Editor, and cherished readers, I am aware of certain obligations to begin the column with a turf creel full of positivity about the beginning of championship 2022 but sorry it is call out time that occupies the cavities.
Last week, I mentioned the need, to beware of the idles of April rather than of March.
Those with an agenda of placing the split season in the tomb, even prior to the arrival of the person with the christening robes were to fore, again last weekend, hence the need to call them out.
On Sunday morning, on one of the national radio stations, where they were discussing the advent of championship 2022, the issues of the compact nature of the season was ideal fodder.
One informed contributor stated quite unashamedly the he could see no logic in all the games taking place between now and end July and then nothing.
That was it, unless the profanities from a car travelling down south could be picked up in the studio, again apologies, the use of bad land language can’t be accepted.
Nothing after July, really!!
I am not going to drive you over the edge by listing every exemplar of these guys in action but one came from the Sunday Game panelist did leave me in no doubt of the mindset of some.
Prior to getting to it, I am temped to suggest that the reason Limerick are good at hurling, is because they behave on the pitch as Shane Dowling does in the studio.
Honest, no nonsense analysis, not exalting what’s on view to some form of mystic happenings, inclusive of the views of others and understands the the role of teamwork.
Or maybe pundits aren’t meant to be like that!!
Now back to the split season deniers, when the opinion of Donal Óg Cusack was sought, he suggested that we should wait till the end of the season prior to making a call, and then mentioned that for him, September was all about the All-Ireland hurling final.
Think about that for a second because that is all you will need to know.
When September was the month of the All-Ireland finals, if memory serves me correctly, the hurling decider was played on the first weekend still for some, the month was all about hurling.
Some lack of, I won’t say respect for Gaelic football because that is very evident but some awesome lack of awareness for the dual nature of the GAA.
One of the arguments that the anti split season brigade will put forward is the concession of August to other sports.
What about the gain of April.
Now, what Rugby is played in August, a few rounds of the fourth incarnation of the celtic league!!
In soccer, the beginning of the premier league where the only real excitement derives from seeing a low pasture grazer like Brighton or Man Utd top the table and then do they not take an international break.
The weekend just passed was some opportunity, If that is what the anti boys desire, to take on the the other sports.
Prior to the second meeting of Liverpool and Man City in 6 days, bainisteoir Jurgen informed us that the the quadruple chasing Anfield side, were playing the best team in the world!
In Rugby we had the prospect of all four provinces in serious action.
The argument about taking on other sports by comparing April to August doesn’t hold water.
If if it did, it doesn’t matter, for too long club players who don’t play inter-county, were treated at best, as second class.
Connie Covid take a bow!! It would be remiss of this scribbler to give the impression that the anti brigade were the only ones to heard, thankfully the calling out is gathering momentum, make sure it continues.
A little acknowledgement of the awesome beginning of championship 2022.
The first tip of the hat goes to five Tailteann Cup dwellers.
Fermanagh provided us with no end of entertainment in the first half of their meeting with All-Ireland champions Tyrone before eventually giving way.
The two games played on foreign soil were competitive to last whistle and not withstanding the fact that the two victors Leitrim and Sligo will exit the Connacht championship the next day out, the games in question raised a certain awareness of the aforementioned Tailteann Cup.
The human frailties that attach to referees also played a role in the memorable weekend.
Galway appeared to on their way up to the West with two points, to begin Henry’s inter-county championship coaching journey when the Whistler stepped in.
Well into the five minutes of injury time, the Galway lead which was six points with 10 minutes remaining was down to two and at stage Wexford should have been happy that their scoring difference was at -2.
Galway were awarded a free, Conor Cooney took his time taking it, the home crowd starting giving grief, so James Walsh from Waterford threw in the ball for time wasting.
All going well, a free ensued to Wexford which Lee Chin pointed. Play continued another free to South East side, Lee Chin stepped up to the plated and nailed it.
All good, until a Galway man who was watching decided to do a bit time investigation.
He discovered that Cooney stood over the sliotar for about 11 seconds and Lee Chin took double that time addressing his equalising effort.
The Sunday Game, Judge Judy brothers became aware of the Galway’s man’s time investigation undertaking and the Waterford referee became there first black clothed filleting of the new season.
The other filleting was performed by Sean Cavanagh and was totally unacceptable.
Late in the Tyrone Fermanagh game, Mattie Donnelly was sent off for what appeared to be contributing to a melee.
When it came up for discussion, Cavanagh in a blinkered effort, to get his fellow county man off, implied that the Cavan official was a celebrity one and by extension suggested that the reason Donnelly was sent off was that he was a high profile player.
An apology is the minimum.