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Topics - thewobbler

GAA Discussion / In support of the forward mark
April 16, 2022, 07:43:57 PM
The forward mark is universally regarded as an abomination.

Seeing as GAA board is full of shit stirrers, WUMs, professional contrarians.... If there's anyone on here in favour of the forward mark, please have your spake.

Otherwise, don't reply, please.
GAA Discussion / Some musings on the 2020 season
November 22, 2020, 07:32:08 PM
Covid and the unusual championship structures and timings have given us plenty to think about; an opportunity to analyse what we thought we know about Gaelic football.

Some of the ideas and theories that have crossed my mind this week.

1. It's more appealing for players in less successful counties, to commit fully to Gaelic Games when there's a shorter season, and your club mates aren't torturing you to concentrate on club football instead.

2. It's more appealing for players in less successful counties, to commit fully to Gaelic Games, when there is no unnecessary stay of execution through the back door. Give it all, and if you win, there's only 16 counties left. Lose and you get your life back.

When you combine 1 and 2, weaker counties immediately improve from the talent available to them, and close the gap on the stronger counties.

3. The counties who have risen from outsiders to being able to compete with the big teams (Cavan, Tipp), do not play an overcomplicated defensive game plan, nor do they focus on the unpleasant side of the game, nor do they kill the clock on the halfway line for minutes at a time.

4. The team that remains most stuck in the mire is Derry, who have a  manager that proudly sticks to over complicated game plans, revels in the unpleasant side of the game, and demands clock killing where possible. This is not a coincidence.

5. Which can be seen when you review the tactics of the teams who underachieved most this season: Tyrone, Monaghan, Kerry and Cork. The last two in particular seemed to have lost all love for the game. It must be horrible to train to play anti-football.

6. Never ever underestimate the importance of ball winners, especially those who always use that ability to drive forward instead of simply "retaining  possession". Gearoid McKiernan and Thomas Galligan, Colm O'Riordan, Conor Sweeney. The players of the weekend, once again. They're all cut from the same cloth as Aidan O Shea and Michael Murphy.

7. When you gain a free inside the opposition half, it provides a ball player with an unchallenged opportunity to pick out a pass to an attacking teammate, who really only has to time his run correctly. Watch Dublin, Mayo, Cavan and Tipp doing this over the past fortnight. Contrast it with Cork and Tyrone, who kick almost every last free backwards, eschewing that advantage in order to "retain possession". No surprises which method is more profitable.

8. Coaching, video analysis, tactical awareness, are all secondary factors in success. The basic simple reality of playing Dublin is that their players never drop a pass, almost never lose their balance on the ball, and almost never kick short when aiming for a score. They don't make the simple mistakes that haunt every other team in Ireland. You can't capitalise on mistakes that don't happen. So the only way to get the ball back off them is to win it off them. Which is why only Kerry and Mayo in the past decade have been able to give them a game, because they man up and go toe to toe across the field, and make it 15 individual battles.

9. You can spend months in the gym in your early 20s, big you usually still won't be competent winter footballer until you naturally tighten up in your mid to late 20s.

10. Ciaran Kilkenny might well be the most complete footballer in Ireland, now he's not so obsessed with "retaining possession".

11. Last but not least. This one is neither an idea nor a theory. It's the basic f**king truth. The forward mark was always going to be a shambles, a shit show, as nobody in the history of our game has ever actually thought "he really deserved an unchallenged kick for a point" after someone catches a ball. And now it's happening, it's coarse, it's ugly, it revolting. Get rid of it.
GAA Discussion / GAA record revenues..... why?
February 11, 2020, 01:27:03 PM

This is not why the GAA was conceived.

Is it not about time that we all began motioning central council, that the GAA should strive to reduce revenues?
For no good reason at all I've been pondering where you might find the largest town in Ireland (or the world) that doesn't have a place of religious worship.

Google seems to be struggling with this one. I doubt though we'd get to a four figure settlement before the proponents of the God fella get involved.

Anyone able to shine any local knowledge?
GAA Discussion / A question for the over 50s
August 31, 2019, 10:46:09 PM
I've never had less interest in AI final than tomorrow's occasion. Much as I hope I'm wrong it feels like a foregone conclusion, one in which Dublin will up the tempo for 20 mins and blow Kerry into submission. Plus I have an emptying sense that a healthy group of Dublin's players will talk spend their interviews talking about 6-in-a-row rather than bask in the glory.

I'm a little too young to remember Kerry's dominance.

Was it like this in the early 80s too? Although that Kerry team have subsequently (and rightly) been immortalised in popular culture, match day attendances would suggest that football was at a low ebb in terms of popularity.

