Carpe diem

No better man than John Cuffe to keep the fire stoked – here are some prescient thoughts from him on what a winning mentality means and requires.

Warren Gatland came to that moment when he knew what he had to do had to be done. A call had to be made, it was easy to fudge and not make it but Gatland wanted to be a winner. In dropping Brian O’Driscoll he unleashed the fury of a nation that strangely doesn’t seem to have the same appetite for protest on the economic pillage that has taken place but finds its voice when Thierry Henry handballed us out of a World Cup. That we are screwed to the floorboards for the next fifty years financially instead elicits a wringing of hands and a “shurrr ochon ochon what can we do …they are all as bad as each other”.

Gatland did what he had to do. He stacked his reputation on a new number 13 and this year’s Lions went into history as winners. That Gatland stood on the cliff edge with a posse ready to drive him over had he lost never entered Warren’s mind. Victory was what he wanted…defeat and he would jump himself…no need for the mob.

Andy Murray bridged Fred Perry’s Wimbledon 1936 victory by becoming the first British tennis player since then to gather the coveted gold cup last Sunday. The memory of his slumped body last year, as he lay crushed after Federer beat him, was the pain he needed to ensure that this year was not a repeat. Seventy-seven years of history and gallant Blighty lay on his frame as he locked horns for this year’s title. He prevailed. Now his shoulders will be forever lighter thanks to the lifting of that albatross.

History matters because each year it lays another layer of skin across a flailed back. When Seamus O’Malley arrived at Claremorris train station in September 1936 with a big silver cup in his arms he expected the hackney car to be there. It was and the driver asked him a question “Is that the yoke ye won yesterday?” Seamus replied that indeed it was. He was then driven to the school whence he worked to complete the second half of the day.

The “yoke” O’Malley had in the back of the car was the All Ireland cup…Sam Maguire. No teeming masses just yet…maybe later on that evening but crucially history had laid its first growth of skin. The ’36 men ensured that the 1948-51 men crossed the bridge and joined them. And then like a puff of smoke the connection was broken. It took Murray and all of Britain 77 years to wrest back the golden cup. Gatland didn’t want to be another losing Lions trekker. History laid its hand on both men and they were going to create their own version of it their own way.

Mick Mulderrig died recently. A boy when he won his first All-Ireland, his anger was as fresh last September when I met him as it was against the Louth defender who hung out of him on a September day back in 1951. Anger at our total ineptitude at trying to wrest history’s doors open. Not for him cheap sentiment…the opposite. He demanded that decisions be made so as the burden his team mates carried could be freed. A few weeks ago his soul was liberated and another legend passed away.

Trailing through Twitterland I came across a Tweet. “Is it true that another of the old Mayo bucks has kicked the bucket?” went the Tweet. For a moment a blind rage went across my forehead. I saw red. It was a reference to the great Mick. Had I that buck near me I know the bucket I would have kicked. We live wanting. We want… want…want and want it now, instant gratification.

The person who wrote that tweet didn’t give a damn about Mayo’s past, didn’t give a damn that they insulted a human being and didn’t give a damn for history. And yet if Mulderrig and O’Malley hadn’t won their All-Irelands, we Mayo people would be like Waterford, Sligo, Westmeath and a host of other counties who never won an All-Ireland. The very history that hangs around our neck like an albatross should be used to write a glorious new chapter to go with the proud old ones. Instead we or some of us wait until all those gallant men pass away because we are a superstitious pathetic bunch believing in piseogs.

Gatland wasn’t going to be held prisoner by the past. Gatland saw what the future held and made the decision to kill Bambi and to hell with those who wanted a Hollywood ending for BOD. That’s sport folks…the perfect imperfect. It’s never meant to be scripted. The great Don Bradman that great Australian cricketer had a batting average of 99.94. It’s near perfect. Going into his last test his average was 100.66. All he had to do was turn up, bat and fate and history would record his achievements. It didn’t happen. He was out before he was even in. The English team even tried to help him but to no avail. The river of sport ran its course and even the greatest could not bend it to his wishes. That match and its ducks dropped his batting average below the magical 100 leaving him with a tantalisingly 99.94. Close but no cigar.

We now face the furnaces of late summer. Are we up to it? Will we make the decisions that need to be made? I am of the opinion that Mayo played three All-Irelands where the heart ruled the manager’s head. Of course the manager knows more than ditch dwellers like me but then again that’s why they manage and I climb fences. Is rewarding a faithful servant that still can do a job or going for broke and putting in a player not fully laden with the kudos of the incumbent but just might be the difference the route to go? On such decisions hang the fate of most sports people.

