Glass getting fuller

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One of the things I like about Saturday games in Croke Park is the fact that there is still a good bit of the weekend ahead of you after the match. Last Saturday was a case in point and after bite to eat and a quick freshen-up, the town was there to be enjoyed. It was particularly satisfying to hit the town on a high after the wonderful performance we had witnessed. And it didn’t take long to get into in-depth football-related conversations with people from other counties. Two such conversations were particularly memorable.

The first was with a Kerryman. Fulsome in his praise for us, he was convinced that we had enough in the tank to take Dublin. However, that would be it. We would meet Kerry in the final, where Gooch and Co. would pick our pockets again. But we should keep at it, as our day will come. The usual ould blather! Mayo were great today but (according to this particular expert) the sight of a Kerry jersey in a final would spook our horses once again. I felt like I was talking to one of the lazy journalists that pepper our national newspapers with such crap.

The second conversation was with a Monaghan man. Obviously a bit down in the mouth after being dumped out, he didn’t hold back on his views of the negativity that has become so prominent, particularly in the Northern game. He told me that he had been a teacher and knew five or six of the current Monaghan team when they were kids. He trained their football team and he remembers them as being skilful, exciting young kids who loved the game and who loved to play with the shackles thrown off. “How it’s changed,” he said. “Looking at them now, the fun is gone. It’s like they are something that is plugged into a formula.”

“I’ll tell you what else,” he said. “Fellas like me don’t get to train kids anymore. We want to see them enjoying themselves, but that’s discouraged. It’s now all about the result. But the real result is that 14 and 15 year-olds are leaving the game in droves. As well as that, there are lots of lads that come up to their early twenties who decide that they don’t even want to play club football.”

“I’d give it five years,” he said “and Division One football in Monaghan will be a distant memory!”

Ok. You might say that being despondent would be natural when you lose your quarter-final and that the black clouds looked even blacker in such circumstances. But this was more than that. This was a real football man, one who is on the ground in a blanket county (his term) and he can see the game bleeding to death in front of his eyes.

But what really struck me was how his mood changed when we started to talk about Mayo. He became enthusiastic about the game. He pointed out moments that lifted him and about the joy that flowed from the way Mayo play.

Aidan O'Shea goal v Donegal 2015

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

“I envy you” he said. “I really envy you. Your county understands the soul of the game. I don’t care what my mate from Kerry says, yours is the team I want to win it now. And do you know, if Monaghan were still in it, I think I would still want Mayo to win it.”

Sometimes we give out about our lot. But after that conversation, I am once again so proud of my county and of the magnificent people that give so much to Mayo football. We are in the top three and don’t fear anyone that’s left. I can feel it in my bones. This is the year!

Keep the Faith!

 

61 thoughts on “Glass getting fuller

  1. We really are living through a wonderful era of football in this County, savour every minute, lovely feel good article fourgoal, never doubt the faith here, maigheo Abu

  2. Good observations Think we are almost there fitness cuteness defence all good more long range points and Mayo could go MAD

  3. Having worked in Kerry for over 17 years I have developed an understanding of their supporters standards and expectations which I contrast with our own.
    This present Mayo Team is good enough to lift Sam this year.
    However, Noel and Pat must raise the bar which I think they can do. They appear to have tactical know how which they will need plenty of.
    Most importantly the players need great self belief and when combined with a good sprinkling of “luck” which has been hard to come by under JH then we will make it up the steps in the Hogan Stand very soon.
    Kerry don’t contemplate defeat they fear it so can often avoid it-against the run of play. That’s the secret.

  4. If I had only one wish for the rest of the all Ireland series it would be that Aidan O’Shea survives to play till the end. No injuries and no cards. We can be sure that Dublin and hopefully Kerry will have a plan for him.