Also has anyone the clarity of mind to remember if the press and pundits spent their days complaining about unfair advantages. Or were we not as cynical then?
GAA Discussion / Football All Stars 2018
July 25, 2018, 06:38:57 AM
Apply them as they become certs

7. Karl O'Connell
Only if it's England, for as much as we love/loathe/admire/despise them, it is the same players we (pretty much all) cheer in week in, week out in different colours.

It's 4pm on a Sunday evening, and the Super 8s is on RTE1, and a World Cup final featuring "them" is on RTE2. To which is you attention more attuned?
Just saw that it's £9/€10 into the Ulster Minor FC game on Saturday evening.

This is a bunch of 16 year olds playing in the opening round of a championship. I'd chuck a fiver in to acknowledge running costs, but out of principle I won't pay £9 to watch children play early stage football.

But I'm also now doubting myself.

Am I cheap skate? Am I stuck in 2001? Or am I right?
GAA Discussion / You’re the ref
January 22, 2018, 12:36:55 PM
I've a few scenarios with Black Cards and Blood Subs, which might confuse anyone at a match... including the ref. If anyone knows answers here, please shout.

Using Dublin as an example team for ease of understanding:

1. Early in the game, Kevin McMenamin enters the field as a blood sub, just for a couple of minutes. Dublin then go on to use 5 "real" subs, but not McMenamin. Stephen Cluxton gets a black card for a cynical pull down with just 5 minutes to go. Does the Dub's 6th and final sub now have to be McMenamin?

2. It's a fiery enough game and after 10 minutes, Diarmuid Connolly leaves the field for a few stitches. He's replaced temporarily by Eoghan O'Gara. But the big full-forward's first action sees him take Lee Keegan out by the roots, which is punished by a black card. Connolly still has a stitch to go, so Dublin send Michael Darragh McAuley into the fray. Is it safe to assume McAuley can also be declared as a blood sub?

3. It's a proper battle out there, and just 5 minutes into the second half, Dublin have been forced to use all their 6 subs. Jonny Cooper is on the end of some (most-likely deserved) retribution, and has blood flowing out of his nose. The ref, of course, asks him to leave the play. Dublin have used their 6 subs. Can they bring in a blood sub, or is it tough luck?

4. Dublin are 9 points down in the final quarter, and staring at championship defeat for the first time in over 3 years. They respond the old-fashioned way, and go about cutting Kerry down like trees. Poor aul Philly McMahon didn't expect James O'Donaghue to respond so ferociously, and is dealt a heavy cut just above the eye. Off he trots for a quick clean up, and Dublin (who've only one sub left) bring on the returning Rory O'Carroll as a blood sub. Being a touch off the pace, O'Carroll trips up a goalbound Paul Geaney and incurs a black card. Of course this means O'Carroll has to leave the play. Can we assume that McMahon is also now barred from the action through no (well, very little) fault of his own, and Dublin are finishing with 14 men?
GAA Discussion / Player of the Year
September 20, 2015, 08:38:28 PM
There is no doubt a few people who like to apply a little bit of romantic spin to everything they see, but I'm pretty sure the overwhelming majority of us would agree that the Player of the Year gong should go to the player who had the single greatest influence on the Championship. So while sometimes this might be the most talented player, and sometimes it might be the highest scorer, at a all times it should be the player who either changed the course, or ensured the course, of the title.

If anyone can point me to a player who had a more telling influence on this year's Sam than Philip McMahon, well then I reckon we've been watching different sports.

Yep he's difficult to like. Indeed he fulfils, plus some, a description I read last night about Diego Costa - "he'd switch off your life support machine if it meant he could charge his phone" - but he put Aidan O Shea to bed, made Gooch look like a Kildare player, and was beyond accomplished in front of the posts.

It hasn't been a vintage championship, and we shouldn't look for a rose.

When a player is videoed in clear contravention of the rules of the game, but the DRA still rules in favour of the player, you do have to wonder why anyone would be a referee. This is no different t your bosses publicly going against you for following company policy.

Over in the world of soccer, they talk about role models. I'm really not sure about the role models the DRA is helping to create.
General discussion / James McClean
July 19, 2015, 12:39:27 PM
Surely the time is coming when English club chairmen and managers decide that he's just not worth the hassle?

There's only so many times you can stick two fingers up to your club's fan base.

Lad needs taught about when to fight his battles.
I hate rule changes. So I'm going to keep them to a minimum in my proposal. It's mostly a change in perception.


  • What if every single county match mattered, regardless of which competition it is in?
  • What if players and managers gained a genuine reward for league form; a reward that allows them to gradually improve year-on-year?
  • What if the majority of players were returned to their clubs by the start of July, and all of them by the end of August?
  • What if county boards could genuinely enjoy the savings of this move, by effectively "parking" senior county costs for 4-5 months every single year
  • What if all this could be done by retaining provincial Championships, thereby giving each team three chances of silverware each season, and also giving them something of a shot in the arm?
  • And what if, in doing this, the actual All Ireland Championship was made genuinely competitive in every single match.