A number of years ago I managed an U16 team. Prior to that I had that group from U10 upwards and we hosed all ahead of us. Not at U16 though. We struggled to a Shield final…that folks by the way is for losers…not my words but the words of one of my astute young backs that year. We got battered in that final and as the rain poured we watched the victors whom we had regularly walloped over the years, gloat in our misery.

One of the parents tried to rally our girls and said “Girls, ye did yere best but ye got no help from the sideline…ye were let down there”. You could hear a penny drop in the pissing rain. He was of course correct. We as a management team had kept the same format from U10 upwards and never adapted to the new circumstances. I swallowed what was left of my pride and as I drove home drenched and depressed I made a vow…nobody would ever say that about me again.

This year we won the county U12A. The group we have are exceptional since eight but other clubs quickly cottoned to our style. This year in the first game we drew, second game we got walloped. I recalled the words of the father in the pissing rain five years earlier and the poor sideline. We tore the plan up and repositioned the players. We changed tactics, we stood on egos but we fashioned a team. The victors’ over us in game two were trampled by us in the recent final.

We seized the moment. Be it Warren Gatland, Andy Murray or be it a pair of old geezers managing a group of kids the dynamics remain the same…we all want to win. It’s the choices we make that ultimately define us. It’s the choices we make that define whether we are in the winner’s enclosure or standing clapping through wet eyes. It’s the decisions we make that that defines whether we are fair game to an angry father on a pissy night in the arse end of Meath surrounded by a broken hearted group of disappointed kids. There is a moment out there. Seizing it is the key.

For Mayo that moment awaits. There is nothing like the present, time does not stand still, neither will Galway or the Rossies and if we want proof just look at London who has taken two scalps once unimaginable. For us our carpe diem moment is now, the day is waiting to be grabbed. Ar aigaidh a gasarí agus bain grim as.

42 thoughts on “Carpe diem

  1. Powerfull stuf john. If we want it enough it will come. One thing i have learnt over the years is if you stick at it, it will come…..

  2. As always, that is a great piece of writing John. For the long and weary traveller it is all about tomorrow and carpe diem

  3. John I always enjoy your writing but I must say, while in general, im a big sports fan, im not a lover of either tennis or rugby, actually i despise both. anyway…i get your point about gatling, but IMO they still would’ve won with BOD and the change was somewhat unnecessary. Just sayin.
    In our own situation, it vitally important that each player realizes the immense honor it is to play for the county and follow in the footsteps of legends like John Morley, Wille Casey, Joe Corcoran etc….and equally as important for the supporters to demonstrate their appreciation of their dedication by showing up and supporting the team.
    James Horan is his own man and will make positional team changes based on form and the on the tactical challenges of the opposition. He won’t be swayed by loyalty to any one man for his goal is to go all the way.

  4. A good piece all right John but where does that leave us. Are we saying that James has some hard decisions to make, or are we saying that he moves the deck chairs around a bit and hope for the best. Gatland by the way had a strong hand to play either way and was well aware in dropping Brian, any protests would for the most part come mainly from the Irish, and in his mind so what, after his experiences here, he probably couldn’t care less.

    I’m sure James Horan and the panel know right well this is a glorious opportunity for them to land the big prize in 1913 and so vanish for ever the so called curse that has been hanging over us all those years. Yes we would all love that, but so would the likes of Dublin and Kerry, and I’m pretty sure Donegal wouldn’t mind doing a back to back on Sam either. So where does that leave us? like so many times before, that’s still the big question. Of course we want to seize the moment, and I’m sure James will leave no stone unturned to try and achieve that moment, but lady luck will need to shine a lot brighter on us this year than she has in the past……

  5. I agree with JC
    No player owns a jersey
    Even Andy, CO’C, MC.
    Let them fight to get it back, and fair play to the others to hang on like nett

    Pressure and expectation are neither good or bad
    What matters is how we deal with them

    Roll on game three

  6. It’s very simple, mayo in 04and 06 were easy finals for Kerry, they laughed after about how the training games were harder than those finals. That’s changed from what I see, mayo will be a team to best avoid for all because they are hard to stop and won’t concede even when all is going wrong in a game.
    I sincerely hope mayo win against London, then get Tyrone, donegal for semi and Kerry in the final. I believe this current Mayo team will win Sam very soon if they play their game and stay healthy.

