As we approach the end of the 2017 All-Ireland football championship, little appears to have changed.
Tyrone, Kerry and Dublin have each regained their provincial championships, and, while Roscommon claimed the Nestor Cup in Connacht, Mayo's journey through the back door has ultimately proved fruitful once more.
When they meet Dublin in this year's All-Ireland final however, the neutral is unlikely to balk at the prospect of what many had hoped would be this year's final pairing.
Joined this week on Talking Points by the two-time All-Star Conor McManus, the Monaghan man has a fresh perspective on just how difficult Andy Moran, Cillian O'Connor and - perhaps - Aidan O'Shea may find it trying to wrench scores from Dublin's incredibly stingy defensive structure.
While Mayo will require scant warning of the challenge that awaits them however, McManus shed some much needed light on a topic that flavoured the post-match discussion of Mayo's semi-final win over Kerry.
With referee David Gough receiving plenty of criticism - constructive and otherwise - for his overly officious stance during Saturday's replay, McManus believed that the combative nature of both sets of players was evident before the game started:
Replays are notoriously hard to manage [as you have] an over-spill from the week before there. Few early cards was what [Gough] maybe felt would bring the game under control.
Yet, as the game progressed and the cards continued to flow, Kerry's Darren O'Sullivan received a black card that appeared somewhat unwarranted upon reappraisal - a luxury unavailable to Gough admittedly.
On the issue of the black card generally and its merits, McManus believes that it is something,
Most players want to see gone at this stage. It has come in, it has been tried, it generally doesn't work.
You spend so much time after big games talking about black cards and that's not what people want to be talking about after these games.
I think, you know, in the case of a professional foul, when somebody is going through on goal, bring in a rule - maybe its a red card and a penalty?
In Monaghan's opening game of this year's Ulster Championship against Fermanagh, McManus' teammate Kieran Hughes was the victim of an innocuous black card within ten minutes of the match beginning:
For the lesser things out the field, for example Kieran Hughes, give him a yellow card and get on with the game.
With increasing disillusionment for the black card and it's effectiveness and applicability, we reckon that McManus may well be correct in assessing that this GAA experiment has failed.