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Have The Super 8s Been A Failure?

Have The Super 8s Been A Failure?
Balls Team
By Balls Team
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Last year, Group 2 of the Super 8s all came down to a Tyrone and Donegal shootout in Ballybofey, while Group 1 hung on the chance that Kerry could pip Monaghan if Galway managed to do the job in Salthill.

In the end, Tyrone took care of Donegal with seven points to spare, and Galway didn't even pretend to do their part, being hammered by Monaghan and consigning Kerry to an early exit.

This year, the success of the Super 8s is hanging on a showdown in Castlebar between Mayo and Donegal. It's winner take all, but you have to wonder will Mayo be exactly where Donegal 12 months ago.

Group 2, meanwhile, has no drama at all. Tyrone and Dublin will engage in shadowboxing in Omagh, while Cork and Roscommon will play the second game in the history of the football championship where neither team have anything to play for. The first was Dublin Vs Roscommon last year. Not exactly progress.

The question remains, after two years of the three year Super 8s experiment, has the possibility of dramatic final days made up for the lack of knock out football at this stage of the summer?


On this week's Three Man Weave, Balls.ie's GAA podcast, the lads had their say on the virtues of the Super 8s. Balls.ie editor Mick McCarthy was adamant they take away from the GAA summer, rather than adding to it.

Donegal and Kerry, that would have been an All-Ireland semi-final, played in a packed Croke Park, and we would have had another game (replay) next week, and it would have been do or die, and it wouldn't have felt that they all had a get out of jail card next week.

So far, a lot of the games have been boring, that could happen with quarter-finals anyway, but I think that you have an element where, even though you get one or two extra good games, what we lose is that crunch quarter-final, that real element of do-or-die that it feels at this time of year, that should be the case.

At this time of year, when there's only going to be two teams left in the hurling championship next week, I don't know why we need to watch a dead rubber between Roscommon and Cork. It doesn't make any sense that we're talking about literally the GAA's prime season, the time when it's above anything else in the way we talk about sport, the way we cover sport, the way we watch sport, that right at this point, we're have dead rubber games that are for nothing.

Nobody wants to talk about the other three games that are going to happen in two weeks. They only want to talk about 'The Super 8s are great because we've got Mayo and Donegal in Castlebar', but I'm sorry, we've good games all the time when it was knock out.

PJ Browne, meanwhile, was a lot more reasoned, arguing in favour of keeping the format, but with some much needed changes for the next phase in 2021.

There's something in there, there's some kind of merit. They'll probably bring in tweaks again next year, they probably will bring in this neutral game outside of Croke Park. It just makes sense. There were so few people at those games over the weekend. There was 85,000 people to watch eight teams. It's terrible!

To bring those games to bring to provincial venues, you'd have far better games, far better atmospheres. Those games at the weekend, you had two of the three most populated counties in the country involved in those games, and all you could get was a total of 85,000?

You can listen to the whole discussion, as well as a look back on all of the weekend's football below. You can download and subscribe to the podcast here.



SEE ALSO: Here Are The Super 8s Permutations Heading Into The Final Games




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