Tyrone have been hogging the media all week – making rather large asses of themselves in the process – and, as a number of you have already noted, it’s been good fun to let them at it while we quietly continue our prep away from the spotlight. There’s some news, though, from our side of the fence today – which I think is the first news story in the nationals about us all week – with some quotes from James Horan that must have been imparted at the media night the other evening.
The quotes are in this piece in the Irish Independent where James goes out of his way to rubbish any notion that all the noise about Tyrone in recent days (a lot of which they stoked up themselves with their ridiculous Fact! Sheet) will have any impact on how Maurice Deegan will ref Sunday week’s semi-final between us. James had this to say on that point:
Maurice Deegan is reffing and I don’t think anything that is said in the papers or at media nights is going to influence him. He is his own man and will ref it as he sees fit. I don’t think there is any fear.
James then went on to talk in a rather knockabout fashion about the difference in attitudes to the reffing of hurling compared to Gaelic football and the levity continued when he made this observation about the big ball game:
Gaelic football is a mad game. There are 28 guys running around the field in peak physical condition. There are going to be bangs and bashes and wallops. I don’t think any team, or any team that I have been involved with, goes out intentionally to make sure that they stop people first before they start playing.
He then goes on to pour some more oil on troubled waters with his take on the cynicality debate:
Cynical fouling is a buzz word at the moment. It is not something that has developed in the game in the last 10 years – it is there since the day dot. If you look at ‘TG4 Gold’ you’ll see what the definition of sledging is. It’s just the game is more analysed now.
There are a few clever layers of meaning hidden in that last quote, I reckon. Or maybe that’s just me seeing it as some kind of deep sports psychology game that’s being played.
Maybe it’s best to leave that one hanging there. Elsewhere, the Hogan Stand have a report based on a story in the Western People in which County Board Chairman Paddy McNicholas calls on Mayo supporters not just to turn up at HQ on Sunday week but to do so in good time as well so that the minors’ feel the love as the seniors. He has a point, you know, though seeing as I live less than half an hour from Croke Park I guess it’s easy for me to preach on this particular topic.
I know that Terry Reilly of the Irish Examiner was tweeting last night about “good injury news for Mayo” in today’s paper but the clever newshounds in that organ haven’t put this story online as yet. However, I’m not going to be heading to the newsagents any time soon today so, unless anyone else knows something about it, this one may have to wait for a bit longer.