Happy Christmas

There’s usually a more leisurely lead-in to Christmas here on the blog but in this strangest of years it’s coming hot-foot just after the All-Ireland final. But that’s the kind of year it’s been.

It is Christmas, though, so it’s time to pull the shutters down here for a little while. Well, until I collate the MOTM poll numbers to get the shortlist for our Player of the Year and stick the poll up on that. I’ll leave that particular job, however, until the period between Christmas and New Year.

It has, of course, been a year like no other for all of us. That’s been the case here on the blog, though not in the way I’d expected. This time last year, as I prepared for a fundamental change in my working life, I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to keep this place running any longer. As well as that, all the rancour that had occurred in the weeks beforehand made me question whether or not I really had it in me to soldier on at all.

Twelve months on, though, even if life in a wider sense is still in a state of flux for all of us, the blog has hit calmer waters. It’s been a good distraction for me too in these crazy times, as I hope it has been for all of you too.

Before signing off, I’d like to thank a few people, namely Darragh, Fergal and Kevin for the very welcome guest posts, Peadar and Jane for the graphics and Michael for all the work he does on the background keeping the site stable with its features up to date.

Thanks too to everyone who has interacted with us on the podcast. This was a new, Covid-era feature and it worked very well so we’re hoping to do more in this line next year.

Thanks, of course, as well to all the players and backroom teams – both at club and inter-county level – who have given us plenty to talk about over the last number of months. The on-field action certainly helped to raise spirits everywhere and the fact that, at inter-county level, we were involved right up to last Saturday night’s final meant we had something positive to focus on in these dark times. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.

Finally, thanks to all of you who have contributed to the lively, informed and reasoned debate which, Covid or no Covid, has kept going here all year long. I’ve learned loads from the many wise comments that have been posted, as I’m sure others have too.

I hope you all have a happy and relaxing Christmas. It’s the least all of us deserve this year. Up Mayo.

49 thoughts on “Happy Christmas

  1. Happy Christmas WJ and all on here.

    A big thanks to you WJ for keeping this train on the tracks for the past 9 months, it’s been a badly needed distraction.
    Thank Christ we’ve had so much GAA action to keep us occupied for the past while. The whole GAA organisation deserves great credit for that, none more so than our fantastic players.
    It’s going to be a long couple of months waiting for the action to return, but can’t wait for it.

  2. Thanks very much for all you’ve done this year and others WJ. Merry Christmas to you and everyone else on the blog

  3. Thank you WJ for your continued curation of the blog.

    It’s been a strange old year and we’re not finished with the fecker yet. The fate and state of Mayo football – like most other aspects of life – could be read as being in a decent place as there are many more much worse off.

    So we take what we have, be grateful for it and look forward to building on it next year.

    Happy Christmas to all. Hopefully we can meet again in 2021.

  4. Merry xmas to yourself WJ and indeed all posters in here , tis a god send this place especially with the way this year panned out . As always thanks to team and management for a super effort .

    I think we are in a good place and best placed amongst the rest to challenge Dublin next year but shur even if we weren’t within an asses roar of Dublin, we would still all be here wondering how we could get amongst them . There is no choice ya see , it’s in ya and that’s it , the dream that never dies as they say .

  5. Happy Christmas WJ to you and yours and to all contributors and readers on here. Thanks for everything WJ, as others have mentioned, this has been a badly needed resource during this tough year. Exactly Sean burke, football is mayo, there is no other currency, we don’t lose until we quit and quit we never will. Maigh Eo Abú

  6. Hope springs eternal… Mayo is the home of hope. Thanks Willie Joe and your super team. Time to rest and be grateful. We have a lot to be grateful for and I wish good health and safety to all on this blog. Mayo 4ever. Amen.

  7. Thank you WJ, and all contributors to the blog. Outside of home, there are just a small number of good neighbours and friends of mine who have helped keep my sanity in 2020, but as somebody who lives outside the county, the one thing many of them are lacking is the common cause of Mayo football. That’s where this blog steps into the breach, and fills in as that most needed friend.
    At this time of year the memories of Mayo’s exploits in league and championship over the previous 12 months have usually began to fade a bit, but not in this unusual year. So I come to Christmas this year with a greater sense of the Red & Green than usual, which is most welcome this year in particular when I’ve only been home to Mayo once since June.
    We will be back in 2021, we always do come back, with optimism and pride in our place, which cannot be achieved in adopted locations. That will never change, we will always be Mayo.
    Happy Christmas

  8. Mile buiochas WJ. You article in the Mayo news was very good and we can all relate to it. Foireann Mhuigeo did us all proud last Saturday but unfortunately did not get over the line but they gave it everything on the night! We are clearly in the rebuilding mode and I have no doubt that James and his team will unearth a few new young players le cunadh De. We should all suoport the Mayogaa lotto so that the Co Board have the necessary funds to develop new players. Mile buiochas to the players and management for their brilliant effort in this strange year.
    Nollaigh shona agus athbliain faoi mhaise daoibh
    Mhuigheo abu!

