Championship prediction mini-league: the final result


With the year’s championship action at last over, it’s also time to reveal the winner of this year’s championship prediction mini-league, powered once again by This one, I’m proud to say, is staying in-house.


The young lad, trading under his Big Dog moniker, has been to the fore in the prediction stakes all summer and he had the mini-league title in the bag before the final was played (and then replayed). Just as well he had, I reckon, or else he might well have fallen at the final hurdle with victory in sight like his oul’ lad did last year.

The next generation is made of sterner stuff, however, and he made his way safely into the winner’s enclosure without any fuss. For good measure, he ended up fourth in the overall standings as well, in a field comprising 532 runners. Not bad for an eleven year-old.

So the Green and Red Ferrari (I did tell you that was the prize this year, didn’t I?) goes to the best Mayo supporter I know. Only not until he turns eighteen, though: on some issues, it’s still a case of his father knowing what’s best.

23 thoughts on “Championship prediction mini-league: the final result

  1. Well done young man. Or is that Big Dog?
    Get him on the line for next year ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. What?!
    There’s prizes going for the championship ones and not for the league ones?!
    I call foul!

  3. Great to see your 11-year-old coming on on top in the mini league prediction stakes.
    That’s the sort of enthusiasm for the game that is the characteristic of Mayo these past few years.

    Bernard Brogan says finances has little to do with the Dubs’ success but with the way the under-age players are being brought along by ex-players like Jason Sherlock, Collie Moran, Ciaran Whelan and Paddy Christie who give up their week-ends from 8 a.m. to coach their youngsters. Our grandson plays at under13 with Kilmacud Crokes and his team has four coaches!

    How many of our former greats are involved in looking after youngsters in their clubs? I remember Gerald Courell, one of the all-time greats, in the years he and Jackie Carney were training the victorious Mayo teams of 1950 and 1951 still had time to coach Ballina’s juvenile team and travel everywhere with them. I should know – I was on that juvenile team!.

  4. On a more serious note, well done young Billie Joe.
    The competition is great fun.
    Good to see the top ten stuck to their guns the last week of it!

  5. It’s a nice touch maybe by the Dubs, John McHale, but please don’t try convince me that finance doesn’t play a part. That chart shown during the week shows how disgracefully unjust the whole financing scheme in the GAA is. It’s hard not to be successful with the amount of money being poured in. And don’t even get me started on that Abbotstown project.

  6. Hi Rochford’s Brigade:

    Of course I don’t believe that money doesn’t play a huge role in a team’s preparation. But I was trying to say it’s not ALL about money. It’s about how our youngsters are being coached right from the beginning of their footballing careers and whether our former greats, to whom these kids look up to, are playing their part in that.

    Could anyone let me know how many of Mayo’s ex-footballers are coaching under-age teams?

  7. Sorry John.
    It’s more Bernard Brogan trying to focus attention on the Dublin ex players rather than the money that I was aggrieved with.
    It’s a fair point you make but at the end of the day, when they get up to the representative teams in Dublin, it’s all about the money. And I have an issue, and a big one, with that.

  8. All above noted, but last thread was absolutely brilliant.

    Talk about a ‘let it all out’ counselling session !………….And certainly, at this stage, 6 days on, not sour grapes at all, but an honest mix of hard critique where it’s warranted about our team’s own set-up, and observations on our team’s brilliance at times and where that lies, but also critically, honest comment about what our eyes saw (…and didn’t see) on that field over the two big games………..unpunished incidents on both sides, but particularly the cynical and dangerous tactics employed by the opposition, that went against us.

    What can I say about Tom P…………….what a gifted athletic midfield runner and carrier he is and we’re lucky to have him. How was he left out in the cold for five years ?….On a good day, in full flight with the ball, he’s a sight to behold !……………But he’s a very very lucky man after last Sat…………It’s only stitches to the head, and he may be thankful for that………….he’s a lucky man to have his eyes intact given the reputation of his assailant for gouging………Pebblesmeller, I agree with you 100%, the headbutt was surely the act of a coward and a thug, but that style of play is his calling card and until he’s seriously sanctioned for it, it will continue to be rolled out.

  9. Willie Joe good for you that the young lad is still Mayo supporter. I had a similar situation with my fella some years ago, but when he got seriously involved with club football here in Dublin that all changed. And whether his old man likes it or not, he’s now a true blue – just as well it’s only a game ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Mayo’s misfortune in both the final and replay this year has once again raised the question: Does the CURSE really exist?

    I have just shut my mind to it over the years but I don’t think the pervading rumour will go away until the whole issue is FULLY investigated. I think it’s only been superficially dealt with up to now.. People like myself only snigger whenever it’s raised. But I believe it won’t go away and won’t until it’s properly probed.

    The first question that occurs to me is: When was this curse first mentioned? A neighbour told me last night that Paddy Prendergast recalls that the team on their way from Dublin with Sam in 1951 were transferred to an open-backed lorry in Charlestown and then had a stop in Swinford before arriving in Foxford. Yes, he strangely still remembers there was a funeral passing through Foxford when they arrived there but is adamant there is no truth that a priest cursed the team because they did not stop for the funeral. He does not know when the first report of the alleged curse surfaced. but certainly it was not at that time. This prompts the question: Was it in the sixties or barren 70s when we could not even win a Connacht title?