At first glance this proposal appears complex. But once you've jumped the second step below and understood why it's in place, then everything should slot into place (or else I'm gone mad).

There would only be 16 places in the All Ireland Championship. Nobody is granted a place. Everybody earns a place, based on their form of that calendar year i.e. if you play well in the league and in your provincial championship, you will be guaranteed a place in the big show.

Form can be difficult to gauge. Obviously a team that wins 6/7 games in Division 4 is in good form. But does this make them more worthy of a Championship place than a team that wins 3/7 games in Division 1? Probably not.

So a multiplier is used. A smarter, more patient person than me might use historical data to define the exact multipliers. But for now, let's just work with my "back of a feg packet" figures:

- A D4 league point is worth 1 Championship Entry Point.
- A D3 league point is worth 1.5 Championship Entry Points.
- A D2 league point is worth 2.
- A D1 league point is worth 2.5.

Then form in Provincial Championships is rewarded with increasing tallies too:

- A QF win is worth 2 Championship Entry Points.
- A SF win is worth 4 Championship Entry Points.
- A Final win is worth 6 Championship Entry Points.

After the Provincial Finals are complete, the teams with the highest 16 Championship Entry Points scores gathered over the season would be placed in the AI Championship draw.

Winning your provincial championship bags you 12 points, while clean sweeping your league can gain you anything from 14 points to 35 points. Hence, a team that has a sparkling Provincial Championship will probably still make the AI Championship cut. Alternatively a team that has a great league but is put to bed early in the Provincials, will also almost always make the AI Championship cut. A team that does well in both will always make it.

Well at first glance it is. But let's look at what we want from football. We want competitive football (which a league system delivers), we want local rivalries (provincial competition) and we want top class games at Croker (which would see the best 16 teams).  The current system actually has a lot of merits, but only delivers this in fits and starts, as too many games are uncompetitive. This proposal brings it all together: by making every game worth winning.

Is rescheduling and timings.

The AI Championship is straight knockout, almost all at Croke Park, and the schedule would be:

- Last 16: 1st weekend in July
- QFs: 3rd weekend in July
- SFs: 1st weekend in August
- Final: 3rd weekend in August.

To achieve this, the league and the Provincials must be completed by 3rd week in June.

Remember that this system means a maximum of 11 games for any team before the AI stages. So 15 weeks are allocated, which means the leagues start in first week of March. As a proposal:

- Leagues would go for 3 weeks from 1st week of March.
- Then a 1 week break
- Then Provincials round 1 (1st week of April)
- Then 2 rounds of the league
- Then a 1 week break
- The Provincial QFs (1st week of May)
- Then 2 rounds of the league
- Then a 1 week break
- Then Provincial semis (1st week of June)
- Then Provincial finals (3rd week of June)

This will mean that for come counties, their season is effectively over in the 3rd week of May.

But let's look at this realistically: the players are still getting the same amount of county football (they'll have at least 8 competitive games a season), except it's compressed into half the calendar year, instead of what they currently endure i.e. month long breaks between games in the back door.


  • All Championship games are played to a finish.
  • Abandoned/postponed league games must be rescheduled for its free weekends.
  • There would never ever again be league play-offs. It's a proper league system: in each division the top 2 go up, the bottom 2 go down. The team at the top of D1 win the league outright, and some financial reward for doing so.
  • In event of teams finishing the season on the same Championship Entry points, they would be ordered by their overall league position (e.g. top in D1 is 1st, bottom in D4 is 32nd).
  • Yes this could be very cruel on lower teams from time-to-time. But ultimately we want a) the AI to be ultra-competitive, and hgher ranked teams are more likely to deliver on this, and b) we want leagues to genuinely matter.
  • A Wimbledon style seeding system should be put in place so that the highest ranked team plays the lowest ranked team in the last 16, second highest ranked plays second lowest ranked, etc. If everyone plays to form, the best 4 teams before the AI stages would meet in the AI Semis.
  • This system should further help reduce dead rubbers in the league, as a last match win could be the difference between getting Kerry and getting Down in the last 16.
  • Kikenny have no part in this system other than playing in the LSFC if they want. New York would continue to play in the CSFC. But let's be honest, the last 16 of the AI Championship isn't something to concern ourselves with those counties.
  • I've judicially decided that preliminary Provincial games wouldn't gain Championship Entry points; this is to redress the logical imbalance in Provincial Championship sizes.
  • Last but not least, we should avoid any claims to have a Junior AI with the bottom 16. Let's not reward mediocrity: If teams want to play in July, they need to earn it.