  7. Agree with a lot of that.Pity there are not a few specifics in there John. Who would you drop…what hard choices do you speak of.As I said very short on specifics but thanks anyway.Mayo do not lack for motivation.

  8. good stuff again john , in many ways you are a loser until you won and once you have won they can never take it away from you , I would argue that murray drew from the well of his US open win last year and even more his gold medal win in the same arena in order to close out his wimbledon title , likewise it wont be the spirit of longford in 2010 but rather the great championship wins over cork, down and dublin of the last few years that will drag us over the line. Gatland made a huge call but in the end the game was won in the forwards ,

    I leave you with the words of sean connery

    Do your best ? losers always whine about doing their best, winners go home and **** the prom queen !

    We have a team of winners and its time to bring the prom queen home !

  9. This mayo team or panel is one of the strongest i can remember and from what i believe the competition for starting place on the team is ferocious , all chomping at the bit which is healthy and good for management…Bit like kerry teams in the past in A verus B GAMES, not worried bout our so called easy route or the london game, we ,ll be up for it and the only team i think may stop us is our ole big smoke buddys the dublin jackeens ……Roll on sunday week , c,mon the coillti,s./Up Mayo……

  10. I ‘m going to be critical of this piece , i don’t see where Gatlands decision to drop yer man has any relevance to the Mayo set up or Andy Murray for that matter , he already had a major in the bag .

    The reference to S. O Malley and the 1936 homecoming is another sad chapter of Mayo peoples attitude , the people of Claremorris were an absolute disgrace that day, telling them to ssshh and hurry on through the town because there was a fair day on.

    Sometimes i find your piece in here good other times i find it more of an egotistical trip from yourself and your nonsensical analogies.

  11. Sean will you relax a bit, John articles offer something a bit different to site. The Gatland and murray references are metaphors for the main points of the article which are seizing your opportunity and having faith in your own convictions.
    Gatland has a way of playing that he believes in much like JH. They has actually faced similar ridiculous criticisms in the past about their style. Gatlands teams like the mayo team tend to be considered overly defensive, cynical and lacking fire power despite stats suggesting otherwise.
    Andy Murray and this mayo team also have many similarities. Both have obvious natural talent but have had to put the proper training structures in place to maximize their talents.

  12. All Sports are interlinked, and destiny plays a part, yes its great to see London in the Final.
    This I firmly believe is our year to win Sam, The Lions won against great odds, they were motivated, and believed that they were winners.

    Andy Murray won because he was motivated, very well prepared by his backroom team, and above all he believed he had the talent to win the Wimbledon Singles Final.

    London beat Sligo and Leitrim , because they never gave up and played with passion and ambition, and fair play to them,.

    Dublin hurlers have been knocking on the door for a few years, and it was no flash in the pan that they are in an All Ireland Semi, they brought in a winner in Anthony Daly, who had tasted success,and he has this team very high motivated and playing with a tenacity that may bring them All Ireland glory in September.
    I was at the Championship game last Saturday between Westport and Knockmore, a very good match, fast and hard tackling, Knockmore deserved to win, Westport lacked forward

    As I said at the outset all Sports are interlinked, intertwined, connected.
    I am confident that this Mayo panel have only one thing on their minds and that is to bring Sam to Mayo on the 23rd. September.
    The backroom Team is excellent, we have better scoring forwards than last season, and James has his feet firmly on the ground.
    Yes this is our year.

  13. Very harsh comments Sean. Take it for what it is – a very well written piece designed to provoke thought and discussion.

    The Andy Murray analogy is linked to him landing the Holy Grail (Wimbledon) or in the case of Mayo football, Sam.

  14. Bit harsh there sean. Let lads say there bit here. We all want the same.
    Good to see horans comments re cillian in irish times today. Sounds positive.
    Sorry to hear feeney is injured. He is a lad i have a lot of time for. Anyone know how bad it is?

  15. With WJ away, we should be thankful for JC filling the void. Don,t shoot the messenger comes to mind after reading your piece Sean. Have to give JC the credit for stirring the mind and stimulating further discussion. I too am an advocate of the analogies he has made…………… Perry won in 36 so did we , could history repeat itself……………………Here’s hoping so.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  16. Lads I don’t think Sean is being too harsh on John C’s musings. I too found some of the analogies a bit out of context, particularly, the Andy Murray one, for while that sport requires both mental and physical discipline and preparation, it is an individual sport and not relevant to a team sport such as Mayo football and the C’ship.
    John C is a big lad and can take it I’m sure and he has already said he was deliberately somewhat vague, as that’s for another day. I say no time like the present though, so I ask what specifically do we need to address? IMO I still think we are weak under a high ball and have yet to have that weakness exploited be because we haven’t yet faced well coachecd and well prepared quality opposition. I’m not sure how or if we can deal with that.
    Another weakness I see is the lanes we leave open when our half backs move up and attack at speed. It’s fabulous to watch and makes a massive contribution on the scoreboard but again, other quality teams will have studied this tactic and will have a plan to exploit the gaps left at the back while our lads romp forward.
    Every game will be different and require a different plan. I can tell you one thing…if we are fortunate enough to make it to the final, and its Kerry we face, Donaghy will start at full forward, u can bet on that.

