Holiday postcard 1

It rains here too. No, really – it does, but only at night, which is pretty darned civilised in my book. We’ve had thunderstorms after dark two nights out of three but, during daylight hours, nothing but pure, unbroken sunshine and temperatures north of 30 degrees. Ain’t life a bitch?

This is just a brief note while I’m sticking my head back in the door ever so quickly, just to clear the spam out of the comment inbox and so forth. But while I’m here … I hear that the Dubs’ match started the customary few minutes late on Sunday (nothing new there) and that the Lake County ran them pretty close. I also gather that The Brother’s wager on Down for Ulster went west as well (that’s why Paddy Power drives a Bentley, I suppose) and so a repeat of the 1982 Ulster outcome now seems to be on the cards. I also see that the qualifiers have thrown up one humdinger of a tie (an all-Ulster one, of course) between Monaghan and Derry. And I also note that our minors have reached the Connacht final (and, hence, the All-Ireland Quarter-final, given how the structure of the minor championship works) where they’ll face the Rossies.

I also see the bar. And I see the beer. And I see it’s time to go back on holiday. Till later, hombres.

6 thoughts on “Holiday postcard 1

  1. sounds like the perfect climate!! hope your rush back from holidays is worth it. I rushed( 2 days earlier than intended) the other half back from florida last year for the Galway game….couldnt look her in the eye after. It wasnt even mentioned….it didnt need to be. Frost in the middle of summer is all i can remember…

  2. Yes the Dub crowd were late,however the West meath team decided to get their own back and hung on in the dressing rooms until the last second. Didnt really work. Down were very dissapointing, Armagh are so physically strong.Get all the sun you can, clouds are gathering here and the week end is forecast damp.

  3. You have my sympathies, Ted. Mrs WJ made the mistake of booking our holidays before checking the fixture list and so the lot had to be rebooked (and that was well before we had qualified for the Connacht final!).

    Sounds like Westmeath blew it (well, if Tom Humphries is admitting this then it must be so) and I can’t really see Wexford stopping them in the final. We might meet them in the final, I suppose.

    I hear the weather’s going from bad to worse – we might cancel that return flight altogether …

  4. ..and in an totally unrelated story, Ballygowan has just announced figures indicating substantial operating profits for the month of June…and forecasts that July should be just as good..

  5. Championship Structure

    Looking at the first half of the Munster Final, I suddenly had an idea that might be worth throwing into the championship structure debate. A bit of background first.

    The Qualifiers were brought in to give the weaker teams extra games. It was never seriously based on the assumption that one of these counties would end up in the All-Ireland Final. On a few rare occasions, some of these counties got as far as the quarter finals, but this was rare enough. What did happen is that the stronger counties also got a second chance, in some cases coming back in and winning the All-Ireland having been beaten earlier in the year (2001, 2005, 2006). Most people point to the system as being greatly to Kerry’s benefit, but to date, Kerry (2006) has only benefited once from the system. However, what has happened is that the provincial championships have been greatly devalued since the introduction of the new structure.

    When you look at what was originally intended, you can see that it was originally thought that it would give the weaker counties a second day out. Depending on the luck (or bad luck) of the draw, that might be the end of their summer, but at least they would have two days out. But what was actually implemented was a system that allowed a further game if you lost at any stage during the provincial campaign. So, if a team won its way through to and played in the provincial final, despite the fact that it had already at least two games (in Ulster this could be as many as four), it was given a further game. What we got was a system structured to give a third or fourth game to a team strong enough to get to its provincial final. In reality this makes progression harder for the weaker teams, not easier. It also had the consequence of devaluing the provincial title.

    To solve the problem, I suggest that beaten provincial finalists would not be allowed into the qualifiers. This would get rid of the ridiculous situation where the last round of the qualifiers (vs the provincial final losers) is crammed into a crowded schedule. It would bring back the importance of the provincial finals and would ensure that the serious business of the championship would emerge in the Cork/Kerry, Mayo/Galway ties rather than knowing that a safety net exists. It would also support An Spailpin’s point that though the championship is not perfect, but something special and unique rarely is.

    P.S: While we are all hoping that you and yours are enjoying the break, there is a noticeable lack of craic around in your absence. All of us who follow your views and those of your commenters are looking forward to normal service being resumed on your return.

    Keep the Faith!

  6. Hi FourGoal

    Plenty of crack here – I’m about to head for the bar to toast the Kerrymen’s unexpected stumble today.

    That’s a good point about the championship structure, though, as you know, I’m in the root-and-branch caucus where it comes to reforming the structure. In terms of realism, though, your idea has the clear edge.

    Looking forward to the game next weekend but at the moment looking forward more to another week of fine weather and relaxation!

    All the best

    WJ

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