  5. Fourgoal,

    Your Monaghan friend was certainly right about Monaghan appearing to be plugged into a formula and not allowed deviate from it. The sight of Vinny Corey soloing around midfield without any idea of what do do with the ball was sad. When he did pass it to somebody else they proceeded on the same pattern and so did the next fellow while Tyrone got their defence properly lined up. When Tyrone eventually got possession they attacked at speed as the Monaghan defence floundered in their wake. Why Monaghan did not try letting a quick long ball into Kieran or Darren Hughes at full forward I cannot understand.
    However I am not so pessimistic about football’s longterm future. I am not in Monaghan – or in Mayo – but I do not see young people leaving football in droves. Certainly winning is seen as important but it was ever so, including by young players. Nothing is as depressing or conducive to quitting as continuous defeats. Regards Monaghan’s longterm future in Div 1 of NFL, probably they will eventually wind up in a lower division because a county with a population of c. 60.000 can not sustain Div 1 indefinately. No such county ever has or can have the resources to do so.

  6. northern football is misery , in the last five games I can only remember two games that I enjoyed , derry v down and cavan v armagh, the rest have been shocking , maybe the donegal tyrone game from 2 years back , thats about it. misery.

  7. I heard the very same sh’te from friends of mine from Kerry, up until last year. The majority of them accept they were haunted lucky to get out of Limerick with a win.

    It’s nice to be liked and admired but but we need the win now. Not at any cost (Tyrone) but on our terms. I was glad to see a little pragmatism creep into our system on Saturday and it didn’t mean we had to jettison our attacking philosophy.

  8. Jeez, ease up Roger. Quite frankly, I can’t name many memorable games from the Connaught championship over the last five years either.

  9. No disrespect to Monaghan but they were the architects of their own downfall. I don’t think they had one long kick out or even a quick one for the entire match. Every time they had an opportunity they chose to take their time and then go short and it was down to a single player to solo it up the pitch to at least the half way line. By which time Tyrone had all their military in place again behind the 45 metre line.

    I though it was madness that there was no plan B at all. It was only in the final few minutes when they threw caution to the wind that things changed for them. Overall it was a serious example of sticking to your game plan and a terminal belief in it. But a serious lack of tactical know-how on the sideline for an alternative of any sort if that game plan was not working.

  10. To be fair to Kerrymen, their mindset is based on a large body of real life experience. After I told a friend I thought Cork would take them in the replay – he texted me at half time…”yerra they look like the same old cork to me, they will cave in the second half”…he was bang on.

    you can talk about things being different every single time but until such time as you get over the line the pyschological factor will always be a factor. What is certain that if Mayo meet Kerry in the final…Mayo will have doubts no matter how subconscious….kerry will have none…thats why Mayo will need to be 4 or 5 points better just to get over the line…..Mayo won’t harbour the same doubts against Dublin because they have good history with them….but its still a mamooth task just to get over the Dubs in my opinion.

  11. If we can get over the Dubs going down to Killarney and getting the win even if it was just the league will be a huge psychological lift coming after Limerick last year.

  12. I really don’t think that’s the case mayomaningalway. We’ve beaten them plenty of times in the league, including in 2006 in Tralee, and that didn’t make a blind bit of difference to either Kerry or Mayo come September that year 🙁

  13. The league means nothing at this stage or at least we should all hope it does not because Dublin gave us a hiding in it in Castlebar back in March.
    Looked at a few Dublin forums last night and for the most part bar a few worriers on about Reek Sunday myths 😉 – they are not afraid of us and fully expect Dublin to beat us.

  14. Joe McQuillan is reffing our semi final, I see. Happy enough, think himself and Coldrick are the best of a bad lot!

  15. Rock, we should do what ever it takes to win, that’s what Kerry do that’s what all the great teams of the past have done eg. Tyrone, Meath etc. You said ” not at any cost ” which I take it means not cheating. There are rules to be enforced by the officials and if you break them that is the only cost you pay, all great teams play on the edge and bend the rules to their advantage, Kilkenny hurlers are a prime example. The common theme here is we need to continue been ruthless and in my opinion do what ever it takes to win the all Ireland.

  16. @Mayo forever

    you are bang on. There is no such thing as “cheating”….there are rules you play within only because a referee will penalise you if you don’t. Your incentive is always to cheat…the reason soccer has such a problem is the failure to enforce rules and punishment by the refs….its not cheating for a player to take whatever advantage he can – it is rule breaking and the officials are there to monitor that.

