March will be mad

march-hareIt’s just dawned on me that the month of March is going to be utterly mad in terms of the football.  Mad of the stark, raving kind.  Completely fucking balubas.  It was only when I read in this morning’s Indo that Wexford manager Jason Ryan was having a moan about the scheduling of league games this year that I saw just how mad and bad it’s going to be.  It’ll almost be as daft as the way they do the championship: yes, it’ll be approaching that bad.

We have matches on each of the four Sundays in March (how’s that for promoting domestic harmony?), with an U21 Connacht tie against Galway (and, if we win that, an U21 Connacht semi-final match the following weekend) thrown into the mix as well.  And just to get us all well prepared for this month of helter-skelter, we’re now in the first week of a nice little three-week mini-break, for no better reason but to let a few clubs hog the entire limelight next weekend.

I’m all for the club championships but surely to Jaysus it could be run off in its entirety in that fallow period of three months between the All-Ireland and Christmas, culminating in a huge orgiastic fandango under the lights at HQ?  Stopping all inter-county activity for three weeks at this time of year, with the consequence that a fixture pile-up occurs in March, seems an odd way to promote the club championships.  Sure, we all love those annual showdowns between the Ballyhale Shamrocks and Portumna but we don’t love them that bloody much, now do we?

And what about all that pious cant about burnout?  Like many other counties, some of our lads are still U21 and so they might end up playing six times for their county over the course of March.  You can just imagine the puss that Johnno’ll have on him when that happens.

PJ has said to me more than once that he prefers the league games to the championship and I know what he means when he says that all those nerve-shredding moments in high summer can’t be good for one’s constitution but what I like about the league is the nice, easy rhythm you get into with the games.  Week on, week off, week on, week off – so it goes as winter gives way to spring and thoughts start to turn to summer (when the rhythm is week on, several weeks off, then on again, then another long wait and then – if you’re still in it – three Sundays in a row).  But now it appears that those sensible league scheduling lads have been ousted by the championship timetabling ogre who just sits back on his fat arse, fucks all the fixtures up into the air and then fixes the games for wherever they happen to fall.

And so we’ve got Westmeath on the 8th, the U21 Connacht first round against Galway on the 14th, the away match with Kerry on the 15th, the U21 Connacht semi-final (though only if we manage to beat Galway) on the 21st, the Dubs on the 22nd and the trip to Galway on the 29th.  See, I told you – March will be mad, bad and dangerous.

12 thoughts on “March will be mad

  1. ah yes WJ, but this imperfect solution is supposed to give the club player a window to play games in april and early may… they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don´t. Heres a radical idea… what about letting club games go ahead with county players missing… The club/county dual mandate is the one that affects almost every player not the hurling /football one.

  2. I think it’s the only workable solution, innocentbystander, short of redrawing the entire championship structure (which I think they should do in any case). I’ve no problem with leaving April and early May free for the clubs but you’ll still find them all rushing to finish their county championships in October, despite the fact that the majority of counties are out of the running for the All-Ireland by mid-July.

  3. innocentbystander, they tried that before with the club action in the league letting the games go ahead with out the inter county players, I think it was starred games they called it back in John Maughan’s last term. The only problem with it was the sides then like Ballina and Cross who were giving a number of lads to the panel were left short in the league and the smaller clubs were loosing there there one stand out player.

  4. just a response to yesterday,tell me your stats on why we are better off without him, because most games he is worth 5 points, frees? he wins them himself. in top 10 prolific championship scorers in ireland since 2000.On his day one of the best forwards in ireland. Tell me that about andy moran?the truth is he is probably to good for mayo, the only dissapointing thing is he knows it.THERE FACTS. As for mayo supporters ,they are a disgrace, i was in letterkenny the weekend trying to urge the lads on,mayo supporter was looking at me as if i was crazy… non stop complaining fucks, complaqin a bout a consistently top 5 team in the country, but look at at all the good times there has been. WJ great to see you put so mu ch of your own time to set this up but to say things like your saying??????

  5. ON THE Road

    mayo pretty boys? mortimer i suppose?i dont care what he does with his hair, he is the best forward mayo have by about 450000000000 miles..tell me apart from arguably c mc.d who has been better than him in the last 20 years. he is cocky, so what.people from mayo shout abuse at him? what the fuck is that about? conor mortimer should walk away from mayo and i wouldnt blame him, facts are there ciaran mc was not appreciated until he was 31. blond hair white boots i dont give a fuck.stats speak for themself. gives up his time for the love of mayo football. he is 1 of us… coming out of letterkenny beside a group of donegal supporters, “that fucking mortimer if only we had him” ,what would mayo supporters say…. better of without him? backward county

  6. Whoaah, steady on there, 1951 – if you’d taken the time to read what I said correctly, you’d have seen that I said he’s the one forward we can least do without, i.e. he’s the one we need the most. The stats I used are now about a year old (they were in this post) but I doubt they’ve changed much in the meantime. I said then and I’m happy to repeat now my opinion that he’s the first name that should be on the teamsheet for every game.

    I can’t comment about the support up in Letterkenny as I wasn’t there (and you were, fair play to you) but I do get to most games (from my base here in Dublin) and my opinion, from what I see, is that our supporters do get behind the team.

  7. Re your second comment above, 1951, I think you may be jumping to conclusions about what ontheroad is saying but I’ll let the man himself respond on this one! For my own part, see my clarification above re Mort. From what I recall offhand, there’s been very little criticism of him here: this isn’t the Hogan Stand message board, after all.

  8. apologies so…tòok that 1 up wrong… fair play to you though for setting this up, the word will be spread..

  9. Re the fifixture backlog lads so we can´t let the games go ahead without county players but we know the results when they do!
    I think we´ll need to re-invent the wheel on this one! The county players vs the club players issue looks like a zero sum game with the gains being exactly matched by the losses which is a pity.

  10. The “pretty boys” I refer to is the poetic vision I have of Mayo footballers, nice , tidy, poetic and stylish. The “prose” version would be the Tyrone/Armagh forward. Hard, direct with a simplistic approach. Todays game requires a more “prose” or plain poetry approach. We , and there is nothing wrong with it, like to play in the old style, open and honest. Problem is no one lets us away with it. As regards the hair and boots I never once commented on them, nor was I alluding to either Mort or MacD. In another guise and indeed on this site I have taken on the likes of Joe Brolly and his ilk to task for singling out the Mayo boys for the colour of our boys hair. I did note that he never had this issue with either Vaughan, Mulligan or Geraghty , three ” golden” cuddly boys. Anyway I think the salient point admirably made elsewhere concerning this wonderful site…this is not Hoganstand and the day it descends into that will be a sad day.

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