Angry fans

‘Sunday Game’ pundits who call on refs to ‘let the game flow’ even when a foul has been committed… the Cork football and hurling panels and their recent performances… Managers of losing teams…the Munster Council for not allowing reduced student admission prices to stands at big matches … too many lopsided games in both the hurling and football championships … There’s no shortage of targets for the fans’ anger this week.

I AM NOT able for the

disappointment of Limerick

being beaten anymore. I hate

losing. I really do! Just the

whole horrible empty feeling. I

looked forward to Sunday’s

match for months and then

bang!! I stayed in on Saturday

night and rented ‘No Country

for Old Men" (which I enjoyed)

and little did I know that it

would be as good as it would

get for me!

- Odysseus

AFR’s SHOUT: A sad

case. Try Kevin

Costner’s ‘Field of

Dreams’ before the next

game. It’ll really get you

in the mood. Or

‘Dances with Wolves’, starring

Brian Cody and the 2008

Kilkenny panel.

I FULLY AGREE with Tony

Considine when he stated on

yesterday’s ‘Examiner’ that the

Munster Championship is dying

on its feet. Maybe the novelty

is wearing off seeing the same

counties battling it out year

after year, but I have my

doubts. I believe the back

door system has a lot to do

with it. Over the years, once

the draw for the Munster

championship was made,

people would plan ahead for

that day in the knowledge that

it might well be the only day

out they would get. But the qualifiers changed all that.

Now some of the greatest

supporters in all the counties

are not travelling to the earlier

rounds.

For example, Clare v

Waterford and Clare v

Limerick.

Next year the GAA will be 125

years in existence. Just for that

year alone let’s forget about

the Munster and Leinster

Championships. Let’s have an

open draw involving the five

Munster and five Leinster

counties plus Galway and

Antrim. If Nickey Brennan and

Central Council are worried

about losing money they can

have it played on a home and

away basis.

- Rebels Abu

AFR’s SHOUT: If

the Munster

championship is dying

on its feet where does

that leave poor

Leinster? Six feet

under? Time to move on to

an open draw in both hurling

and football, with no back

door. Only a trap door into

exterior darkness for the

defeated counties. Harsh,

maybe. But it will concentrate

minds again.

ANY good hurling team

would have beaten

Wexford easily on

Sunday. We need a complete

revamp of the team from

management to players and

let’s start playing our underage

talent rather than having them

sitting on the bench. I fear

forWexford in the final. I

suppose we’ll give Kilkenny

their usual 30 minutes run for

it and still end up getting

hammered in the end.

- Faythe and Begob

AFR’s SHOUT: A Tick in the Book for

not looking at Sunday

this way: Wexford now

have Leinster finalists

in both hurling and

football for the first time in

more than fifty years. That’s a

proud chievement! I admire

counties likeWexford who

keep both codes going to a

high standard rather than just

cynically concentrating on one

to the exclusion of the other.

Funny, how it often happens in

counties whose names begin

with a ‘K’. And we don’t mean

‘Kildare’.

Sligo were no test for the

green and red of Mayo. The

game underlined once again

how the standard of football

has fallen off in Connacht.

Sligo and Roscommon are

nowhere. Galway and Mayo

are just average. Leitrim will

feel aggrieved that they are not

in the qualifiers as I'd rate

them third best in the province

at the moment.

- Kiltimagh Abú

AFR’s SHOUT: Leitrim

were unlucky not to have been

drawn against Sligo because, on

Sunday’s form, they’d have

beaten them. But isn’t it time

to scrap a 5-county provincial

championship that is

increasingly just an annual

‘Round Robin’ between two or

three counties and move

instead to an open draw with

the rest of the country?

I think it is time for

Paddy Crozier to step

down as Derry football

boss. The disgrace of Saturday night was a massive

let down for all genuine Derry

fans. GAA managers at

county level are not judged on

League results. It’s the

championship that counts and

that’s three years in a row

Derry have capitulated when it

counts.

- Derry Beag

AFR’s SHOUT: A

touch of the Justin

McCarthy approach?

The guy brings the

county to a League title

and then you dump him? Paddy Crozier got the job for

three years. Why not give him

that time before wielding the

axe? Or at least wait and see

how this season pans out.

This idea of dropping the

manager after the first set back

is a recurring one in Derry

football and partly explains why

the county has taken so long

to return to the top ranks of

football.

THE BEST BIT of ‘The Sunday

Game’ was the Aprés Match

skit that was on just before it.

They certainly got Spillane right

down to a ‘tee’.

- The Communicator

AFR’s SHOUT: I

thought the guy who

played Pat in the sketch

was even better than

the original. In fact, I

had to look carefully

every few minutes to see

which of them was really

presenting the ‘Sunday Game’.

Good to see RTÉ having the

courage to satirise on of their

own.

AM I THE only one who gets

upset at ‘The Sunday Game’

pundits and the like calling for

common sense refereeing?

What they are basically saying

is to ignore the rules and go

with what they think is best.

