Incoming fire

Malta is a fascinating place, particularly for anyone that has, like I do, an interest in history. Did you know, for example, that the total tonnage of bombs that the Germans released over Malta in the two months of March and April 1942 was twice that dropped on London in the worst year of the Blitz? Well, you do now.

Speaking of incoming projectiles, I appear to have offended a few sensitive souls on and, as a result, here I am in Malta picking some buckshot out of my hide. I seem to stand accused of being “someone with a grudge” who is “constantly sniping” and “has it in” for Liam O’Malley. Why, I’ve even got a whole thread on the discussion board devoted to my “sour” opinions.

Whooah! Back up the truck there, lads. All I said was that, in my opinion (and it is only my opinion – I don’t pretend to be speaking ex cathedra on this or, indeed, on any other subject), Liam has underperformed in most matches he’s played for the county over the past year and that, in light of this, perhaps it might now be wise to give someone else a run in the position to see if this could help to staunch the scoring tide that’s currently washing over us.

But, as I’ve said, it’s only an opinion and, as one of the contributors on the thread has already and quite correctly pointed out, my opinion isn’t any more relevant than anyone else’s is. I’m sure Johnno and his team have all the stats they need to show exactly who is (and who isn’t) doing what is expected of them and I’m equally confident they’ll continue to make their team selections based on a far greater knowledge of what’s going on than I can offer. I’m only a guy in the crowd who likes to write about this stuff but I do so from a long-standing position of supporting Mayo and wishing them to succeed to the best of their abilities every time they take the field. I may call it wrong, I may even be way off the mark some (or, indeed, most) of the time but I can categorically say that I do not have a grudge against anyone in the squad.

It’s not true, of course, that I don’t harbour the odd grudge or two and I’ll happily admit that I do have it in for different people and things and stuff. Like Kerry. And Des Cahill. And the fawning coverage given to the Dubs in the “national” media. Especially from the likes of Tom Humphries. And the ludicrous championship structure that currently exists. And the likely resumption of formal ties with the Aussies. In addition, that little bollix Colm Coyle will never be a bosom buddie of mine. I’m not too hot on bad syntax and split infinitives. I think Aertel is shite. I’m also of the opinion that the only way that Fintan O’Toole can keep coming up with all those po-faced opinions of his is by spending most of his time gazing up his own posterior …

There are probably a few (hundred) more bugbears I could list but I can’t think of them right now. What I can say for certain, however, is that nowhere in this list are included the names of any of the lads that devote all that time and effort to play for their county. I know the sacrifices they make and for what reward too. I know that, above all else, they want to win. And, believe me, hombres, that’s all that I want too.

9 thoughts on “Incoming fire

  1. As a neutral (Meathman) who regularly reads your blog(Why many of you ask? Because it’s a very enjoyable read, it’s about GAA and there should be more blogs like this one) I don’t see where the “sour” slur on your fine blogging is coming from.

    In general there seems to be a preference for GAA fans to express themselves on discussion boards rather than through more GAA blogs. Why? Why didn’t they comment directly on your blog? Isn’t that what blogging is supposed to be about?-generating a conversation among people with the same interests and passions. Discussion boards have a tendency to degenerate into personal slagging matches rather than properly debate the issue at hand, which is a real pity.

    Great response to your critics.

  2. Thanks, Ronan – you obviously didn’t notice (or have politely ignored) that outrageous slur I inflicted on your fellow Meathman in the post (1996 did cut deep!) I agree with your comments about discussion boards but, in fairness to the Mayofans one, it usually keeps clear of personal mud-slinging.

  3. I enjoyed reading about the guys you have “issues” with, ditto wth me in regards Cahill and Humphries. Only Humphries could write a book about the most one way rivelry I ever saw. Kerry steamrolled the Dubs in the Seventies and Eighties. Winning the 1975, 78, 79, 84, and 85 finals against them. A few of those wins were by cricket scores (so we dont exclusivly hold the franchise). Dublin won the 1976 final and 77 semi final and that folks was that right up to the present day. Was I delighted when Mayo threw a spanner in the works and prevented a love fest in 2006. Humphries cosies up to teams that normally knock the stuffing out of his beloved Dubs i.e Meath, Kerry etc..

  4. I would like to claim that I “politely ignored” the slur on Colm Coyle but, football ability aside, I have witnessed enough of his blaggard behaviour to know that it’s a defense that even OJ Simpson’s lawyer would think twice about taking on.

  5. The myth of the Dubs-Kerry “rivalry” is incredible alright – sure, the Dubs were going for a three-in-a-row in 78 but once Mikey Sheehy famously chipped Paddy Cullen and then Bomber did his worst at the other end, that was the end of that rivalry. Mind you, I think the Dubs are one of the very few teams out there this year who might (but only might) be able to prevent Kerry completing another three-in-a-row.

    It was hilarious, though, how we spoiled Big Tom’s book launch in 2006 and it was fairly obvious from his post-match stuff after the final that he had bugger all sympathy for us!

    Ronan – I wouldn’t say Colm Coyle is that indefensible! He’s doing a good job on the sideline and I’d expect you guys to be stronger again this Summer. What odds on a Mayo/Meath meeting at some point in the All-Ireland series this year?

  6. He’s doing a good job, although my father is threatening not to watch them play again after attending last week’s poor display against Westmeath. The second season will be much harder as there’s expectation now that they will do well. League form is never a good barometer so I remain more optimistic than pessimistic, although I won’t be making any predictions.

  7. Your Dad is obviously a hard man to please, Ronan, seeing as that was the Royals’ first loss to Westmeath for, I think, 35 years!

    Ending up in Division 2 didn’t do you guys any harm this year (and look where all our efforts to stay in Div 1 got us) but, like ourselves and Galway, getting past the Dubs (who I think will be better than last year) will be the real acid test.

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