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After Today's Reaction Should We Abolish Score Keeping In Gaelic Football Altogether?

After Today's Reaction Should We Abolish Score Keeping In Gaelic Football Altogether?
By Mark Farrelly

I actually don't know where to start. Articles these days seem to demand some sort of Joe Brollyesque story about meeting a wild-haired Gael wandering the roads of Antrim, before leading us into how said tale ties into the overall narrative of the piece but today I'm lost for words. I can think of no such anecdote.

Over the last few years we've heard nothing but people giving out about how the All-Ireland Football Championship needs to have the top counties playing each other more often. We listened to people rightly argue that the National Football League is a superior competition because of the frequency of competition between teams of a similar level. Today we saw the GAA announce a small, tiny, minuscule proposal that would try to address this. Sure, it's only a step in the right direction; sure, there are problems with regard to how it may affect club players and how hurling has been further ignored, but mother of God, don't give me this shite about how it isn't fair on weaker counties.

Read: The GAA Propose Big Change To All-Ireland Structure - Here's How It Looks

The dissenters are saying that the group system for the last eight will make it tougher for 'weaker' teams to qualify for an All-Ireland semi-final. So what? Isn't that the point of semi-finals in major competition?

Why do we need to mollycoddle weaker teams at the expense of spectacle? The GAA is being accused of favouring the big counties and increased revenue with this proposal. The increased revenue that comes from, you know, top quality matches which neutrals might have actual interest in. Granted, the likelihood of a lower division team making the last four is lessened but let them get there on merit.

Or maybe we should get rid of score keeping altogether? That way every county will qualify for the final. Or at least abolish the three points for a goal rule as that system is harsh on weaker teams who don't score that many goals.

There is plenty the GAA can do off the field to help out counties who are in dire need of development. But off the field is where it should be done. A rigged competition benefits no one. Let these weaker teams improve rather than rely on the luck of a good draw. Should they qualify for the last eight, they will have a guaranteed three matches against top quality opposition. An experience will no doubt be of huge benefit.

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If we're going to succeed with any sort of reform to Gaelic football then we have to stop pandering to mediocrity or else the Championship will be doomed to be just that.

Also Read: Here Are 6 Potential Upshots Of The Championship Changes Announced Today

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