Front foot for the back door

Those who have trouble with [the qualifiers favouring strong counties] might be better off coming up with fresh ideas. A handicap system as used in horse racing, perhaps. The best players carrying lead weights in their shorts or, if that is too uncomfortable, maybe the Gooch could play blindfolded or the Cork midfield forced to play with their bootlaces tied together. Leitrim could select their entire stock of able-bodied men under the age of 35, allowing them to field 20 players instead of 15.

I’ve often been an advocate of the backdoor, ploughing at times a lonely furrow in the face of authoritative solutions to the woes of the system, usually between one ridge wanting to return to the old ways and another wanting myriad variations on a Champions League-style format. And the horror show in Port Laoise yesterday will no doubt give fresh impetus to those who have all the answers. So it was refreshing to read John O’Brien giving a robust defence of the status quo in today’s Sindo. It may be specifically about football, but it applies just as well to hurling. The Laois motor is knackered and no amount of tinkering with the potholes on the September road will help the county that have managed to eclipse even the Waterford 31er’s. In the meantime, people need to sit back and enjoy the ride.

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