This weekend should put forth the better face of the Super 8s as the action relocates to grounds across the country, featuring as it does the long-awaited extradition of Dublin from Croke Park.
The All-Ireland champions head to Omagh to take on Tyrone on Saturday evening for that rarest of experiences: an All-Ireland championship game outside of Croke Park. Per today's Irish News, Tyrone are determined to make the most of getting the Dubs away from Croker and are getting creative in a bid to make it happen.
The paper reports that Tyrone have decided to narrow the pitch for Saturday's game, lopping off up to six metres. Usually, Tyrone's pitch is the same width as Croke Park - 86 metres - and under the GAA's rules, they are allowed to narrow it to 80 metres.
Whether or not Tyrone's plan makes a big difference remains to be seen, but it is illustrative of the margins that can be gained by having home advantage. While the GAA are maintaining the charade of Croke Park being a neutral venue for the Dubs, their familiarity with Croke Park has been an advantage to them over the years: teams less used to playing in the expanses of Croker have been known to relocate at least some of their training to pitches of a similar size (in Abbottstown, for example) as preparation for the challenge.
Neither Tyrone nor Dublin have named their teams for the game yet, although Cathal McCarron is set to moss out for Tyrone while John Small returns from suspension for the Dubs.