  17. Good piece John, enjoyable as always. Good man for taking up the hot seat in WJ’s absence.
    I do hope though, that in terms of the tough decisions that you alluded to, this isn’t another thinly veiled slight on Alan Dillon.
    We’ve had our differences through the years on this subject, but I think the lad has done more than enough to gain universal respect throughout Mayo and beyond at this point.
    Comments like the following sound familiar to previous ones made about our perceived loyalty to established players:
    “Will we make the decisions that need to be made? I am of the opinion that Mayo played three All-Irelands where the heart ruled the manager’s head…….Is rewarding a faithful servant that still can do a job or going for broke and putting in a player not fully laden with the kudos of the incumbent but just might be the difference the route to go?”
    Apologies if this isn’t what you were getting at and far be it for me to try and interpret your writing – I’m not trying to rewind back to school days and frustratingly trying to get my head around Joyce and Heaney again!

  18. A nice piece to read while waiting for a bus,but sentimentality is not part of the JH makeup and I trust him more than the opinions of an emotional suppoter.Flowery prose is grand-winning the AI title takes a little more

  19. Boys boys boys and girls. Context first…I am a navvy writer …nothing more. What you get is what comes down my arm and onto the key board. Never confuse them with the lyrics or depth of Bob Dylan. I write…and all of you do the same…i write with a little passion…a bit of auld tongue in cheek and sometimes to rid myself of angst. Unlike the paid brethern of the keyboard don’t take me too serious. Enjoy the sun and ice cream. I have no veiled innuendo towards anyone within the article, mere musings of whats my own opinion.

  20. No harm in the different opinions here but we should all remember that we are all in the same boat & trying to steer the good ship home with Sam on board come Sept 23rd.
    The greatest danger to all great projects comes from within.
    Soon James will have to steer the Mayo Battleship out of the sheltered home waters.
    It is only then that we shall encounter the football equivalent of the great atlantic breakers,the dreaded white shark, the Bermuda Triangle, the Somali pirates, the floating icebergs,the Indonesian Tsunamis, the drones overhead & the torpedoes below. There will be seven other battleships on the high seas all hellbent on holing us below the waterline.
    We will have to do mortal combat with at least three of those seven battleships.
    If we do not keep our eyes firmly on the prize & trust each other implicitly when we go in harms way then we will go the way of the Titanic.
    If we do trust each other & go shoulder to shoulder then I believe our ship will eventually come into safe harbour with Sam on board. With our luck we’ll all be at the airport that night … the aptly named James Horan International ….. to welcome a long lost visitor !

  21. In fairness to John lack of specifics spoil the piece but john is not a professional writer and always does his best so thanks for that.
    Specifically would like to see London game used to start Coen…lad seems to be going well.Also Aidan needs to be more consistent and still wonder if there is a place for Keane.Lets get away from 36 etc and concentrate on now.

  22. Thanks John for a great piece. I love your writing and always enjoy your contributions. Look at the way you stirred the masses. Some if the responses remind me of how the Mayo team felt in 1936 arriving in Claremorris,

  23. Sean – just seen your comment on JC’s piece now. I’ve no problem with anyone taking differing opinions on anything that’s written here but the basic rule is that you play the ball and not the man. Your comment was clearly aimed at the latter and if I were in full moderation mode (which I won’t be until I get back home next week) your comment wouldn’t have made it onto the site for this reason.

