I’m getting a small little bit jittery – you know the crack, jumping two feet in the air every time the phone rings, checking under the bed for bogeymen and such like – and the jitters are set to get worse, I fear, between now and Sunday. Time’s running out and I still haven’t got a ticket and those tenuous corporate connections that I’ve been making sheep’s eyes at over the last few days are not coming up with the goods. The Brother is sorted at least and, a bit like those pigs that uncover truffles, The Brother is a good man to unearth All-Ireland tickets so all’s not lost yet.
The fact that our match starts at 1.30 doesn’t help matters on the ticket front, of course, because those outrageous prices you get quoted in the vicinity of Jones Road on All-Ireland day only start to do a HBOS-style dive in the minutes leading up to the throw-in in the senior game. By the time this happens on Sunday, our lads will already be exiting the field, hopefully clutching the Tom Markham Cup so this route to the game won’t work for us, unless you’re prepared to pay through the proverbial nose for the magical piece of paper.
The ideal solution to all this would, of course, be for us to double up with the Kerry crowd – we’d use the seats for the minor game and then exit before the cute hoors and the beardy lads take the pitch. That way we’d all get to see our respective finals and, whatever about our respective results, we’d all be happy to be there. Instead of such an elegant outcome, what’s going to happen is that Croke Park will be half empty for the minor match with loads of Mayo supporters (including, probably, a well pissed-off WJ) unable to use all those empty seats.
Now then Mr Brennan, there’s a nice idea for the GAA to make more money on All-Ireland day while making supporters happier: issue minor-only and senior-only tickets for, say, two-thirds of the value of the existing tickets. Sure, there’d be a few recalcitrants that wouldn’t play along and would have to be ejected from the ground when their time was up but that would only mean a slightly higher cost in relation to bouncers and some re-programming of those bar-code readers that only allow tickets to be used the once (which is why a DIY solution along these lines wouldn’t currently work).
As you can gather, I’m clutching at straws now …