Opportunity lost for glitzy Croke Park league launch
Computers have lots of uses but don't ask them to be imaginative, especially when it comes to devising a league fixture programme where there are obvious promotional advantages in setting some games for specific dates.
A clear opportunity to launch the Allianz Leagues with maximum impact has been lost by not tweaking the fixtures in Croke Park on Saturday.
Dublin hurlers play Offaly at 5.0, followed by Dublin footballers against Kildare at 7.0. Why aren't Dublin playing Galway and Kerry on the double?
With due respects to Offaly and Kildare, they don't have the same drawing power as the All-Ireland hurling champions and Kerry, whose jousts with Dublin are always box-office.
Surely it would have been a good idea to stage a Dublin v Galway and Dublin v Kerry double-header and market it extensively in order to pack out as much of Croke Park as possible.
Dublin hurlers have home advantage against Galway in Parnell Park on February 25, with the footballers playing Kerry in Croke Park a week later so it's not as if home-and-away arrangements would have been impacted on by doubling up next weekend and tweaking the rest of the programme accordingly.
Also, it would have made promotional sense to hand Antrim home advantage for their 1B hurling clash with Galway, which goes ahead in Pearse Stadium next Sunday. It's rare for Antrim to have a chance to play the All-Ireland champions in a competitive game nowadays so when it arose they should have got the break.
Surely a human hand in Croke Park could persuade the computer to do the sensible thing in these type of situations.