With the longer evenings, there’s a bit of a wheeze going on with my eldest child as he tries to stretch out the evening until bed time.
Right now, YouTube is under a strict ban. Watching him watch Americans playing video games as they exchange inanities was the final straw.
And as for Ryan’s Toy Review, social services should be alerted.
So he has a new favourite hobby; hoofing his football up onto the roof and then catching it. Or me expertly cushioning a pass onto the roof (slates are harder to replace than roof tiles) while he fields the ball.
For me and many others, there is a deep nostalgia to an activity like this. Many of us couldn’t put a figure on the amount of hours spent kicking a ball onto a roof for the thrill of watching it drop and catching it at full length.
Or even to hit a ball against a wall for the feeling — or lack of feeling — it gave after clean contact and the challenge of controlling it on the rebound.
When it comes to watching sport, it’s a harder spell around Chez Bogue.
Occasionally, he asks if he can watch soccer. I agree and then flick up the Sky Sports channels to find a game on. At that point he makes an alteration to the request; it isn’t soccer he wants to watch, but rather people talking about it.
I’d rather watch Ryan’s Toy Review than punditry.
But the point is this; at seven-years-old, he is becoming much more aware of the world and sport around him. In the next fortnight, his summer holidays will be starting. Bed times will take on an elasticity.
Occupying children has become increasingly difficult. In the past, going to a Championship game was a great way of punctuating a week and giving them a day out.
But we are heading into late June now and only three hurling games remain of the season. For what is a summer game, it feels like throwing away a lot of magic of the summer by wrapping up hurling so early.
After this weekend, there will be just three football games left. How is that right?
As recently as 2017, our Ulster finals took place in the middle of July. The inter-county season had a chance to breathe and stretch itself out, but perhaps too much. To have one game in Ulster per week for eight weeks — excluding replays — was too much.
But to concertina everything in the way it is now offers little in the promotion of the games.
If you want to take a busload of children from Ulster down to see a Hurling Championship game, it has to be done during term time. And that causes its own issues.
Without any Championship on, the only means of winning hearts and minds and planting seeds in children’s imagination is through the club game.
The split-season will hollow that out, though.
It might take a summer or two, but already there is evidence of some of the best county players choosing to spend their summer in America, playing a little ball and getting to enjoy themselves.
Last week, news broke of Conor Meyler and Michael McKernan heading off to do just that. Nobody would begrudge them. It’s great to be young and have the option to do such a thing. And when they come back, they will have ample time to get themselves right for a Tyrone Championship that is only due to start in mid-September.
Summer is always boom time for sport. Soon, Wimbledon will be up and running. On July 1, my own personal favourite of the Tour de France will start, commencing in Denmark and concluding with the traditional dash through the city streets of Paris.
Thereafter the Women’s European Soccer Championships will be on, the Premier League gets going and a world of other events take place.
The one thing the summer will be virtually clear of is top-class, elite inter-county football and hurling.
Excitement around the GAA will only return around the end of October when some, but far from all, take an interest in the various county finals.
That’s three months at the height of the summer that the GAA will not be part of an overall sporting conversation.
There will be scant newspaper coverage. Podcasts will be scratching around for things to cover. News bulletins will contain virtually no references to GAA.
GAA President Larry McCarthy is a lecturer at Seton Hall University in New York by profession. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in sports marketing.
I assume he has a plan.