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.
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