There has been a concern growing amongst GAA fans over the past few years that, as a result of widespread blanket defences, Gaelic football is becoming a less and less attractive prospect to watch. The clamour has reached fever pitch recently after both the dire Dublin Derry league match in Croke Park last week that ended up 0-08 to 0-04, and Roscommon acheiving promotion to Division 1, which is surely a sign of an impending apocalypse.
Saying all that, I think that the game is good in theory, so to help bring the fans back, here are 5 easy suggestions that would immediately increase entertainment value and fan appeal.
1 – Five members of each team should have gone out on the beer the night before the match, each player to have drunk a ten drink minimum, and none of them can be subbed off before half time unless injured. For each hungover player you still have on at the end of each match you get an extra point.
This suggestion has numerous advantages: From my junior football days (where it is a regular occurance) I can confirm it’ll be extremely funny, especially in the wet, and also with it there will be no need to ban blanket defences – I’d like to see 5 hanging fella’s try to cope with that intensity for more than 30 seconds.
2 – Have pre-match trash-talk competitions.
Who wouldn’t want to see this kind of thing?
The team that gives the best put down gets a three point advantage. Straight away, if you keep all your drunk players on the field and you can insult the opposition to a high degree you already have 8 points. To make the trash-talk competition more difficult, each competitor is only able to use the term ‘jabroni’ a maximum of three times per insult.
On a side note I think Stephen Cluxton would be brilliant at this and Aidan O’Shea and Michael Murphy would be pants.
3 – Have story arcs and character development
Lets face it – Gaelic games interviews are boring. Its always the same old shite: Thanks to the manager – he’s a great fella, thanks to the players – they’re a great bunch of fellas, hard luck to the losers – they’re a credit to fellas everywhere. What I’m suggesting is that, on a rotation basis, in all matches one of the counties is forced to go out of their way to portray themselves as overblown villains, so that we have someone to root for (the ‘good’ opposition).
They could acheive this by any number of ways – Some suggestions: Having one player give a serious dunder to an opposition player whilst another player on his team distracts the referee in a comical manner, have the team be seen to perform occultist rituals on the pitch in the build up to the match, or, something simple, like have all the players on the team wear capes and Doctor Doom masks, and threaten widespread genocide of the opposing county if they win the match.
4 – WWE style entrances to all matches. Cheer leaders, entrance music, smoke and gigantic lasers are to be made mandatory
I mean this seems like such an obvious thing that I’m shocked it hasn’t been done already. To all sports. It makes sports approximately 300% more awesome.
5 – Have Tables, Ladders and Chairs scattered around the Pitch
Although the Health and Safety people will no doubt raise concerns about this one, I think the addition of props to allow the players to batter each other should be given serious consideration. To ensure that the games doesnt descend into face I would suggest that there is a caveat within the rules so that each player is only allowed three striking offences before they’re issued with a yellow card. However, feats like using a ladder to climb onto the crossbar and bodyslamming an opposition player gains between 1 and 3 bonus points, to be decided by Vince McMahon.
Next week on Cat Malojin: I suggest 5 ways to bring a bit more Fenian pride to WWE.