Got a laugh out of this on gaaboard.com
I usually agree with most of what you write but we part company here.
Did Kerry’s dominance damage the GAA? It certainly did, short term at least. According to Eamonn Sweeney, the Sindo hack, just 17,523 turned up for the Kingdom’s semi against Armagh in 1982.That was only a single game but the fall off in attendances was repeated throughout the land and the GAA lost heavily. Same for the great Galway team of the 60s.
Predictable results on the field led to equally predictable drop offs in paying spectators.
I read some time ago (Sweeney again I think) that the qualifiers last year would have been run at a loss if Mayo and its loyal supporters hadn’t been involved.
The Leinster championship has seen a dramatic fall off in paying customers and also in playing standards as others realise the sheer futility of attempting to mix it with Dublin.
The outstanding difference between Dublin today and Kerry in the 70s/80s is money, plain and simple. The age of Professionalism and Science has arrived and no other team in the land can afford to go to the same lengths as Dublin in preparing players mentally and physically.
I mean Kerry players of that era hadn’t every aspect of their lives controlled by experts with the sole purpose of having them at the peak of their potential every time the team takes the field.
I can never see the time when DUblini lose their dominance. Others, Mayo this year hopefully, may sneak an odd title along the way. After all it’s fifteen against fifteen and on the day surprises can happen but the odds will favour Dublin every year.
I can’t see them losing interest either, no matter how many AIs on the trot they secure. The competition for places is red-hot and there is more than enough quality players for Dublin to field the two strongest teams in the land.
The great Kerry and Galway teams I’ve referred to had no material advantage over their competitors. I know the present Dublin team, bench and all, are talented players but there’s more than innate skill involved. They have advantages that only money can buy.
Supposing, just supposing, that Mayo and Dublin were to have swapped places a couple of months before the AI last year, who do you think would be AI champions now?
If Berno and Dermo and co. had to squeeze into a few cars around four in the evening, drive to Ballyhaunis or wherever, for a savage bout of training and then get back around 2 or 3 in the morning to get ready for work or study the next day, do you think they’d be half the men they are now? Mind you, a trip from Belmullet or Ballina or anywhere else in our gawd forsaken county would make men out of a fair few of them. They’d never complain about potholes damaging their top of the range Subarus again. ;D
In every material and indeed mental way, it’s a case of Goliath taking on David every time that Dublin plays.
Talk about a level playing pitch; it’s about as level as the backside of The Reek.