John Ivory discusses the talking points from the weekend’s action, including Lee Keegan’s dismissal and fixture clashes.
One-Game Ban For Cynical Second Yellow Cards?
The black card was introduced to make Gaelic football less cynical and in its first year, it seems to have had a good impact. However, what Lee Keegan did by not releasing the football in stoppage time at the end of the Galway-Mayo encounter at Pearse Stadium was terribly unsporting.
Keegan rightly received his marching orders for his part in the nonsense, but it will make no difference to him. By the time it was resolved, a minute and a half of the added four had been wasted and he will face no repercussions for his actions. Is it time that another new rule is introduced whereby a dismissal as a result of cynical play should warrant a one-game ban?
In this particular case, retrospective action should be taken. Singling out Keegan is not the aim here, as plenty of players are guilty of time wasting in order to kill a game. However, by making an example of one player, it will surely deter others from doing the same in future, leading to fairer games.
It’s hard to blame players for doing this when they know they will be able to line out in the next match for their county no matter what happens to them. No player came out and criticised Sean Cavanagh for his now infamous tackle on Conor McManus that effectively ushered in the black card. He was pushing the boundaries and it led to a change for the better. We could be on the cusp of a similar situation again.
This past weekend saw seven football championship games down for decision. One was played on Saturday evening, and the other six played on Sunday afternoon. Of these six, four were scheduled for 3:30pm (Kerry and Tipp was delayed 15 minutes), one at 2:00pm and the final match at 4:00pm.
The Sunday Game shows highlights of each match, but as the slogan goes, ‘nothing beats being there’. Some of these matches only receive about two to three minutes of air time on Sunday nights. With live coverage you’re able to get a real sense of the atmosphere and the nuances of the game, even if you’re not present.
The atmosphere at a game on a Saturday evening during a hotly-contested championship clash would definitely match that of the traditional Sunday afternoon meeting. It would also give some fans the chance to attend two matches in one weekend. The weekends of multiple fixtures are upon us, yet we can only see a couple in full.
The question of whether or not the championship needs to be restructured has been talked to death already this season and it is only mid-June. The short answer is yes, but until that happens, shouldn’t the GAA at least cooperate with the TV channels so more games can be shown to the public.
John Ivory, Pundit Arena