with Heffo in the 70s, it was then then the whole concept of training changed, but as I said it is not a GAA thing, it applies to sport in general, so I would assume if players are walking away from the GAA due to commitment, they would be doing the same in other sports.


with the obvious difference between pro and amateur…


I’m not surprised playing dropping down. Very few players over 30 even playing senior club now. Have watched a few senior club games in recent weeks and its echoing the inter county game. Very little kick passing and teams just getting bodies behind the ball. Junior football is more enjoyable and less intense. Watched Towers and Maurs in AFL5 a month ago and was a great open game of ball. Score was something like 2-19 to 2-15