Nineteen years ago, the introduction of the back door format was to revitalise the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship to such an extent that some of the qualifying matches actually surpassed more high-profile provincial Championship ties in terms of quality and entertainment value.
Now that the wheel has turned full circle and we are about to return to a straight knockout Championship concept that was par for the course for many decades, the All-Ireland series is suddenly being viewed in a new light.
Yet I cannot help feeling that it will be nothing more than a return to what was business as usual.
And by that I feel we must steel ourselves for what I feel will be an uneven and, indeed, unfair competition.
Any analysis of what we all view as the premier Championship - and that's with all respect to hurling - can surely only lead to the inevitable conclusion that the 'new' format will suit the top-class sides.
As things stand, Kerry look certain to claim the Munster title, Dublin won't be beaten in Leinster, Mayo or Galway will come out of Connacht and I can see the winners of the Donegal v Tyrone Quarter-Final in Ulster going on to lift the provincial crown.
I will go further and suggest that the force could be with Kerry this year. They showed in beating Tyrone in last year's All-Ireland Semi-Final and in taking Dublin to a replay in the decider that they are an emerging force, a well-balanced side that boasts strength in depth, an admirable work rate and is blessed with the kind of individual talent that certainly does not grow on trees.
I honestly don't believe that Kerry will really be put to the test in Munster and this will leave them with plenty to spare for an All-Ireland Semi-Final against Mayo or Galway.
I have a feeling that Kingdom boss Peter Keane will have his side in pristine condition for their Championship campaign and, this being the case, they will take some stopping.
The Ulster Quarter-Final meeting of Donegal and Tyrone holds particular appeal even for neutrals. Here we have a meeting of two sides who have been to the fore of late, and the fact that Donegal will be bidding to make it a hat-trick of Ulster titles will add bite to this particular confrontation.
In contrast to what I see as a relatively straightforward route for Kerry into the Munster Final, either Donegal or Tyrone will have to win four games within a very limited time frame if they are to emerge as top dogs in Ulster.
Bear in mind that these games will come thick and fast at a time of the year when the elements may not be at their most favourable and crowds may be limited, thus perhaps depriving the contest of the usual electric atmosphere.
Whichever side lifts the Ulster Championship can look forward to what I feel is certain to be a meeting with a Dublin outfit that will be bidding to make it six All-Ireland titles on the trot and their first under manager Dessie Farrell.
The Dubs will be missing the normally influential Jack McCaffrey, but such is the strength in depth that Farrell has at his disposal that bridging the gap left by the Clontarf clubman's absence may not be as difficult as many people might think.
While I still believe that an open draw overall throws up the possibility of shock results - and here I am not ruling out the possibility that Dublin could be ambushed on any given day - the format of the provincial Championships holds an inevitability in terms of results that I find difficult to overlook.
Let's not forget that Dublin were taken to a replay by Kerry in last year's All-Ireland Final and subsequently came up short against Tyrone in Division One of the League on a dreadful night at Healy Park, Omagh.
This shows that the Dubs are not infallible, although when push comes to shove you would have to believe that they can come good given their penchant for playing their way out of potentially sticky situations.
My big hope is that the All-Ireland series will produce a level of football that will prove both captivating and thrilling, thus showcasing the Championship in the best possible light.
If this is achieved, then the GAA can bask in the satisfaction of having resurrected a season that at one stage looked destined to become null and void.