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Topics - APM

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GAA Discussion / Rule Changes
« on: May 18, 2021, 04:04:30 PM »
What is it about the GAA?  The hierarchy is absolutely obsessed with rule changes, most of which are stupid and have made the game worse - like the mark. But worse than that is the media.  If they are not suggesting that we need to ban the handpass, or go to 13 aside, it's that football is too physical and hurling is loosing its physicality.  There was more coverage to rule changes over the weekend than there was to the actual games. It would melt your head. 



GAA Discussion / Back to the Future - Straight knockout the way forward
« on: November 02, 2020, 09:38:32 AM »
Maybe it was nostalgia, but despite the surrealness of watching an Ulster championship in front of an empty stadium in early November, it struck me that the do or die nature of championship football is what we have been missing this few years. 

The qualifiers were great for the first few years, until the realisation that what all it has done has made the rich richer by giving them a second bite of the cherry if they get a tough draw or knocked out in a shock result.  When the qualifiers started, it gave the minnows the chance to go on a run and build momentum through the backdoor.  It was great to see Sligo, Wexford, Fermanagh and Longford do this in the early days.  However, the greatest long term beneficiaries have been the stronger counties in my view.

Time to scrap the backdoor and the shite that is the Super 8s.  Go back to knock out football when it is all on the day and teams can dare to dream a bit more; rather than "if we catch Dublin cold, they will still probably win the All Ireland through the backdoor".

If more games are needed, play them in the league where teams are evenly matched, by playing three divisions of 10 or 11 teams or play home and away in the league.


General discussion / Conspiracy Theories
« on: September 15, 2020, 09:54:04 AM »
It used to be that people that believed in conspiracy theories were marginalised crackpots who might feature in a TV documentary or may be characterised in some drama series. Generally you didn't meet them in everyday life.  Now it seems like half of America now believes in some conspiracy theory or another (that may be an exaggeration). It doesn't seem to be as pervasive here, but I bet everyone on here knows someone who believes in some conspiracy theory.

Is the growth of this stuff via social media and the rubbishing of expert opinion going to take us back to the dark ages.


GAA Discussion / Great GAA Comebacks
« on: May 06, 2020, 04:21:47 PM »
Couple from my own county

Forgive the parochialism.  There are some great ones from other counties and I leave it to others to add them.

Armagh v Fermanagh in 1993 -
1993 was some year to be from Armagh.  8 points and a man down with 68 mins gone and Armagh pull it out of the fire with Denis Holywood making a name for himself.
Armagh - Clare in 2018 -
4 points down after a 66th minute penalty from Clare, but Armagh finished up with a four point win.  Not near as mad as the game above, but was something to behold all the same on what was a sweltering day in the Athletic Grounds. 

GAA Discussion / Flat Track Bullies
« on: August 11, 2019, 05:34:22 PM »
Cahir O'Kane called it right in the Irish News a few months back. Great team for hammering weaker counties out the gate! Will beat teams that similar in standard to them (Donegal, Monaghan etc).  But they haven't beaten Kerry, Dublin or Mayo in the Championship for 10 years. 

GAA Discussion / Breheny's Big Ideas
« on: May 01, 2019, 10:27:14 AM »

Any merit in this?
Derry wans won't be happy!

Breheny is constantly chipping away at this and I find it a bit annoying. He has a strong point about the fairness of the Munster teams winning 2 games to make the Super 8s.  Even worse is the notion that a Munster losing finalist can play 3 games and lose one to make the Super 8s. 

His main problem is that the solution doesn't address the fact that the spread in quality among teams ranked 1 - 20 is much greater than the spread from 5 - 30.

Nonetheless, it might work, but I can't imagine getting anyone in Armagh too excited about round robin championship matches with Roscommon, Kildare and Laois (ugghh).

GAA Discussion / Half Parishes
« on: December 09, 2018, 10:13:21 PM »
Congrats to Mullinalaghta - big day for the little guy!!

Not the first half-parish to win provincial honours.  Can you name the others?