  24. I read the full topic string lads, and just to pick up on JC’s Andy Murray analogy, I think he’s spot-on there and it’s a great example to use of how dogged dedication to the cause, the heartbreak of almost getting there, but no a big loss, the courage and resilience to come back, do it again, can get you across that line to eventually lift the holy grail…..I’ve been watching the Brits’ efforts at Wimbledon year on year and to me it’s awful close to the Mayo story. It doesn’t matter about the individual nature of tennis….the Brits needed to get back to the top after 77 years, the opposition always being world class it could only be achieved by an equally world class representative who on the day of reckoning was prepared to die for the cause…..and boy did Murray give it his all last Sunday…….Undoubtedly our Mayo lads are excellently coached this year and fit as fiddles, they’re a very good team and it looks like lady-luck is smiling on us in the recovery of CO’C, Barry etc. However, in the rest of the campaign, If all of the ‘extra’ factors fell into place for Mayo, utterly total comittment, and nothing less, from all in every match, a constant self-belief and the mindset of winners, a team bond in blood across all 15 positions to support each other to the final whistle, to run themselves ragged for the sake of the county and as I put it, ..’to die for the county’, there isn’t a team in Ireland who could stop them………Look at that 10-point gap we put on the Dubs last year….We’re well capable of producing that type of flowing possession football again !!……and this time finishing the job….Mayo abú !!

  25. My take on Murray’s win Marty was, he had a very easy ride into the final, not his fault I know as that’s the luck of the draw, but it did help. Where as Djokovic had already two very tough matches a few days before and was physically and mentally drained at that stage. Coupled with that Murray is an up and coming player at the top of his game and it was only a question of when rather than if he was going to win Wimbledon.

    As for Mayo, well so far it’s been a stroll and will continue against London. What happens after that is anybody’s guess, but as I have said here before, lady luck will need to shine a lot more brightly on us this time than she has in the past, no matter how much blood is left on the field ….

  26. Just for clarification here folks. What I wrote is called a “colour” piece in the writing business. Whether I am as Mr Griffin terms it “not a professional writer” is also irrelevant. I wrote it, sentimental egotistical slop it may be but I choose the text, the context and the “specifics” and unspecific’s and as such I stand four square behind it.

    If I wanted lessons on how to construct an article or learn to be a “professional” writer I would attend writing classes but seen as the hard graft Ms Maguire put in on me back in the late 1950s in Eachleam NS nínáns class I wont be changing my style to suit anybody. Oops …there I go again…short on specifics and long on sentimental egotistical analogies. Have a nice day buddies as the Yank says.

  27. I find it interesting that many commentators here seem to have moved away from detailed analysis of Mayo football and are now just showing that they are itching for next Sunday’s action . Is this a reflection of a general satisfaction with the way that JH is piloting the ship at present? From my own perspective, I’m satisfied that he is doing all he can right now.
    I’m really looking forward to next weekend and it looks like Castlebar could be a right good party town on Saturday and Sunday with London GAA shindigs planned for both nights. No matter what the result is (and like the vast majority, I expect a comfortable Mayo win), both teams will have an interest in the way the qualifiers are shaping up, as the next match will be against one of those still in the race.
    Cavan, Armagh, Kildare, Wexford, Galway, Tyrone, Derry and Laois are in the Round 3 draw and four of these teams will play the losing provincial finalists. I would contend that Tyrone is the pick of the bunch (even taking the Roscommon wobble into account) with Derry next, followed by Cavan, Kildare, Armagh, Wexford and Laois. On form Galway looks the weakest. All Round 3 games will be played next Saturday (20th July)
    Cork is already in Round 4 and a large proportion of the GAA community expects that Monaghan, Meath and London will join them. Round 4 games are currently scheduled to be played on 27th and 28th July.

    All will be revealed tomorrow morning at 8.30am on RTE radio 1 when the two draws will be made.

  28. Lads! Go azey on John! A forum like this is a bit like a conversation around the bar over a pint or two.
    And in that mode let me throw in my twopence worth. We are good-no doubt about that-the question is are we good enough! Well folks a lot of that depends on the opposition and i wouldn’t be too worried about any team with the exception of the dubs. They have the ability to shred any opposition. All I hope is that someone will knock lumps out of them before we might have to face them……….if that’s not too presumptuous.

  29. I expect that the Dubs will get to the final but I also think that they have their weaknesses too. They have not been really tested all year and Gavin does not know how they would react to being a few points down going into the last 10 mins. Just because they got out of there in the final in 2011does not mean that the current crop would be able to.
    Depending on the qualifier draw, a Dublin/Kerry semi is on the cards. That’s an interesting prospect; the aging vastly experienced Kerry bucks against the fastest and youngest Dublin in years.
    But who will knock lumps out of who? This is shaping up to be a cracking GAA Summer!

