Over a week has now passed since our early exit from this year’s championship. In that time the world has moved on and so too has the championship. The line-up for the inaugural Super 8 All-Ireland quarter-final group series of matches has been completed and, alone amongst this year’s Division One counties, we’re not in there.
How and why this came about deserves some analysis but that’s not the purpose of this piece. I’m focused instead on the opportunity our early departure this summer affords me to step away from what has, over the years, become an all-consuming task for me of keeping this place going at full throttle all the way until at least the end of August and frequently well beyond. It’s a rare chance I intend to exploit to the full so I guess I’d better lay out what this means.
First, I should clarify what it doesn’t entail. I’m not shutting the blog down – not yet, at any rate, though how feasible it is to keep it going indefinitely is an issue I constantly struggle with and continue to defer a decision on – but I am, for the next number of months, paring back significantly the amount of time I devote to it.
In the near-term, the U20s have a big game coming up at the weekend – for which the GAA might soon deign to let us know what the venue is – and the ladies are also still involved in the championship. I’ll be keeping an eye on both and also, once it restarts, I’ll also be looking to provide a bit of focus on the club championship action, though with the usual caveat that my domicile up here in the capital means there’s a limit to what I can do on that front.
The Mayo News football podcast hasn’t gone away completely either. We’ll have at least one wrap-up episode on the inter-county side and there may also be other developments on the podcast front which, should they come to pass, I’ll let you know about too.
As for the wider inter-county stuff, though, I’m planning on doing nothing at all here on the site. I only ever cover the national GAA scene in an ad hoc way at the best of times and, for Mayo GAA, these most certainly are not the best of times. Be my guest and chat away among yourselves about all this action but I won’t be joining in.
In fact, talking away among yourselves will, in large part, be the new norm here for the next considerable while. I’m not sure what my record is for the length of time that has elapsed between posts – I think it might have been two weeks or thereabouts – or for the lowest number of posts in any given month: off the top of my head I reckon that might be around eight. Those are the kinds of numbers, though, my level of disengagement from the site will be challenging over the coming months.
It’s not for me to tell anyone else what to do. I do believe, though, that a break from thinking incessantly about the world of Mayo GAA is something that could benefit the lot of us. We’re not gone, we’re not dead and buried – despite what was stated in all those hurried obituaries that have sprouted like ragwort over the last week – and there’s every reason to be confident that we’ll be back with increased intent in 2019.
But it’s not 2019 yet. And there’s plenty of time left in 2018 – not least in this ongoing, astonishing summer we’re enjoying – to do other stuff. Which is what I intend to do, even if that still means keeping an eye here on the blog, which will I reckon become an increasingly quiet online location between now and the New Year.