May Day! May Day!

Well, Comrades, it’s that time of the year again. Can it only have been a bit over three weeks ago that we huddled together in McHale Park, like a herd of forlorn cattle out in the open in deepest Winter, with the rain and the wind and the hail and the snow making us question our sanity as we saw the lads slip to a narrow defeat by the Herrin Chokers? My, my, but isn’t three weeks a long time in politics Gaelic football?

May doesn’t, as our teachers tried to tell us (and are still trying to tell our progeny), herald the start of Summer. Meteorologists (them’s the lads and lassies what know about these things) will correct you on that one and will point out that Summer doesn’t get underway in these parts till around the middle of June. Never mind, with these early dawns and late sunsets we know Summer is on the way and so too is the Championship. No longer the Bank of Ireland Championship (or the Toyota/Ulster Bank/Vodafone one either) but instead the good old-fashioned GAA Championship with, unfortunately, its mind-bogglingly stupid, inefficient and grossly unfair structure. But it’s still the Championship.

championship-2008.jpgI thought the Championship launch the other day was a bit of a laugh with all the lads told to turn up in dark suits so they could get the mean and moody photograph of all of them touching Sam. Look at Galvin, though: look at what those eyes are saying. (Something along the lines of “feck off the lot of ye, this one’s mine and I’ll gut every last one of ye if ye try to get in my way!”). And of course, Smirking Michael Lyster and Pet Spillane and Podge Brolly and Rodge O’Rourke are all enjoying their last few days of repose before The Sunday Game returns to our screens on Sunday week. (What are TV3 going to call their offering, by the way?)

Meanwhile, we’re all still down by the riverbank furiously washing our smalls in public and hoping nobody sees them drying on the bushes. Fat chance of that: there’s more in the Indo today on the Macgate issue, this time Johnno giving his retort to Super Mac’s unexpected exocet yesterday (the same story is also covered on Setanta’s website).

I dunno about the rest of you but I’m having increasing difficulty in knowing whether it’s Johnno the Mayo manager that’s talking here or Johnno the bullshit politician. What, for love of God and His Holy Mother, can one make out of this gem of a closing quote in today’s piece in the Indo:

The reality is that for the last 18 months he wasn’t in a position to play. Maybe that will change in the future.

Okay, I’ve added emphasis to the key word in the above quote but, I ask you, what the fuck is Johnno on about here? If Mac wasn’t in fit to play since the start of The Second Coming, then why was he pitched into the match in Salthill when the game was obviously spinning away from us? And, perhaps more pertinently, why was he brought on as fifth sub up in Celtic Park when by then we were getting our holes well and truly kicked by the Oak Leafers?

And what’s this “maybe” bullshit all about? Super Mac is, bar none, the finest player to wear the Mayo jersey in at least the past twenty years, he’s fit (so he says) and he wants to play for us this year. He destroyed Ballaghaderreen single-handedly in a league match last weekend. Maybe, just maybe, he’s worth his place on the panel and maybe, just maybe, Johnno might stop thinking about his political survival, stop all this fucking spinning and pick up the fucking phone. Yesterday, I was quite optimistic that this would happen but, having read this morning’s latest twist to this unedifying soap opera, I’m not so sure.

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