  30. John Cuffe
    I was actually making the point that you do not deserve harsh criticism as you are not a professional writer.It was not meant as criticism of your ability or style.You are a fine writer as todays indo testifies and well done by the way.
    I personally would have liked your views on what Horan needs to do specifically this year and these views would be of interest to others too I am sure.
    Perhaps you might address that when and if it suits you.
    Congrats again on Indo piece.

  31. Diehard,
    I hope you don’t get what you hope for and that no team “knock lumps out of the Dubs” as I hope no player gets injured from Mayo either.

    Jim Gavin found out today how his players would react as he also did in the National League final. Its good to see all the comments regarding us Dubs on these pages and I as many Dubs have huge respect for Mayo. Best of luck for the rest of 2013…..

    Martin the Dub

  32. Dubs looked beatable today and the more we look around us the realisation must be setting in, it’s there for us if we want it. 1996 is a year that most of us will regard as the one that got away, why , because we were the best team in Ireland . I’m just hoping that we don’t have to look back in anger over 2013, i really believe we can beat everything thats out there .

    Dublin will mature as fine side but i believe Kerry and Donegal are the bigger threat this year.

    Looking forward to the draw in the morning, should be some good games ahead.

  33. Martin the Dub
    Not wishing harm on any player! Dublin are a fine team who play football the way it should be played. I just don’t look forward to the prospect of meeting them above any other team at present. And yesterday’s game will make ye even stronger!

  34. Many thanks Diehard, I appreciate the response…by the way for what its worth to all the Mayo gang my prediction for Sunday is Mayo 7-25 and London 0-05pts. That’s no disrespect to the London lads and I wish them all the best but I am just being realistic….good luck all and see ye in September. By the way Willie Joe enjoy the holiday and I hope the kids are aware of the Blue double, cheers!!

  35. Thanks, Martin – they’re aware of it alright and are looking forward to hopping on that particular bandwagon once we get back home. First, though, they’ll be supporting our lads this coming weekend.

  36. John C has interesting posts as always and well worth reading. My preference is for the Mayo team to show a more ruthless streak, take no prisoners and punish opposition mistakes. Mayo have the luxury this year of probably adjusting their training to hit peak on August weekend as opposed to next week (all due respects to London) BUT we still need a hell of an amount of luck to win outright.

    As in a previous blog I think there is one dark horse and one favourite to fall, I think the dark horse is Derry after seeing the draw for Rounds 3 and 4 while one of the favourites to fall could be Tyrone. I think Kildare can take them in Newbridge especially if O’Neill is not fully fit……

    I can see us being drawn against Kildare (assuming they beat Tyrone) or Cork in the QF…….

    Wishing our minors and seniors the very best in both finals this weekend…

  37. i thnk galway will beat armagh cork and best of luck to mayo on sunday i wonder will coc come back for sunday or is it too soon galway or armagh could be they dark horse in champhionship

  38. No offence to JC but any comparisons to other sports or other years is pure nonsense. This is a team who are focused, well prepared, unique and completely different to any other Mayo team sent out. It has the best back up team that the county has ever had and the County Board appear to be doing everything it can to help the team and its backup staff. Forget 1996, 1997, 2006 and all the other disasters. It is all history. These guys don’t entertain that rubbish. They don’t want to know about it. I seen the same thing with my own club recently after a particularly sweet championship win. Whilst us old fellas were getting a bit carried away the young lads playing merely went for a swim in the river and had a bit of craic. An other day at the office! No burden of history with them. If they do lose it will have nothing to do with the past.

  39. I don’t think John Cuffe is correct when he says that Seamus O’Malley was met at the Railway Station by a hackney car. Did not Seamus O’Malley travel down on the night of the final in a hackney car from Dublin driven by Claremorris man John Smyth. Arriving at Claremorris Fairgreen on a Fair Day morning and the locals not knowing what the cup was. Did not O’Malley cycle out the three miles to his school a few hours later with the Sam Maguire on the back of the bicycle. Did he not join the team that evening (Monday) on the train and continue with the celebrations?.

  40. Dropping BOD has in no way been vindicated by winning the 3rd Test. Backs are curtailed or liberated by the amount and quality of ball they get from their pack – thats what won the deciding test. Indeed one could argue that with BOD in the team the Lions could have won more decisively and with more panache.
    The Mayo senior team is in an invidious situation on Sunday – if they hammer London, the latter were ‘no good anyway’ while a tight game will bring its own commentary.
    Good luck to seniors and minors – I hope the latter play with a sense of the heritage they have inherited at this level and for God’s sake keep the ball if warranted by events, come to think of it always keep it until a colleague is in a position to receive.

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