Anyway, yep there's a mathematical equation to be solved here, and then gotten used to. But I think this is genuinely the first restructuring proposal I've read that:

  • Maintains and even strengthens the existing competitions.
  • Gives county players roughly the same number of games per season (between 8 and 15) as currently they enjoy: except in a much more compressed window.
  • Saves county boards a pile of money by condensing the senior football season.
  • Solves the club v county problem completely for most counties in Ireland. Obviously players the last 4 counties wouldn't be available for clubs until September, but the majority of county players would be 100% committed to their club season by the end of June.
  • Most importantly, it's a completely organic system. There are no hidden nuances: by progressing in league football, it strengthens your chances of playing championship football - but at the same time a bad season doesn't ruin these chance.

If this system had have been in place in 2014, the following would panned out:

AI Championsip Qualifiers

1   Dublin (D1)   34.5
2   Mayo (D1)   34.5
3   Donegal (D2)   34
4   Cork (D1)   31.5
5   Monaghan (D2)   28
6   Kerry (D1)   25
7   Meath (D2)   24
8   Derry (D1)   22.5
9   Cavan (D3)   21
10   Tyrone (D1)   20
11   Roscommon (D3)   20
12   Galway (D2)   16
13   Down (D2)   14
14   Clare (D4)   13
15   Tipperary (D4)   13
16   Kildare (D1)   12
Season Over in June

17   Laois (D2)   12
18   Armagh (D2)   12
19   Wexford (D3)   11
20   Fermanagh (D3)   10.5
21   Wicklow (D4)   10
22   Sligo (D3)   9
23   Limerick (D3)   9
24   Leitrim (D4)   9
25   Longford (D3)   6
26   Antrim (D4)   6
27   Waterford (D4)   5
28   Louth (D2)   4
29   London (D4)   3
30   Carlow (D4)   3
31   Offaly (D3)   1.5
32   Westmeath (D1)   0

It's fair to say that this sorts the wheat from the chafe. Only perhaps Armagh of the "bottom 16" might have been primed to make a dent in the AI Championship.

But the real danger of using historical data is that the same circumstances don't apply. Take Armagh and Laois who only just missed out on Championship berths; one more draw in the league would have seen them qualify. I'm guessing they would have found a way to get that draw/win if there was this much at stake.
Reading this short article struck a chord with me.

I think we're reaching a stage where the legions of backroom staff demanded by county team managers, are becoming detrimental to player performance. All these people, in trying too hard to justify their involvement (and salaries), seem to be forgetting that Gaelic Football is essentially still a game of 15 man-on-man duels, and the team that wins the most duels will tend to win the game.

Tactics certainly have their place in terms of defensive shape, attacking routes, and set plays. But isn't it all getting a little too complicated?

There seems to be some merit in the black card system. Football isn't quite as cynical, as the players have it hanging over them like a shadow.

But the problem with it is simple enough. Refs can, and have continually shown they will, 'let a player off' with a yellow. The cards seen to be interchangeable on who is holding them, what stage the game is at, and whether anyone else has already been blacked.

There's still too much interpretation involved. Commentators don't have a clue what type of incident constitutes what type of card, and spectators are by and large confused.

Solution is unusually simple. Bye bye yellow card.
General discussion / Security Alerts on m1
October 14, 2013, 08:40:49 AM
Can some our more militant types please explain what the purpose is behind calling in bomb alerts on a motorway?

Truly I don't think I've ever despised a group of people as much in my life.
GAA Discussion / Irish News Player Ratings
August 05, 2013, 10:30:18 AM
Irish News journos were obviously watching a different game yesterday.

I know the IN has to keep on the right side of players as a policy, but it seems the only way a player can score below a 5 is to get sent off.

But getting beaten by 16 points, and played off the park in every position, should surely have warranted a more ruthless set of ratings. If not, then they're a rather pointless exercise.
I'm doing a bit of desk research here and any advice would be appreciated.

I'm looking to find best practice in use of touchscreen technology in visitor centres in Ireland.

If anyone has been to a museum / visitor centre / exhibition where you've been able to interact with screens, iPads or the like, please shout out.

If you've seen better examples abroad, please shout.
This might seem a bit of a strange statement given the modern focus on stopping the opposition.

But having watched the four quarter-finals this weekend, i'd say we've now got in front of us four of the most athletic, disciplined and tactically aware sides in the history of the game together at once.

They're also each got a handful of cracking technical footballers who would have graced any team in history.

In my time watching football we've had umpteen great rivalries, and a few very competitive three-ways, but I can't remember four quality sides at once. The fact that there's a gap to Kerry tells you all you need to know, while the rest of Ireland (even Tyrone) have been pushed miles behind.

Yesterday I never wanted to watch football again. Now I can't wait for the semis.
General discussion / The Voice
February 16, 2012, 10:51:57 PM
Normally I turn reality TV off, but there's something alluring about The Voice. Unlike the X Factor, most of them can actually sing.