NO Santa letter this year.
Have lost faith in the ‘Bearded One’.
Has let us down too often.
Promised so much.
Delivered so little.
This time around we’ll go it alone.
Take our chances.
Still we have been in the headlines for more times than we care to remember over the past tweleve months or so.
National media would seem to have a fixation with Lilywhite Land, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Small screen obsessed at times with the comings and goings.
The county must have been mentioned more times on RTÉ radio than RTÉ mentioned itself.
And that I can tell you is some achievement.
All, unfortunately though, for the wrong reasons.
This time last term the Seanie affair was threatening to knock Fair City off the top of the ratings chart.
RTÉ and TV3 seen at a local hurling championship game as the Cavan man goes to no ends to make himself eligible to become a real Lily. (Jimmy the Dub take note!).
Meanwhile the financial situation in the county was discussed, disected, analysed and viewed with the same ferosity as the few bob Angela and the Trioka lads were lending Mr Noonan in order to keep the entire place ticking over.
Even Prime Time managed to squeeze a slot on the financial state of Kildare GAA into its weekly offerings.
Although the ‘Lovely Miriam’ remained anchored in studio the piece itself was, like much of that programme of late, nothing short of a damp squib.
In the end the GAA version of a ‘bail out’ culminated with headquarters dispatching one of their own to keep a close eye on proceedings.
Along with a substantial loan to help the county over the hump.
Hard to stomach.
But a solution nevertheless.
As was having to play ‘home’ games in Croke Park.
And even worse.
You know the more one looks back on it and the more one ponders over it, 2012 was an absolute disaster of a year both on and off the field of play.
Yet hopefully a turning point also.
But lo and behold at the back end of the year and into the start of 2013 there we are right up there making the headlines again.
Before a ball is kicked in anger.
Or a sliother hit with intent.
Firstly we agree to play two ‘home’ games in Croker.
At least the ‘compo’ will see St Conleth’s Park finally get a makeover.
Well, maybe not a full makeover more of a bit of a facelift that will enable home games to be played at home.
Just like every other county.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Oh no, not by any manner of means.
Another bombshell hits Lilywhite Land with the news that the boss man of the hurling squad and his able lieutenants have decided to step aside.
Not content with their budgetry allocation (and it is hard not to sympathise with them) the entire management team take to walking.
Just as training was getting under way, all was stopped in protest at the funding allocation for 2013.
Headlines once again.
Management insist time to stand up.
Settlement talks ongoing amid hopeful signs that agreement can be reached and normal services can be resumed.
It is often said that there is no such thing as bad publicity and I suppose the Hurling Board can point to the fact that two national TV stations being so concerned with the health of Kildare’s hurling affairs that they send camera crews to cover a game and then as the Bearded One is packing up his sleigh up pops another hurling story, this time over a shortage of cash, physios, medical personnel, playing gear and even sliothars.
Not even Mrs Browne could write a script like that.
Where the hell are we going I wonder to myself.
Or even more importantly when will all these shenanigans end and we can get back to making the back pages for all the right reasons whether it be football or hurling, not to mention funding and all that entails.
Over the past twelve months though there have been some good news stories.
The footballers return to Division 1 of the NFL after four years in Divison 2 was certainly a very welcome development, while the hurlers will tog out in Division 2A of their NHL in a few weeks time.
Both of these successes are to be commended but a bit like the Junior Cert. results once what has been achieved has been achieved we move on and are quickly told that the real examinations lie ahead, whether that be in Leinster or All Ireland football fare, Christy Ring or indeed the Leaving Cert on the academic front.
Such is life.
Still another season beckons.
For now it is the O’Byrne Cup.
And the Kehoe Cup.
Moving swiftly along to the Alliance Hurling and Football Leagues.
Then the big one.
The Leinster Championship.
And the Christy Ring.
A new season.
A new hope.
A renewed expectation.
A renewed belief.
Imaginary or unreal?
McGeeney promised us a bit of a shake up some months ago.
It looks like he is true to his word.
(Not that we ever doubted him).
New management set-up at both senior and U21 level.
New faces on the training ground.
New voices in the dressing rooms.
Can it bring improvement?
Can Division 1 status be retained?
Can an impact be made in Leinster?
Can the hurlers build on their success of 2012?
Christy Ring is the big one.
Really the only game in town.
Long over due.
Maybe, just maybe 2013?
And while Tegral have departed after a magnificent innings, good news on the sponsorship front just around the corner.
Things are looking up.
But lets hope that the headlines generated in Lilywhite Land in the season that is about to unfold are all positive.
No cameras for the wrong reasons.
No stories that bring the county into disrepute.
No Prime Time specials.
No (new) cash shortages.
No physio shortages.
No shortage of sliothars.
Just good positive stories.
That will be the day!
We give out.
But we’ll be there.
Bring it on.
And to end on a positive note, peace and harmony has broken out (allegedly)with the news on Saturday that the ‘differences’ between the hurling fraternity and the county board have been resolved. All back on board. Onwards and upwards.
All things considered, maybe, just maybe, there is a script there for Mrs Browne after all!