Everything you know about hurling is wrong
Series of unpredictable results disprove a number of former theories
This despite being tipped against in probably every match they played so far in league and championship.
On a chilly afternoon in Cusack Park manager Michael Ryan asked the media, who had gathered to get his reaction to beating Clare in the first match of the league, how many had tipped Waterford to win.
We moved swiftly on but few enough I’d imagine revised their overall views.
Of course they’re in transition and finding it harder to reach All-Ireland semi-finals but the inevitable consensus that they’d lose to Offaly last weekend went the way of so many other negative notices leaving Ollie Baker to call for championship reform, now as familiar a protocol for managers whose summer is over as the concession speech in politics.
Division One B: limbo or purgatory?
After all the talk about football’s infinitely greater social mobility, it’s the big ball elite who resemble a gated community in some Central American republic: viciously oppressive to those with less and apportioning to themselves increasing ratios of available wealth.
Hurling has become so aspirational that not alone has Division One B ceased to look like a housing estate built on a great pocket of pyrite but even Division Two A has produced a couple of performances with Laois beating one team ranked in a higher division and then running the Leinster champions Galway uncomfortably close.
So far the Munster champions have been beaten by a team from a lower division and the All-Ireland champions held to a draw. The stats will hardly get better for hurling’s second tier but what’s happened so far was supposed to be impossible given the disparities within the modern game.
It’s April. Why not just give it to Kilkenny and save time?
When’s the last time Kilkenny had so much difficulty in successive matches in Leinster? Yes, they are favourites to win the replay especially given Dublin’s general requirement for the cover of darkness before they give a big performance and yes, they have significantly influential players to return so talk of revolution is premature, but the labouring performances of June will greatly embolden the masses.
Qualifiers are killing the Munster championship
None of the above dogma has been set up as a straw man and this one certainly isn’t, as I – ahem! – wrote a dissertation on the subject just last month. Then yesterday, provincial chair Robert Frost declared that next month’s Limerick-Cork final (foreseen by nobody, least of all me) would be a virtual sell-out.
In other words everything I know about hurling is wrong.