Happy GAA Congress Week everyone!
It's the week that the GAA shows itself off as the ultimate democratic model: such is the breadth of influence, almost nothing ever passes. In his bewilderingly cantankerous annual report last year, Dublin CEO John Costello skewered how difficult it is to pass anything through Congress with a reference to Rory McIlroy's golfing partner, Donald Trump.
Donald Trump would be proud of us. He won the US Presidential election despite getting less than 50 per cent of the vote but that’s still a massive surplus compared with what passes for a majority in the GAA.
Yet again, several motions that won comfortable majorities were deemed lost at Congress last February because they did not get two-third majorities. The idea that 34 beats 66 when it comes to voting on rule changes is impossible to justify.
Congress 2017 takes place this weekend, with one of the major proposals going forward being a revamp of the All-Ireland football quarter-finals. Pauric Duffy has proposed a "Super 8" structure, in which the eight quarter-finalists are grouped into two groups of four. This will naturally have an effect for the already-beleaguered club scene, with clubs from eight counties to be deprived of their county players for longer than usual.
The issue came up for discussion on RTE's League Sunday last night, and Cork's All-Ireland winning hurling manager Dónal O'Grady pointing another, serious issue with the expansion of the football quarter-finals: it might have a seriously negative effect on hurling.
Watch the debate below.
It is a very fair point by O'Grady, and symptomatic of the current regime's ignorance of hurling, something Mick McCarthy of this website has written extensively about here.