Had a good read of this thread, and I am surprised at those who say this isn't about money - Of course it is.
What I am more surprised at is that nobody has mentioned the three letter elephant in the room here - Sky.
Is it simply a coincidence that just after the "experimental" Sky deal was extended that this happens? I'm sure that sky, who have a 30 Year track record in getting the sports they cover changed to suit their agenda - were frankly fed up with the amount of provincial blow outs they were getting. Now we have a "super 8" (a phrase similar to the cricket World Cup which was changed to allow Sky have more matches for their money) in which undoubtedly sky will be getting a split of the live coverage of these quarter finals.
I heard a lad from Armagh on Sunday sport today saying that they're looking forward to having one of these super 8 matches so we can see how several counties were bought off. We also had ray silk talking about "getting the dubs out of croke park" which again reveals the money agenda- he us in clones against Donegal and mc hale against Mayo and cork against Kerry. Yes, very neutral. Since there are no grounds in Leinster capable of a q-f outside of Croker, we can certainly see get an idea of where these "neutral" games will be.
The notion that this super 8, and indeed the ending of replays is to benefit the clubs is rubbish.
The purpose of getting rid of replays is to get room for the super 8.
I posted last year that many counties whose inter county trips had ended in July were still having their club finals in October. Every excuse under the sun is used - if it is not the senior county team still in competition, it's the under 21's, or a football team may have a player in the inter county hurling team, or holidays, or whatever. The reality is that as counties knew they must have clubs done and dusted by end of October they aim for that date irrespective of how the inter county scene is going.
I can certainly see that this will result n intercounty players opting out all the way till they are knocked out- for the likes of ourselves who will be aiming for this loony period of playing 3 games, a semi final, and a final in a window of just a month and a half on top of a truncated provincial timetable, there will be zero chance of them being going back to the clubs and since they can't, there will still be no club activity in the summer.
I also posted before that when you look at how the all Ireland is structured, the gaps exist simply because of television and the need to have so many live matches each Sunday. TV has called the shots for decades and now they will call the shots even more. The pro of the gaa was on the radio today and hinted that the super 8 is just the start - I don't doubt that he means that the GAA will try and bring in the 4 groups of 8 eventually, followed by super 8, then semi and finals. That'll bring in loadsamoney......