GAA Discussion / New Championship Format
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:39:28 AM »
Interested in your views on this.  You can choose 2 options.

Should have said - I think going back to the old system - pre 2001 and enhancing the league programme would be very attractive.  Shorter, more condensed championship, purely knock-out, would help restore the appeal and do or die nature that we all loved. 

Meanwhile, the league has been gaining in relevance in recent years and an enhanced programme of fixtures (say 3 divisions of 9 or 10 would ensure more games for the weaker counties) with the top 2 teams in Division 1 playing for the league title. 

Fewer championship games might mean less income for the GAA  - (although it could be offset by more league fixtures ) and it would have to cut its cloth accordingly - fewer employees might not be a bad thing. 

GAA Discussion / The Paudie O'Se Cup
« on: July 23, 2018, 11:28:20 AM »
Brolly on the Sunday game last night talking about how Armagh and Roscommon game should have been the final of the second tier competition and that Roscommon don't belong in the race for Sam.

This debate has gained obvious traction and I'd be concerned about where it will end up:

How would we decide who should be in the so-called Super 8s if we moved to this new tiered format. If teams like Roscommon don't belong with the big boys then where do you draw the line.  Kildare were beaten in every game this year in Division 1 this year.  Should they be there. They were beaten by Carlow in their first round of Leinster, but they have went on to be on of the stories of the championship.   What about Cavan, who gave Tyrone a good game this year and like Roscommon have just been promoted to Div 1, having been relegated last year.  What about Meath who nearly knocked out Tyrone this year and have been slumbering in Division 2? 

I am fascinated by the ongoing club versus county debate that has developed into the greatest faultline in the GAA.  We have had the emergence of the CPA to highlight (rightly) how club football is disadvantaged by the county scene, with championship fixtures in successful counties condensed into a short window either in the early autumn and possibly the spring time.  We have pundits regularly ridiculing the "crazy" training regimes of inter-county teams and the seeming relentless drive towards professionalism and elitism.  The comparison is often made with the club, the lifeblood of the GAA, which is seen as a paragon of virtue. 

I would agree with a lot of what is said on this topic, but is it not time we took a more critical look at what is going on at club level?  How many clubs can you name in your own area that don't engage an outside manager / coach or both? Very few I imagine and I'd wager a good number are being paid. 

There is a cost to all of this beyond the invoice at the end of the month!  A paid coach needs to demonstrate success, so will demand more from the players.  Yes, a more structured training environment is certainly desirable; but many of these paid 'coaches' are complete charlatans.  How many are in it for the right reasons and prioritise the welfare of the player instead of their own bank balance (more training sessions means a bigger weekly fee) or reputation? Does paying a coach guarantee success? No, of course not - only one team can win any competition in a given year. This is a zero sum game and a rat race.

Moreover, it is worth looking at the cost of running club teams generally.  How much money is being spent by clubs on outside gyms and winter training facilities.  Consider the cost of physios to GAA clubs.  Do clubs need a physio at every game, when most physio work is either involved in rehab or prevention. 

And then you ask the question, where does this money come from?  It comes out of the community, through fundraising, selling tickets and running events.  It certainly isn't funded and cannot be justified by gate receipts at games for the vast majority of teams.  What's the opportunity cost of this expenditure?  Could it be spent better at underage level? Could it be spent better on facilities?  Is it all needed and could we do with less?

The bottom line is that the GAA needs to look very very carefully at this and stop ignoring it.  The GAA is probably one of, it not the most successful fundraising organisations in Ireland.  There is now a not inconsiderable cottage industry that exists based on the "GAA club market" which helps clubs spend this money. The greatest cost to all of this is the very slow and creeping loss of the volunteer ethos in clubs. During the Celtic Tiger era, there was a view that the answer was to throw money at the club, rather than look for a volunteer solution.  That has been with us ever since.  Instead of this notion of "Club Good County Bad", maybe its time the focus shifted back to looking at this issue which is prevalent throughout the GAA.


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