Tuesday afternoon already but there’s still plenty of stuff knocking about on Sunday’s narrow win over the Sheepstealers, which is worth bringing to your attention. As well, I should point out, as letting all and sundry know that our trip to Croke Park yesterday for that Cumann na mBunscol final enabled me to savour – for the second time this year – the heady joy of seeing the team I was supporting at Croker claim the spoils. Only this time, the victorious team didn’t have beat a side from the old country and numbered amongst their squad was one of my darlings. Suffice to say, I’ve had worse outings to HQ in my time.
Anyway, back to Sunday and some matters arising.
The first, I guess, has to be Eamonn O’Molloy’s piece from yesterday in the Irish Post (here), which has been discussed a bit already in the comments. Personally, I think he’s making a fair enough point in the article, one that I’d have a good bit of sympathy for. As I pointed out to him later on in an exchange on Twitter, though, I’d have preferred if this humble joint had been kept out of it.
The comments he used in the piece were, I accept, posted on the site but so too were several dozen level-headed ones (the comment count on the match report currently stands at 105) and so the inference, which I know wasn’t at all intended, that this is some kind of loonie bin isn’t all that fair. Not that I can’t howl at the moon now and again with the best of them when the mood takes me (as can plenty of you lot too, it should be said) but you know what I mean.
That piece then got me thinking about those pre-match comments James made about social media and all the Facebook and Twitter followers/likers the county has and how they have a great laugh altogether in the dressing room at the ludicrous stuff posted online about them.
Each to his own, I suppose, but if I were in James’ shoes (which I’m patently not) I doubt if I’d go looking for anything on social media relating to the team at all and I sure wouldn’t be in any hurry to introduce this kind of material into team talks for communal guffawing purposes. And there’s no way in the world would I be making any public pronouncements on the merits or otherwise of what’s out there in the ether.
By bringing the issue up and then laughing it off, there’s a suspicion (which may not be correct but still a valid one nonetheless) that the boss is drawing too much attention to something that perhaps is being given more notice within his set-up than, let’s be honest here, it merits. Anyway, that’s just my tuppence on it.
One piece James will probably have got to already is this one from yesterday on the RTÉ website from Enda McNulty, in which the Armagh man – an All-Ireland medalist from 2002 – has high enough praise for how we dealt with the challenge laid down by the Rossies the last day. Enda reckons we showed a lot of mental toughness to come through Sunday’s test and that the experience will stand to us.
Anyone interested in the analytical side of things might want to have a look at the game stats on Sideline Eye. Even the team management, indeed, might consider these lads worthy of a follow and not just for laughs either.
The local papers are, of course, out now and I had a good rummage myself through the digital version of the Mayo News earlier on. Plenty of interesting stuff there, in particular the analysis bits from Kevin McStay, Ed McGreal and Sean Rice. Mike Finnerty’s match report and post-match reaction pieces are both online now (here and here respectively) but as ever you’d be well advised to get the complete paper.
I haven’t seen the Western yet but I’d say the same goes for that too. The Good Lord and His Holy Mother can only, however, hazard a guess at the gibberish that could be in this week Connaught Telegraph (is it still being printed, isn’t it?) if the kind of stuff that has passed for sports commentary in that venerable organ in recent times is any guide. Which goes to show, I guess, that James doesn’t need to travel as far as the outer reaches of the online Wild West to find material to give the lads a bit of a laugh.
Back to the Mayo News, which now has a match review podcast up on the site, featuring Kevin McStay, Ed McGreal and Club ’51’s own Anne-Marie Flynn (here). Dammit, I’ve even joined in the podcast fun myself and had a chat earlier on today with Conor from GAA Scores about Sunday’s match and what it all means (or not). This one is here:
Finally, I know you’ll join me in wishing a speedy recovery to Roscommon’s Donie Shine, who was stretchered from the field of play the last day. It was confirmed earlier on today that the big Clann na nGael man has become the latest victim of the cruciate curse, though in his case it’s the posterior ligament and not the dreaded ACL. This injury apparently doesn’t require surgery and so with rehab and a fair wind behind him it might mean he’ll be back in action in 6-8 weeks. Here’s hoping this is the case.