Football needs real contests to save season
Over to you now, Kerry, Mayo, Dublin, Tyrone.
Football delivered four one-sided provincial finals, followed by four (of five) equally uncompetitive All-Ireland quarter-finals, leaving the Mayo-Roscommon draw as the only interesting contest.
Much of the good was undone in the replay, which Mayo won by 22 points, the second highest margin in the 16-year history of the quarter-finals.
Without the draw, the total score from the other eight games reads:
That's an average winning margin at almost 12 points per game.
That the eight losing teams scored just one goal between them (Kildare's Paddy Brophy v Dublin in the Leinster final) is a real indictment of their attacking creativity.
Hurling, in contrast, was much more competitive and that includes last Sunday's Cork-Waterford All-Ireland semi-final, even if the winning margin was 11 points.
It was only in the closing minutes that Waterford, who had an extra man, pulled away. Most of the football games were decided by half-time.
All of which places a big responsibility on the football semi-finalists to produce games that remind people what real competitiveness is like. Based on previous Kerry v Mayo and Dublin v Tyrone games, the signs are good. Hopefully, they live up to expectations because football needs it.
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