    Is it “cheating” if a player picks the ball deliberately off the ground and gets away with it? Is it “cheating” to take 7 steps with the ball to get past ur player and hope you get away with it? Is it “cheating” to play on and seek to score a goal when you know the ball you won had gone wide already but the umpire didn’t spot it? absolutely not….there are or course things that we find to more unsavoury than these forms of “cheating”, like simulation. But the rules already cater for simulation – if we think it is a major crime then caught committing the crime should carry penalties in accordance with the rules we agree upfront… whether that is a yellow card to a life ban…..but don’t make up the rules as you go along as appears to be the case with McGann.

    The meath team of the 80s/90s were the dirtiest team I have ever seen. The 1988 final against cork in particular stands out in my memory. My respect for the ‘greatness’ of that team is tainted accordingly – but i didn’t regard them as cheats. Boylan recognised a weakness in the standard of officiating and exploited it to the limit….he exploited it to win and the players have the medals to prove it. All the better if you can win ‘better’ as Brian Clough wanted of leeds (if you haven’t read “the damned united” – you should, I’d say Boylan has)…but I’m sure these Mayo players woudl rather win ugly than lose pretty.

  17. McQuillan isn’t the worst, but we need to know how to play him, as the Dubs do with their familiarity with him. Examples like he lets a lot of dodgy handpasses go (which helps them quicken the game) and a lot of suspect pickups go (again which helps them quicken the game). We need to do the same.

  18. McQuilan again eh? He’s reffed our last two games against Dublin, in 2012 he seemed to do everything possible to let them get an equalising goal. Remember the 45 he let them take which was already 90secs past the 4mins of added time?. Whats wrong with Padraig Hughes? Or the chap from Clare Rory Hickey i think his name is.

    I think all this talk of meeting Kerry is farcical, we have the best team in the country against us, who hammered us in the league, and have celtic cross winners all over the pitch. Yet its starting to sound like a donedeal that we’ll take them, far from it imo. All notions of meeting Kerry should be parked to one side, lets try an keep a lid on all the hype that is gathering momentum on here and around the county.

  19. Juan , I am going all in on the hype, this is our year , we’ll hammer the dubs so much that whoever wins the other semi will forfeit the final as they wont want to be on the end of the hiding we are going to dole out. Don’t let any sheep come near me or he is getting the dulux treatment , my red cortina is about to take a green stripe spray and the wife has put an injunction on getting near the shed in case I go buck ape on it with the can and brush.

    Mayo for Sam.

  20. Chances are now that the All Ireland Final Ref will be either be:

    Dublin v Kerry – Marty Duffy
    Mayo v Kerry – David Coldrick with a small chance of David Gough
    Tyrone v Dublin – Marty Duffy with a small chance of Padraig O’Sullivan
    Tyrone v Mayo – David Coldrick with a small chance of David Gough or Padraig O’Sullivan

  21. Digits definitely won’t be Gough or O’Sullivan. They are first years.

    Padraig Hughes got most big games and will get the gig

  22. Perhaps, although every year for the last 5 years it has been one of the quarter final referees who wasn’t reffing the semis who wasn’t from the province of the finalists.

  23. This will be Dublins first game in the championship where the result is actually in doubt for them. They knew they would win every game so far, the only question was by how much and who would get a starting place. This is different territory for them. That’s why it is vital that they are not allowed to get in front early on and settle into their usual game. We need to create doubts in their minds from the very start. You’d never know they could be fragile when things are going against them and the hill becomes frustrated.

    I think what they will try to do to cope with AOS is win the middle third of the field starving him of possession and thus forcing him out the field in order to get his hands on the ball. This I feel is the key to the game. We need to dominate the middle and play the game in their half as much as possible. They will of course try and crowd him out when he does get the ball close in but that’s what you would expect.

  24. Can ya imagine if Reilly got it!! 😀

    In fairness he’d prob be overly biased for ourselves, could work in our favour 😀 😀

  25. ^^^ I’d imagine Reilly’s being wrapped in cotton wool for the final though

    Talks he could get the hurling final gig aswell, would be fully deserved.