How would soccer worked if

they ignored off sides because

they wanted to let the game

flow. It is up to the players to

make the game flow. The

referee does not have a quota

of fouls he is allowed blow for

and then he has to stop. If

there is constant fouling there

will be constant frees and it is

not the referees fault.

- jjtem

AFR’s SHOUT: There’s a lot more

media analysis now of

refs than there used to

be and – to be honest

– some of them are

not standing up too well to the

extra scrutiny. Still, they have

a very difficult job to do. If

every one of them applied the

rules strictly every game would

be just stop / start from

beginning to end. So, they

apply some common sense but

they don’t always make the

right call. Hey, that’s life!

I WANT TO vent my

frustration regarding the

admission of students to

games.At the Cork vs Limerick

football match, my brother

wanted to join me in the

Mackey Stand for the game.

He asked if there was a student turnstile and was told:

‘Sorry, but you can only get a

student rate for the terrace

today. If you wish to go into

the stand, you must pay the full '25’. Was this a Munster

Council decision, or some local

officials flexing their financial

muscles? No turnstiles were

available on the open stand

side of the pitch either, where

many supporters prefer to

watch the game.

- Galbally Demon

AFR’S SHOUT: The

GAA shouldn’t scrap

the tradition of special

concessionary rates for

students and Old Age

Pensioners even at

major games. It sounds like

some ‘ofeeeeshal’ was out to

maximise the revenue from

bums on seats at the Limerick

game. However, a Tick in the

Book for not solving the

problem by giving the kid

brother the "25 and letting

him wash your SUV in return?

DEPENDING ON THE draw,

Cork could well be contenders

again in hurling by August. You

wonder though, if the players

might have been better off

attending training rather than

strike meetings last Spring?

- Ballincollig Baby

AFR’s SHOUT: I’ve

no doubt they would

have been ... and the

footballers too. Both

panels will pay a price

for the crazy start to

2008. I get the impression all

is still not well between the

hurling manager and his panel.

On the other hand, the timing

and quick conclusion of the

Waterford push on Justin

seems to have worked like a

shot in the arm, if latest

reports from the South East

are to be believed.

WHILE WALKING in the

hurling wilderness recently, my

son asked,‘Why is this place so

quiet?’. I replied that since the

Déise departed it some years

ago it had been this way. The

standard of those left in the

wilderness had declined to

such an extent that Kerry were attending prayer meetings on a

regular basis. Their prayers

had finally been answered.

They are no longer alone in

the wilderness. The Déise are

back and for probably much

longer than the last time.

They will be in their nineties when Waterford next contest a

League Final or even a Munster

Final. That means their

grandchildren will remember

them for the stupid men they

must have been because of the

action they took against the

man who had actually led them

from the wilderness.

So, now that things are almost normal again in Munster, on behalf of the Wilderness

Hurling Committee, to the Waterford senior hurlers and

their future fans a resounding –

‘Welcome back!’.

- Barry Doyle

AFR’s SHOUT: Barry, thanks for that

lyrical, almost Biblical,

description of the poor

Déise wandering in the

wilderness. At least the

lads and lassies who followed

Moses around for forty years

finally reached the Promised

Land. Let’s hope it won’t take

that long for the Tribe of the

Déise.

I WANT TO suggest a

new format for the

championship. 16

teams in Sam and 16 in Tommy.

However, while you can suggest

the 8 provincial finalists as 8 of

the 16 in Sam I am sure that

the other 8 would cause

controversy as their selection

would have to be subjective.

A very radical solution would

be to use the 4 National league

divisions as follows...GOES ON

LIKE THIS FOR ABOUT TEN

PARAGRAPHS… I suppose

this still doesn’t really solve the

league problems but maybe the

play-off format could be used

for each cup but based on your

selection criteria.

- Douglas Observer

AFR’s SHOUT: Thanks, DO, for penning

no fewer than 1,600

words on ‘reform’ of

the championship but

you’re still getting a Red

Card. If I published it all, there

wouldn’t be room for anyone

else’s comments this week! Your email is typical of the

many schemes and stratagems

people dream up to try to

improve the championship and

balance out the standards. But

isn’t the solution staring us all

in the face? Scrap the

lopsided provincial

championships. Have an open

draw for a 32-county knock

out competition. No side

doors or back doors. And the

winners play five games to truly

earn the title of All Ireland

Champions.

Puck out

No doubt about this

week’s winner of our

‘Comment of the Week’

and the fantastic His ‘n

Hers t-shirts from our

pals in Puckout.com.

His colourful description

of the wandering Déise

shows that if Barry

Doyle ever gives up

attending GAA matches

he can use his

undoubted writing skills to become Ireland’s next

great novelist.

CATCH UP with more

great conversation and

craic on ‘An Fear Rua –

The GAA Unplugged!’

at www.anfearrua.com

Get in touch: Give your views and comments to An Fear Rua himself at GAA Angry Fans in ‘The Irish Examiner’ Just drop an email to gaafans@examiner.ie and

get AFR’s reaction to what you have to say. For the ‘Comment of the Week’, we have a fabulous prize of exclusive his and hers GAA t-shirts, supplied by our old pals at Puckout.com, where you can design your own club or county leisure wear.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up