It scared me to my core. Suddenly the reflection in the mirror was ten years older. The flecks of grey hair looked more Alan Titchmarsh than George Clooney.

I began to recognise I was making a noise when I got up off the sofa; you know, that exhale of breath old people make when they use the arm rests as leverage.

I realised Sunday mornings were not for lie ins anymore. They were for coffee and shouting at the Tories on Andrew Marr. The weather too, when did I start checking the long forecast for no earthly reason and why was the space left on the sky plus becoming an obsession?

It couldn’t be denied. I was getting old bru. Or whatever it is the young ones say these days.

But, what was it that caused this sudden realisation? What was the jolt that brought the crashing waves of middle age and phantom joint pain searing into my conscious? Well, it just takes five words to explain.

I agreed with Pat Spillane.

There, I said it. And no, I don’t feel better for getting it out. You see, I was doing fine, in my bubble of chronic lack of self-awareness. Pulp were still cool and Cheers was still the greatest sitcom of all time.

But flicking through Facebook the headline hit me like a brick.

I felt like Angie when she was served with divorce papers on Christmas Day by Dirty Den. ‘Change was needed but Proposal B was not the answer’ according to Pat. And with a lump in my throat, I had to agree.

Had I become one of them? You know, one of the establishment? I shuddered. It had always felt good being the outsider, the rebel. It is the 50 per cent Corkonian in me. I thought I would be a rebel forever, but not on this discussion.

When the esteemed sports editor asked me to do a column on the championship proposals, and the fallout from Congress, the shudder turned into a full-on shiver of fear.

Reality bites. It is what it is and here we are, about to argue against what all the hip young people want.

So first off, an explanation. Proposal B for the new championship format was to relegate the provincial championships to the first part of the year and play the championship as a league format. The winners of Division Three and Four would get a crack at the Sam Maguire and the teams finishing sixth, seventh and eighth in Division One and fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth in Division Two consigned to the scrap heap for the rest of the year.

It may have been well intentioned, but it was bananas. Eight of the top 16 teams in the country not in the race for Sam, and two teams from the bottom 16 are in it? That dog don’t hunt. It was chronically unfair.

Of course, I also hate the status quo that we will be served up with this year too but I’m not even going to get into that. Except to say that if it continues for too long it will lead to a malaise in a whole swathe of counties who are consigned more often than not to the Tailteann Cup.

So, with little real thought put into this, I am going to offer a fairer alternative.

I’m still relegating the provincial championships to earlier in the year. I’ve been arguing against them for best part of 20 years, so I am not going to stop now.

The championship would still be based on the four leagues, but the top 15 teams would all compete for Sam.

Bottom in Division Two goes into the B Championship, sorry, the Tailteann Cup. Winners of Division Three and four play-off for the last spot in the Sam Maguire.

Everyone has a crack at Sam at the start of the year, but we don’t throw out eight counties in the top 16.

Now, as has been said, I put little thought into this but in the spirt of change and wanting to offer something rather than howling at the wind there you have it.

Now, allow me to donate the remainder of this column to a few things which are more important than championship change. No, not the Fermanagh Championship semi-finals this weekend. Rather, the mechanisms by which the GAA arrives at decisions.

Oh, how they never fail to disappoint in their undemocratic nature. First off let us talk about Congress. Wasn’t it breath-taking that some counties, with no hint of shame, announced that their delegates would ‘make their mind up’ on the day of the vote?

My mind boggles. Many years ago, I tried to bring a motion to congress. The crux of it was that for major decisions the GAA had to properly canvas clubs on their opinion and as a consequence mandate the delegates at congress to vote the way the majority in their counties wanted. I suppose it had too much of a whiff of real democracy about it as the motion died a death and didn’t make it to the floor of congress. Just like Tiffany outside the Vic after she was mowed over by Frank Butcher.

Something as important as radical change to the championship structure deserves the opportunity for scrutiny by all and more importantly for all to have their voice heard. Let’s be honest, how many clubs discussed these proposals? I wager less than one per cent. It is no way to do business.

Speaking of scrutiny, the GPA also need to be put under the microscope.

I am sick to the back teeth of them coming out saying that the majority of players are in favour of this that and the other without actually showing any indepth figures. We need to know how inter county panels voted. Do you think it matters as much to a player from Mayo or Dublin or Kerry or Tyrone if the championship is turned on its head as it does to one from Fermanagh or Westmeath or Limerick?

I am so done with individual players from so called weaker counties being wheeled out to say that change is needed.

The GPA need to give us a breakdown of where this majority came from. I asked for it once on another issue, and I’m still waiting for a reply.

You see, it comes down to that old adage about the chicken and pig and a lovely fry up. The chicken is involved but the pig is committed. I don’t really care what the chickens think when it comes to championship reform, I want to hear from all the pigs! And if the pigs are naive enough to all be in favour for the slaughterhouse then so be it.

Now, I’m off to buy some skinny jeans and some Just for Men, because yes, I know, those flecks never were George Clooneyesq. But, I’m still going to shout at the Tories. There are some good things about getting older.