The GAA boldly pronounced the black card a rip-roaring success yesterday and released statistics to prove it.
2014 saw a record number of average scores for game, 34.92 points. This is compared to an average of 32.05 in 2013. The season saw an average of five less frees awarded per game. The number of yellow cards fell by almost half, from 420 in 2013 to 217 this year.
Double yellows plummeted from 17 to 5, while there were only four straight reds handed out compared to 11 in 2013.
There were 51 black cards handed out across the championship as a whole. There were 15 black cards handed out in the Ulster championship, compared to just two in Leinster (see the provincial breakdown here)
Supporters and players have complained all year about the supposed inconsistent application of the black card rule. Referees chief Pat McEneaney admitted that refs had missed a number of deliberate pulldowns, instancing the Brian Fox's hauling down of James Kavanagh in the Galway-Tipp game (above), however he said he was extremely happy with the refs were dealing with body-checking.