Colm O'Rourke: Different kinds of hurt on show as Kingdom battle for places and Leinster neighbours battle for survival
Kerry will be more determined than ever after last year's finale, says Colm O'Rourke
Pity the championship didn't start a few weeks ago as the sun seems to have come out for the beginning of the great snails' race, otherwise known as the All-Ireland championship.
Then again, most competitions in every code are more or less the same: a lot of matches to sort out the chaff from the wheat. In football, it gives everyone a chance to have one big day out and a smaller one later in the qualifiers. Does nothing for the promotion of the game but it was never designed for that.
Today a serious team, Kerry, will put on their new jerseys and make a statement. It is live on TV too so the masses can see what they think, even if the timing of the match as a warm-up to the hurling is a bit like asking Muhammad Ali to fight on the undercard. Kerry are going to win this match but there will be a lot to learn.