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Furore about replay venue a mere sideshow

I may be wrong on this, but I have a feeling that Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final replay between Kerry and Mayo in the Gaelic Grounds could be one of those events that makes a mockery of the consternation that has surrounded the fixture since shortly after the final whistle sounded last weekend.

It's not that I'm trying to make light of another PR disaster, or condoning the GAA's ludicrous and badly planned scheduling of an American football game in headquarters at the height of the football championship, but sometimes sport has the ability to take a bad situation and turn it into something memorable.

That a greatly reduced capacity will impact on supporters, especially Mayo people (who always travel in great numbers despite the many years of misery), does not reflect well on the GAA either, particularly so in a season where the armchair fan appears to be the one best served with both Sky and RTÉ providing coverage of the penultimate round of All-Ireland series games.

That said, having sampled the atmosphere of an International Rules game played at the venue a couple of years ago, the intimacy of the stadium will produce an atmosphere that has the potential to inspire the players to contribute 70 minutes of action that generates equally as many column inches in its aftermath as it did in it's build-up.


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