  9. Happy Christmas WJ and all Mayo people near and far. Delighted this blog is still running after WJ’s doubts last year. I would miss it so much. Better times ahead in every way.

  10. Happy Christmas to you WJ and all your family and all the mayo gaa blog family. I hope you all wherever you are, are safe and happy. We may not have got the present we wanted, but there’s always next year. God bless all. Dia agus Mhuire Linn.

  11. Happy Christmas to you Willie Joe and everyone who contributes to this great blog.
    And may 2021 deliver you all health, contentment, and the continued good fortune to be from God’s county and Mayo forever! Keep Safe!

  12. Many thanks WJ for keeping the good ship Mayo gaa blog afloat and ,boy, did we need it . A happy and safe Christmas to you, your family and all the contributors on here. Maigh Eo Abu.

  13. Happy Christmas WJ. Hope ye all have a nice Christmas and maybe next year will be the big one !! Up Mayo.

  14. Happy Christmas Willie Joe/John and all your family and to all the gang that brings us the podcasts and all the contributors on here May the peace of the Christ child be yours this Christmas.

  15. Happy Christmas to you Willie Joe and all of yours and may 2021 be a good year for you all.
    The days are slowly, gradually starting to lengthen, there is a fix for Covid on the way, we have a great young team of footballers who will improve hugely this year. Sure isn’t life good!
    A happy Christmas to all of you.

  16. Happy Christmas Willie Joe. Thanks for your wonderful blog and thanks to all the bloggers for such entertainment. It kept us all going and blotted out covid. To the Mayo team and management I congratulate you on doing our County proud and no doubt we will have Sam back in Mayo in the near future.

  17. Merry Christmas WJ, all contributors and you families. I appreciate what you do in having this blog which enables a forum for all participants (Mayo and others) to contribute different opinions, learn from each other, and agree or disagree as the case may be. Special thanks to the Mayo teams, you do us proud.

    Sport is important for many and having a place to observe and/or contribute to discussions makes a difference for many on here, onwards to 2021.

  18. Happy Christmas to you Willie Joe and your family and to all Posters . This is a wonderful blog and a credit to all Mayo football followers. UpMayo

  19. Happy Xmas to WJ and all posters. Such a pleasure to have a well moderated site where we can indulge is the obsession that is Mayo GAA. Nollaig shona.

  20. Happy Christmas to all. Roll on 21. I’m picking my best 15 in my head already. Where would we be without mayo gaa and all the baggage. Who’d swap it?

  21. Happy Chrstmas wille joe all you family and all the mayo supporters far and near all the great contributed ‘ Thank to james and management team for keep us entertainment in this diffcult times ‘ hope we can get back support this great team soon ‘ keep safe everyone up mayo

  22. Happy Christmas to WJ and all who contibute to this great website! We really appreciate all the work that goes into it. Enjoy the holidays, looking forward to a bigger and better new year!

  23. I wish Willlie Joe and everyone a very Merry Christmas after a tough year. Haven’t had the time to post since before the semi so I to say well done to the lads this year, made us all proud. (Must say I thought we had them!!!)

  24. Anyone happen to pick up the Knockmore Gaa Club 60th anniversary book, very well put together and great read, not hard to see why there one of the most successful and well organised rural clubs in the County!

  25. Thanks so much WJ for all you’ve done this year with the blog and podcast. Wishing a Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all who frequent and contribute here. Long live the blog. Up Mayo!

  26. Merry Christmas WJ and family, and to all the posters here. Thanks so much for all the great writing and podcasts. Brings the mind elsewhere like mindfulness.
    May 2021 and next season football be hope filled and full of great happy days.
    Best of good health to all too.
    Thanks to our team and management for all the joy they bring us and will continue to do so no doubt. God bless all. Keep safe.

