To all the heads whinging about Offaly being in the league hurling quarter-final after only winning one game, I have this to say. SHUT THE HELL UP ALREADY!
We heard you. You'd want to be deaf not to. We get the message. Loud and clear!
You reckon Offaly are going to get battered by Tipp. You reckon Offaly shouldn't even be on the field with the All Ireland champions. You reckon they shouldn't show up. Sure what's the point in playing the game at all. We in Offaly should just lie down and let the mighty Premier march over us to the last four.
Now you might not be wrong about the possible result (but don't write off Offaly entirely) but you are totally wrong if you think Offaly don't deserve to be there. You know why Offaly DO deserve to be there. BECAUSE THEM'S THE RULES. If you don't like the rules, change them but for now and for next year THEM'S THE RULES.
Pure and simple.
You all knew the rules this year because...... surprise, surprise, they're the feicing same as they were last year.
Now that might come as a shock to some given the outcry since Sunday but THEY WERE THE FEICING SAME LAST YEAR!
I don't remember the same sense of outrage then and for the record, Offaly lost to Kerry last year....but they did beat Wexford who are suddenly pretenders to Kilkenny's throne.
Now I will be the first to concede that GAA rules are a law unto themselves and make no sense at the best of times.
Sure the football championship starts with four groups that all have different numbers in them. How ridiculous is that?!? Can you imagine a group in a World Cup where one group had 12 teams, another had nine and the others had six. Utter madness.
But wait, in GAA circles, that's not unfair because it's the hallowed 'Provincial Championships' and we all know what the first commandment of the GAA is....
1 - Thou shalt not feic with the Provincial Championships
That's why you don't hear the lads in Munster whinging because their football championship has six teams and two teams get straight into a semi-final. And the same goes for Connacht but you don't hear them complaining from the other side of the Shannon when the summer comes around. You also don't hear them complaining when it's their turn for a trip to New York....
And speaking of Connacht, you don't hear any complaints from Galway when they get a free pass into the All Ireland U-21 Hurling semi-final and the All Ireland Minor Hurling quarter-final. And how many All Ireland Senior semi-finals did Galway walk into down the years before they came across to Leinster. Were there any complaints then? Anyone? Anyone?
And all of the above applies to the ever more popular Club Championships where Leinster teams have to fight through more rounds than the other provinces on the terrible pitches in a shorter time frame. Sure that's all perfectly fair because them's the rules. And it will still be fair when it all has to end in a calendar year.
But when it comes to this Sunday and Offaly qualifying for a league quarter-final, the keyboard warriors and talking heads are up in arms. 'How can the GAA stand over this?'.... 'How can this be let happen?' The simple answer is THEM'S THE FEICING RULES...... It's not rocket science.
And one piece of advise for the poor lads in Clare who seem to be taking particular umbrage as they are in a relegation play-off. Find a pitch and stage a sit in. Well at least that worked for us in 1998......
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