  26. I remember in the 2013 All-Ireland final at one stage Joe McQuillan had given us something like four times as many frees as he had given to the Dubs. Jim Gavin made some comments after the game about this, so they weren’t too happy with his performance that day. I would find him to be one of the more professional of the refs involved in the GAA and would have no problems with him. I think that he is one of the better refs in the game at the moment.

  27. All this talk about young mc cann bing hung out? Not a word about the Monaghan boys divin? Crazy. The lad made a mistake and now they want to give him 8 weeks? Close the gate after the horse is gone. No word of shields or Buckley on keegan last year. Or o Donoghue divin? No cause hees from the aristocrats of football. It’s a fuckin joke. Tyrone Mayo final with the help of God

  28. Winning is the only thing. I don’t give a tinker’s curse how we’re perceived by other counties. We’ve heard all the ‘ah, aren’t Mayo refreshing, they play the stylish, sporting game’ guff before.

    That’s no consolation when some other county are gone home with the Sam, and we’re left as losers. Again.

    It’s clear from last Saturday that H & C are improving us where we needed improving. We’re more solid in defence, stronger in the FF line and smarter on the sideline.

    Of course we’ll need something new up our sleeves for the Dubs. But I think the two boys will provide it.

    The rest comes down to ruthlessness on the field. That is ultimately what separates winners from losers.

  29. Its the dubs that have this game as a done deal juan if their forums are anything to go on..and understandably as they have won the grand prize twice in four years ..it will be sideline and ruthlessness that win that game…

  30. Have to agree with Juans last couple of posts, everybody should read them again & calm down a little…..we have a great team with a great chance of getting to an allireland final but the bookies have Dublin favourites for a reason…..Duirmuid Connolly, 2 Brogans,Paul Flynn,Paddy Andrews, MDMC, Cluxton, Dean Rock , you could go & on they have match winners all over the park

  31. Whats peoples views on Michael Murphy going to umpires to get Kevin Keane sent off last Saturday, 2 minutes into injury time when Donegal had the match lost?

  32. Good post Fourgoal.

    A word of caution though.

    I think one of our problems is that people, neutrals, like us too much. Everybody wants us to win. Everybody says we deserve it. Everybody says it’s a shame we have gone so long and have had such rotten luck. They hate the Nordies, despise Kerry, are sick of Dublin and their riches. And so on.

    This attitude can creep in to the mentality, the fans mentality certainly, and that can eventually seep into the team – they can’t insulate themselves permanently in a bubble
    The further we go the more intense this gets.

    We ‘deserve’ nothing. It won’t be our turn. 64 years? Could be double that. If the Longfords Sligos and Westmeaths have taken ‘lopsided’ hammerings recently, they have taken them where the stakes are lower – relatively. Being beaten in the championship can, as Denis Walsh perceptively observed recently in The Sunday Times, leave your heart “…pulverised and you will spend the Winter searching for the pieces”. I would qualify that and say that being beaten early in the championship is tough, very tough, but being beaten at the latter and final stages is where you really are pulverised. Don’t we all know that!

    We have to be brutally focused on the prize and the prize at the moment is only a final place. ‘Style Mayo’, the Corinthian spirit all have a part, but, as evidenced by Saturday, Mayo have been taking a leaf out of the Northern copybook.

    On Saturday, we killed the game, wrapped it up and said as much to Donegal. One Donegal man in front of me was livid – how come Donegal are vilified for defensiveness, and now Mayo are doing it. How dare they!

    Lee Keegan shipped a red in Galway, when we, equally cynically, closed it out in the last ten minutes or so and he stuffed the ball up his jersey.

    Remember how popular Dublin were in 2013 for their total football all year? It didn’t prevent them playing a defensive game in the final and killing us. Nor will it again.

    We have to be equally tough.

  33. agree fully catcol , but I think noel and pat have learned from the very few mistakes that James Horan made , they have taken all the good stuff and added their own tactical twists.

    personally i cannot wait to see what they have in store for the Dubs. I think this year really is a case of no more mister nice guy

  34. Pat and Noel are getting great credit and deservedly so but I think we shouldn’t forget the role Buckley plays. I think he is the main man behind the scenes. A lot of what is good about the way these lads play is down to his coaching as far as I can see.

  35. @done deal
    No problem whatever with what Murphy did. Murphy is a hard player that remains competitive to the end – there was some sort of altercation between the two players and it matters not one iota if it was in the first or last minute. If you’ve ever had an altercation with a player your feelings towards him with respect to the incident doesn’t change according to what time is left on the clock. Murphy felt aggrieved, rightly or wrongly, the umpires and/or ref felt rightly….so are you saying well Murphy could have done Keane a favour and not expressed those grievances because there wasn’t much time left – if anyone really believes that then they don’t understand competitive sport in which there is a lot of physicality and andrenaline going through the veins.

    @catcol
    An interesting post but it is simply false to assume that the pulverising of the Sligo team by Mayo did not do equal damage pyschologically to those lads as losing an all ireland by a few points would do to Mayo. They have put in the same hours and effort all year and had to face their friends and colleagues the Monday after in complete humiliation. I can’t imagine losing an All ireland final by a couple of points can be more soul destroying than that because at the very least you still have the respect of everyone not least your own supporters….the Sligo lads 4 or 5 weeks ago was probably wondering how long it woudl be before anyone would respect them again.

  36. Last weekends win was brilliant & I was there to see it.
    But let’s not get carried away.
    We’ve been here before no less than 4 times before last Saturday & 4 semi finals as well.
    Nothing has changed.
    Tactics last Saturday was spot on against Donegal.
    Dublin will be a totally different kettle of fish.
    They have great quality throughout the field.
    They will face a much faster more mobile team in my opinion than Donegal & the management will have to really have their tactics right for this one.
    I never fear Mayo playing Dublin but while they may not have faced any real opposition so far this year I think they are a much better team than a few years ago & they are smarting after last year’s All Ireland semi final defeat to Donegal.
    Our problem could be that if Dublin run hard at our back line with pace which they have in abundance we won’t be able to live with them.
    We will have to be at the top of our game against them & watch Cluxtons kick outs & mark really tight & give them no space or time on the ball.
    If we do that then we have a real chance of defeating them.
    Let’s not get carried away because we’ve been here before.
    One game at a time.

  37. Mayo Advertiser reporting Clarke and Cunniffe touch and go for the semi final. We have cover for Clarke in Hennelly but I wouldn’t like to see Cunniffe out..

  38. Catcol – I also agree on “deserving” something. You go out and earn it. In fairness this group of players seem intent on that. I just wish the “Mayo 4 Sam” brigade would stay quiet for a while. I am fed up of it and it can only be juice for the opposition.

  39. The way it is, I see us as a top 4 “seeded” side so that making the semis is pretty much equalling expectations. It’s now that we should really be looking at kickstarting our championship as we’ve done nothing unexpected till now. The same applies for Dublin and Kerry. While our win the last day was great and everything, if we want to be a serious All Ireland contending side we shouldn’t be getting carried away with any wins before semis

    For that reason I’d barely even take into account previous matches for any side, as all 3 teams have beaten teams they should have beaten. Now Donegal is an exception and they’re probably also seeded 4th but I do think it’s fair to say they failed to live up to that quite clearly this year

    But I certainly don’t think there should be any real great deal of hype around anyone, as it is very tight between the 3 and can all be on the day

    I’m amazed at how Dublin are being written off by some though, they’re the best team in the country for my money. It might stem back to their underachieving days, which lets be honest are well in the past. Kerry seem to get far more respect overall, yet I think Dublin are a better side at present and have achieved more in this decade. I’d fully agree with Juan, freespoonwitheverytub and Biscan here. It is eerily getting like 2013 levels of expectation, and while it’s great to see us talked up so much, I’m not wholly sure it’s 100% merited, when we come in as deserved underdogs

    That said I certainly wouldn’t rule us out sneaking it, but I think we’d need a lot of intangibles going our way- which is of course possible

    It’s actually very similar to how I see Galway and Tipp at the moment actually

  40. Spoke to a friend not far removed from the Dublin setup and he says that the Dubs have been holding Michael Dara Macauley back till now.
    Says that he is absolutely flying in training the fittest he has ever seen him.

    Says also that he thinks once they get over Mayo that they should be able to take care of business against Kerry.
    See Mayo as physically stronger than (themselves) and Kerry and that the Kerry fullback line can be got at.

  41. Wouldn’t surprise me, when MDMA was “dropped” for the Fermanagh game I wasn’t buying a second of it. He’s a serious asset to them and was the player of the year 2 years ago. Would be shocked if he didn’t start. Will they go for experience (Bastick) or form (Fenton) beside him I wonder

  42. Diehard, agree coaching is huge and Buckley deserves great credit. Being able to get turnovers using the right technique as Parsons and others did the last day is huge. Takes their game to a whole new level.

  43. Not McQuillan again?Why not Marty Duffy or Cormac Reilly and at least give us a challenge?Or maybe Brolly could throw in a few lines to get the ref against us even though he has great time for Mayo or perhaps Gavin could complain in advance that Mayo.get handy frees.
    Or maybe the Dubs could demand the Hill 16 end for warm up or maybe get Joe in the week before to talk them through the rules?
    Ah come on we need a challenge!

  44. They’ll have MDMA back, but there’s no problem with mobility in our midfield with Parsons and SO’S. MDMA certainly won’t have it all his own way in there.

    I hear what people are saying re. hype and that’s fair enough. I just think we’re all buzzing because it looks from the last day like we have hit the right balance.

    Whether that’s enough to get by the Dubs, we’ll see on the 30th. But Mayo are experienced, fresh and very focused. If the Dubs squeeze past us they’ll have certainly earned their place.

  45. With MDMA I’v seen a fair bit of his minutes this year and he didn’t appear to be the dominant 2013 run the legs off you force. That could be opposition teams being fitter.
    One player who has gone up another level in mobility is Seamus OShea. Seamus was always a mighty worker now he seems to have an added bit of zip and speed to him.
    As for Parsons, I’d be confident that he’s by far the quickest midfielder left in it. It was interesting Kieran Shannons article talking about his improved tackling. If you seen the steal on Colm McFadden it was textbook.
    SOS and Parsons are really helping out big time in terms of defending between midfield and deep into our defence.

  46. hope Clarke is ok for the final, we will need him for the dubs

    Would worry less about cunniffe, chris barrett will cover that void

  47. I gotta say, all this “put a lid on the hype” stuff does my head in. I can guarantee you no other county in the land thinks like this.

    We are in an All-Ireland semi-final, we have been damn good value for it this year so far, and we have had more than our share of misery to deal with over the past couple of years, so I for one intend to fully embrace every minute of the anticipation and excitement. Even if that’s just a comment or two on a blog saying I think we have a chance here. It’d be rather presumptuous of any of us to believe that our opinions here and in our homes, locals or streets have even the slightest effect on what will happen on the day.

    Otherwise will someone tell me what is the point in all of this if you can’t enjoy it? If you’re hushed for expressing not just your support, but your belief in the team you are supporting? I’m damned if I’m going to be walking round yerra-ing like a Kerryman for the next 2.5 weeks. In fact, d’ye know what, I’m off to find me a flock of sheep an ould Ford Escort and a few cans of green and red paint right this minute.

    Mayo for Sam!!

  48. Go for it Anne Marie and I have a couple of brushes if you need them! You are dead right. These are great days for Mayo and we should enjoy them. And it will have no impact whatever on a very seasoned and experienced team like ours. And if it all goes pear shaped, sure aren’t we well used to coping with that. Funny enough I don’t think it will this time barring some poxy bad luck.
    As for the sheep well that’s not a baaaaaaaaad idea at all.

  49. Well said Anne-Marie. Personally, I’m enjoying every minute of this. The head is held high and I have no problem telling people just what an amazing group of players we have.
    They deserve our full support and faith in their abilities.

    On the All-Ireland final referee. I was looking on Paddy Power a few weeks back and they had a section on odds for the ref for the final.
    No joking, but Cormac Reilly was 3rd (possibly 4th) favourite! He was something like 4/1. I had to take a 2nd look, but lo and behold there the little rascal was.
    Jesus, the sweat was pouring out of me when I saw that.
    Can’t find those odds anymore though when I go on the site.
    David Coldrick was evens favourite by the way. Think Duffy was 2nd.

  50. I don’t think that what’s said and written here is going to influence the events in croke park we are gone past spraying the sheep.If both teams play to their full potential I fear Dublin would come out on top but thankfully that is unlikely to happen players have off days things don’t go to plan heavy rain strong wind on a day can level things up.I feel we have plenty reasons for optimisim but I wouldn’t book the hotel for 3rd Sunday in sept just yet.

  51. Hopefully it’s something we’ll have to worry about Dan 😉 Maybe Cornac would overcompensate!

    Meant to say, Fourgoal McGee, I enjoyed that.

    Tattoos aren’t permanent, right?

  52. To all those spraying the sheep best a luck, my days of spraying the cats eyes on the main road, green and red with spray paint are over….(i think). I might be coming across as a kill-joy with my last few posts. I, like the rest of ye have had the chest out walking into work in Dublin city centre the last few days. On my long drives in the car, i ponder what it would be like if we win? What song would rte play at the end of the show to mark us winning an AI? Should we storm the pitch to piss off the top brass who shafted us down to Limerick? How long will i spend on the beer? All these little things go through my head. But, these same things have gone through my head in 96/97/04/06/12/13, which is what brings me crashing back to reality. We’ve been here before, too many times in fact. Nothing is won, we have an everest to climb against the dubs. They are an absolute beaut of a team who on their day can hammer anyone in the last 4. The bookies are rarely wrong and they have them as strong favourites…and rightly so. Hype has done nothing for us in the past, people who say it does’nt seep into the team are not living in the real world. I can assure you it does.

    This #mayoforsam tripe really does my head in. Im all for enjoying the build up, but that non sense only gives people a stick to beat us with. It makes us a laughing stock. The slogan at the launch of the new jersey was “dare to be different” why not embrace it? Why not act like a yerra for a couple a weeks? Did’nt do them much harm last year.

    My point is, I enjoy and appreciate this mayo rollercoaster like anyone, i just think theirs no harm in going quietly about our business with our heads down, hands in pockets, whistling softly into the semi final, then seeing what unfolds before us.

  53. I think the #mayoforsam thing is a great craic and I couldn’t give a whistle what other counties think of us , fuck them.

    meeting these famous people and telling them where you are from, explaining our quest for sam and asking them to hold up a sign , sure who wouldnt like a team to win who havent won in over 60 years , thats what sport is all about.

    seing mayo for sam on the road in the tour de france or at the darts ? even my wife who is a German thinks thats brilliant and shows how proud mayo peple are.

  54. Talking of hype and the like, I think the inscription on Seamus Heaneys headstone is appropriate;
    “Walk on air despite your better judgement”.

  55. Like many west of Ireland people, I worked in England for a few years. My stint over there was in the late 80s and early 90s, during which Ireland played England 2 or 3 times in soccer. The English lads always had a superior attitude about their chances and we knew that they would rub it in big time if they won.

    However, we had a strategy!

    We would start celebrating a victory 2 days BEFORE a match and continue it on during the match day. As all of the matches played were draws, we then added an extra day of celebration for a moral victory. They couldn’t figure how we managed to get so much craic out of games that ended in a draw.

    Looking at the Mayo4Sam thing over the last few years, the same type of Irish thinking is being used. We are always there and in the last few years, we always have had a chance. Ok, we didn’t get the ultimate prize, but we had a bit of craic and there is always the chance in any year that we just might do it.

    So I’m all for the Mayo4Sam stuff. And on another note, the Dubs supporters are always confident that they will win it every year, but this year I detect a hint of nervousness…..

  56. Quote from Diehard
    Pat and Noel are getting great credit and deservedly so but I think we shouldn’t forget the role Buckley plays. I think he is the main man behind the scenes. A lot of what is good about the way these lads play is down to his coaching as far as I can see.

    I Agree with you here, great credit has to go to Donnie Buckley, Barry Solan and Cian O’Neill before them. Great work going on in the background with this TEAM. This year is a culmination of 5 years of hard graft from everyone. Noel and Pat could just be the missing pieces needed.

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