    The following questions to my mind need to be addressed: (1) Who was the priest in Foxford at that time? We all know it’s only a small village – even smaller in the fifties – so that should not be hard to find out; (2) When did reports of the so-called curse first arise? Could people post when THEY first heard of it?

    This will not go away until it is dealt with properly. It’s like cancer. Cancer could not be properly treated until it was acknowledged that it existed. In my day – I’m talking about the 1940s! – people talked about it in whispers as if it were a terrible secret that must not be divulged. I think John Wayne was the first major celebrity who disclosed publicly about having got it and even the great man himself could only refer to it as The Big-C.

    We have had our own Big-C for too long. It will not be treated until it is properly researched. I’m 78 years old now and based in Dublin for the past 40 years but if I had the vigour of youth and was back in my native sod I would start SERIOUSLY looking at all aspects of the curse.

    You think it’s only superstition and not factual? Then let’s see concrete evidence! Otherwise, as sure as God made little green apples, it will be bubbling away under the surface if we reach next year’s final. I know our present team have not been affected CONSCIOUSLY by the so-called curse. Over, hopefully, the coming 12 months every other aspect of the team’s preparation will have been looked after. But when it comes to psychology, dealing with the curse should be researched seriously by people outside or inside the Mayo camp.

    I know it will be said when we bring home Sam next September/October that it was only a pisroige …but still….

  11. Good inquiry John. It’s a wonder the questions you ask hav nt been by chance even been touched on over that time… a measure perhaps of the credence that’s been given to it over the years. Quite likely emerged in the the dark seventies. Should not be impos to get those details you ask for.

    It’s not fair btw having that young buck playing in our division. He should be in the u-14 division by right!
    He ll be a marked man next time around . Well done all the same !!!

  12. Well done to the ‘big dog’, delighted to be handing the trophy over to the next generation of Mayo supporter.

    It’s been a week and I’ve finally felt recovered enough to watch the game back again – AAARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Christ this one is a fucking killer…

  13. There was no mention linking Foxford to a curse until I think a side mention in Sunday or Irish independent.
    Foxford being a traditional small village with several local story tellers would know the funeral, the priest and the reason.
    It simply never happened till some journalist picked the last small town before Ballina.
    The only story in Foxford that people tell is that it’s untrue and not linked to Foxford.
    The original story switched between Ballaghadereen and Tarmonbarry and arose I believe after 1989.

  14. Well, J.P., Paddy Prendergast maintains the incident was supposed to have happened in Foxford although he says the whole thing of a ‘curse’ is ‘ridiculous, as does the only other surviving member of that team, Padraic Carney. I agree local story tellers should be consulted. An enterprising journalist could also check the parish records in Foxford to see whose funeral was taking place at that time and talk to the relatives of the deceased person to ascertain what they remember.

    There are also two surviving members of the 1951 squad who could be interviewed: Dr Mick Loftus, former GAA president, and Willie Casey, as could the families of the players who took part in the 1951 final to see if those great men ever talked to them about the alleged ‘curse.’ I am also very interested, JP, to know how you figure out that reports of the ‘curse’ first surfaced after 1989, 38 years after the alleged infamous incident.

    If all this work were undertaken and completed then we could finally consign the ‘curse’ to where it belongs – HELL!!

  15. Can one person on this blog tell of hearing about a curse pre 1989?
    If there was such a story how come it doesn’t feature in the 1989 year book or at the time any build up or post match discussion.
    There is no curse related to a funeral in Foxford.

  16. As a lad in 1960’s Castlebar I was made aware of the curse by listening to my parents discussing it with friends and neighbours, they all were convinced that Mayo would not win another AI until the curse was lifted or the terms met. So I grew up with it.
    Although I and my family have had many doubts since then, we revert back to it when faced with the many unfathomables that seem to beset our Mayo whenever they play in an AI final.
    I suppose the only way to prove that it does not exist is for us to win the AI with the terms of the curse still in place.
    MaighEo Abรบ

  17. When I watched own goal number 2 roll over the line in the drawn game I tell ya that curse came to mind. I dont believe it but I needed something to help me make sense of what happened.
    As a Foxford man I read an article on the BBC website about the curse a week or so before the game. The parish priest of Foxford Padraic Costello stated that no deaths, let alone funerals, occurred in the Parish of Toomore in the days leading upto and after the time of the ’51 All-Ireland.
    A long time ago, maybe around the finals of ’96 and ’97, I asked my late father about the curse. From what I remember he wasn’t convinced of it at all on any level. The same man was at the ’51 final and being a Foxford man was in the town for the arrival of the team so I’m guessing he would’ve remembered a funeral and the source of the curse.
    Either way, no death, no corpse, no funeral, no curse.
    Well, not in Foxford anyway…….

    Big Dog = Top Dog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *