My best friend’s wedding

The build-up to this year’s final here on the site has featured a number of cracking guest posts. Here’s first-time contributor Edel with a real belter to add to this collection.

Mayo team 2013

Photo: The Score

It’s Thursday. I have my ticket in my possession.

Counting down days, hours, minutes until Sunday.

Course I’m still looking for another … for my Dad. Sure it’s his “fault” that if you cut into me I’d bleed green and red. And I want him to be there.  We’d fill Croker ten times over with stories of those who should be there.

The stories on the blog have brought tears to my eyes, of people remembering back, of sharing stories and of it being plain to see how much this means to so many. Trevor mentioned in his great piece about following Mayo in exile … I’ve been there. Now resident in Dublin I still am. I grew up in the lovely Galway. Lovely until it came to Connacht Championship. Myself and my Dad versus my Mother and my 3 siblings. Rivalry goes, of course, once teams leave Connacht and in a turn of events I got a Cairde Maigheo ticket for my Birthday/Christmas/Leave me alone present from my brother in 2012, securing an elusive ticket for Sunday. Yes possibly the best present ever … but one year I got a puppy and wouldn’t like to leave him out.

I get “you’re not even from Mayo” thrown at me a lot having been raised in Galway. Funnily enough never from people who watch Mayo matches with me. I also get the word “obsessed” thrown at me too. Have to put my hands up to that one. If I were this attentive to school, college, work or religion I could well be president or pope (except too young and female) but all of that means nothing … I just want Mayo to win.

I’ve been there in the rain and the cold and the sunshine. I’ve been there with friends, with family, with strangers. I’ve been there biting my tongue when some outside the Red Parrot have said “Well, I’m never doing this again, they always let us down.” That’s never been an option for me. Win, lose or draw; I and so many others will continue to support the Green and Red. Sure I wouldn’t know what to do with myself otherwise. Twitter also helps this obsession, from interacting with other Mayo fans to checking how Aidan’s fringe is getting on or Kevin Mc working in the bog to following the scores from far away … “I’m watching the match on Twitter”.

Some people don’t know what joy is. Some people don’t know what heartache is. Mayo people know a lot of both.

Mayo football has been like a perennial best friend over the years. When things have gone wrong in life; they’ve been there to distract … from “high or low it’s Willie Joe” to Ciaran Mac’s outside of the boot to David Brady being, well, David Brady and now the current bunch of players. You’ve lifted me, us and I’m pretty sure the country will be lifted as Andy lifts Sam.

Some say about Mayo’s footballers – always the bridesmaid never the bride? Well I’m pretty sure they caught the bouquet last year. And I for one wouldn’t miss my best friend’s wedding for the world.

Mayo for Sam. Mayo Forever.

Edel is on Twitter @dochreidte

23 thoughts on “My best friend’s wedding

  1. Mighty stuff edel , enjoyed that.

    Right folks i am out of here in 1 hour, heading to frankfurt airport then the flight to dublin . The flight back is booked for monday, heres hoping it will be postponed until much later.
    Beir Bua !!

  2. Well said Edel , great post

    Flying tomorrow, back early next week hangover or no hangover, but I am confident this marriage will take place
    Mayo and Sam, a match made in heaven

  3. Its awful hard get any work done with the quality of posts that keep appearing on here!

    They are great. Fair play Edel, as Wj said – a ‘belter’.

    Was in the car on the way back from lunch just there with a couple of lads from the office. We cannot decide who is better placed to win, all we want is to be in with a fighting chance at half time.

    After that, anything can happen.

    It couldn’t happen, could it?

  4. Hello,

    There have been a lot of new names recently on this site and some lovely reflections and aspirations for Sunday.

    Glad you all picked on the Liam McHale Article. He was in Dublin and was asked in a friendly way about the match without realising his replies would be all over the papers.(I do listen to him) Liam Hayes is predictable at this stage with his fault finding of Aidan O’Shea and it is an obsession with him, and it was before Aido’s hairdo. He is envious of something.

    The early part of the week was nice with Andy admiting he was only 85% right and one could hope with his vast experience that 90% would be great for 55mins?also how much Aidan was enjoying life, getting up early and going to bed early without the hassle of cooking and fining a parking space. James Horan was upbeat and one could sense he was happy enough to look see how it ‘pans’ out.

    Then there has been the change with the Dublin Cooper hoping that Cillian would play and how much losing last year must put pressure on Mayo? This was followed by a few of the old Dublin teams saying how good Dublin were now under Gavin etc. then along comes McHale.

    I think James horan must laugh at all this. Maybe he will play Donie Vaughan at at 11 yet?. Surely,Horan will adapt the team as he see the game unfolding. Jimmy Nallen will be out in a flash.

    The consensus is that Cillian will start and maybe take him off as precaution on the 30min mark when we are 5points up. Alan Freeman is doing great and there is the Doc. if God forbid anything was to happen to him.

    The Dublin subs will not be a surprise and I am hopeful the way this team has been forged will outmatch the raw individuality of many of the Dubs. No doubt, it will be a bruising encounter?

    I’ll be watching on TV but will walk up Dorset Street with my big hat around 11.30am. In truth, I would find it difficult to be present.

    p.s. As we await the team annoucement, the devil in me is hoping for a dark horse or just a red herring.

  5. Top class Edel…the Mayo family is a big family.Written from the heart and plain to see. Maith thu

  6. Well done Edel
    If your heart and soul is in Mayo it doesn’t matter where your body is.
    Your reward is coming.

  7. Good post edel.I was in castlebar in 1966 when galway won by apoint , saw many great mayo footballers , j morley, pj loftes

  8. Sorry ment to finish by saying this is best balanced team I have seen also best management hope nobody gets injured from either team and remember all the great players and supporters from mayo up mayo

  9. Edel that is a gorgeous post and a nice one to send all the travellers on their way home from abroad. Many of you will be catching flights over the next couple of days – safe travels on this greatest of pilgrimages – stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you back.

  10. Great piece Edel. Well written – from the heart….and the soul.

    “Here comes the Bride”………:)

  11. Edel,
    That was brilliant. Especially “and I for one wouldn’t miss my best friend’s wedding for the world”. I was only told today “sure you’re not even from Mayo!”. Ha Ha

  12. Brilliant!! As a Galwegian following Mayo, I can definitely relate to this, Edel.

    I’m at Montreal airport flying back for the weekend. Night out in Galway on Friday, Ballyhaunis on Saturday. Up to Croker on Sunday. Hopefully Monday’s flight back here is a memorable one.

    See ye all Sunday!

  13. Eddie,see ya tomorrow for pints in Galway.Make sure you ask everyone on the flight for any spares,im not sorted!

  14. Eddie ya legend!

    See ya in Galway tomorrow,ask everyone in the airport and on the plane for spares,I’m not sorted yet!

  15. Hi Edel

    Great post Edel. I know where you coming from too as my Dad (RIP) was from Mayo and brain washed me into Mayo football from toddler age. I get the same comments about supporting Mayo when they winning (not by all) but I just say its in the blood. When Mayo is in your blood its in, and now my kids are Mayo mad. Mayo Abu.

  16. Great stuff all ! Can relate to all this .. My parents were both from Mayo but I was born and raised in Dublin. For as long as I can remember when Mayo were playin in Croker the house would be full of uncles havin the crack before and after the games ..I remember my late father lifting me over the styles, the anticipation as our team came out ..the colour, the passion, the longing !! I was hooked !! It’s been in my blood for over 40 years. My father died a couple of years ago but he was there in 50 and 51 .. On Sunday I’ll be thinking of him and many in my family who loved the red and green and weren’t lucky enough in their lifetime to see us get Sam ! This Mayo quest is a deep deep thing … Sunday could be emotional !! Great to be part of it !

  17. Great post Edel….. brides for sure. Ive ben lucky enough to get to Croker since ’89. As an emigrant it adds an extra dimension. Flying into Dublin tomorrow to join several more family and friends support our beloved heres hoping the wedding goes on for a few more days. Mayo Abhu.

  18. Thanks so much for all the kind comments here and twitter and Facebook. And to Willie Joe for facilitating.

    Delighted to report – I secured a ticket for my Dad. When I told him, he cried. As if anymore of us needed to be told how much this means.

    Safe travels to those from far and near. Want you all there- This is our year.

    Mayo for Sam. Mayo forever.

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