  27. Bit late but happy Christmas and New year to all on here. Take care and stay safe… Old Moore has mayo to win all ireland 2021 so that’s enough to keep me going.

  28. Am I correct I saying our MOM was marking Dublins Mo M. It does not seem to be a priority now for defenders to prioritise defense

  29. Happy Christmas Willie Joe and all on this blog
    Just over six months before we are back in the All Ireland Final.
    Maigh Eo abu

  30. @Jr, I don’t want to sound left field outlandish, but over the last ten years there’s been such a rush in local and national media to proclaim our defenders in the full backline as top class man markers.
    The Aidan ORourke column pointed out that the name of the game is working as a defensive unit. I also think you need to pick natural full backline players.
    I could see Eoin ODonoghue David McBrien Kieran King as being the type of line learns to work with its goalkeeper. It’s better to be more tactically and decision making aware to work as part of a 4 man unit with the goalie than be amazingly quick for man marking.

  31. Jp I agree. I can also remember the late Gerry Feeney getting great praise after games when the forward he was marking made hay. People forget that a very important part of a goalkeeper is his mouth in directing the back line . Clarke is good at this.

  32. Willie Joe, hope you and your family had a great Christmas, same wishes go to all who contribute to this blog. Thanks for all the hard work and expertise that goes into making a forum like this possible. As many have said, it adds so much to our enjoyment of Mayo GAA, hurlers and ladies included.

  33. The best entertainment over the Christmas was listening to Dave hooper of shannonside fm as his beloved Roscommon minors were leading Sligo by 1-05 to no score at 56 minutes played. Then Sligo hit 1-02 and poor Dave nearly dies of shock. Rossies win in the end and he lived to tell the tale.

  34. Happy Christmas to everyone on here. Thank you so much WJ & team for helping us through the year. Thanks Rob & crew for the record number of podcasts. The lads will be back on the field before we know it.

  35. WJ – what would an auld lad like me do without the blog? Probably shrivel up and fall from the perch!
    Heartiest thank you for your sterling, endlessly fair and patient work.
    Thank you also to the many contributors who make this blog unique and decent, controversial, comedic and consistently interesting.
    Approaching 84, I sometimes wonder whether it is better to travel hopefully than to arrive (not everyone’s cuppa I know) !
    To you all, and to our heroes who have enhanced our lives for so many years,
    Go dtuga an bhliain nua gach sonas agus rath chugaibh.

  36. @Pat Keeley, What are your memories of 1951? I’ve only met one person who was at the match a Dublin man.
    Even details like was it from a neighbour with radio you heard the result? Not every house had a radio and sport wasn’t as commonly followed in those days. Interested in your memories of it.

  37. This blog is the most brilliantly organised, sane and respectful blog in the country. It is a credit to you WJ.
    I get so much pleasure from reading your articles and also the comments. And it helps heal the wounds of losses, and brings perspective to our achievements as a footballing county.
    The central figure is you Willie Joe. We are so lucky to have this blog.
    Happy Christmas and may 2021 be a good one for you WJ, and your family, and all the Mayo faithful.

  38. Lads, we never had a chance with Coldrick on the whistle and Dublin Joe running the line.

    Though they were not the reason we lost. They didn’t kick any of the 5 that landed short into Cluxtons arms. Saying that, we were never going to win with them 2 there.

    Can you imagine a Roscommon man who lives and works in Castlebar reffing that game and a Galway man who lives and works in Castlebar running the line? No, me neither. It would never be allowed to happen.

    I’ve said it before. For semi finals and finals can we not have a ref from a neutral province. Someone who doesn’t live in or work in one of the counties involved. Fuck sake, it’s not a lot to ask.

    I’d expect no change in 2021 and if we reach the final again, it will be the same crack.

  39. Cannot agree about the referee, really? There are a few reasons why we lost but the referee is not one. We were not expecting to reach this years final, and over exceeded on our expectations. We need to be more critical of our performance and look at what we can do better but in my opinion blaming the referee is just having our head in the sand.

  40. Mikey read it again. Not blaming the referee.

    “though they were not the reason we lost”

  41. Thank you Willie Joe and crew for growing this great civil, passionate, knowledgeable (mostly) community.
    Ath Bhliain fé mhaise do gach éinne anseo

  42. Go raibh maith agat WJ et al
    Excellent job as per usual.
    Yourself and Rob kept most of us going during the year that was.

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