It’s that odd period of the year, the one where it all goes deathly quiet just before we then proceed to go slightly insane as our first championship match of the year steals up on us. The Sligo game is now less than two weeks away but it’s so quiet out there – apart, that is, from all that pathetic pissing and moaning from managers and TV pundits about the handpass rule – that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was the middle of the closed season. It’s not even raining so it doesn’t feel at all like summer.
There’s bugger all coming out of the camp in terms of how things are shaping up either, though Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News has some useful gossip on a tight hamstring here and a groin strain there and that sort of thing. There isn’t even any talk yet of tickets, even though the match at Markievicz is undoubtedly an all-ticket one.
This is the problem with the way the championship gets going every year, though, with a badly constipated fixture list for the first two months before utter mayhem is then let loose once the qualifiers start and the matches get backed up the way the traffic used to do on the M50 in the good old days. This coming weekend, for example, patrons can choose between the heady delights of Donegal v Down (in fairness, a tasty enough fixture) or Roscommon v London and we have weeks more to come of this scheduling-on-mogadon as the provincial championships grind their insufferable ways to a number of utterly underwhelming conclusions. And then the championship starts for real, hopefully with our lads still in it at that stage.
We may have had a challenge match up this end of the country this evening with Kildare but I think this match was an under-the-radar one and so I don’t even know if it did take place. Or if we’ll ever know who played where for us in it or, indeed, who won it. Never mind, it’s now just eleven days until the Sligo match and, with the home team aiming to inflict only their fourth championship defeat on us in fifty years, we’ll all no doubt be fully plugged into the action that day. In the meantime, I guess there’s little more to do but to enjoy the sound of silence … and start thinking about those tickets.
PS: There is, of course, that unedifying catfight over in the ladies’ corner that’s doing all it can to fill the vaccuum but I think the less said about that, the better. There still appears to be time to sort the problem out but I guess it’ll all hinge on whether or not there’s sufficient inclination to do so. The county has a proud record in ladies’ football and it’d be a shame to see its name sullied in this way so here’s hoping that common sense can yet prevail on the issue.