I should, I know, have done the usual round-up of match reports earlier on but a soggy morning cycle down the west took precedence and then it was one thing after another before it was time to pack up and head back to the capital. So no match reports on this occasion, I’m afraid, but sure you’ve probably seen them all at this stage in any case.
Most of the media focus since the match ended has, of course, centred on Aidan O’Shea and the penalty incident in the second half of the game. There are a few strands to this story so let’s take them one at a time.
Let’s get the social media firestorm out of the way with first. I don’t know about the rest of you – and perhaps this is the grumpy old man coming out in me (and it appears to be doing so with increased frequency these days) – but personally I’ve less and less time for the kind of hysterical overreaction to events and the relentless mob-like baying, braying and baiting that seems to pass for business as usual on social media in this country on a daily basis.
This kind of juvenile screeching can kick off about anything, anytime – last night was simply the turn of #mayogaa in general and poor old @AIDOXI in particular to find themselves in the crosshairs. To my mind, there’s no point getting involved in “debate” on social media when the caterwauling gets going in earnest. The only sane thing to do is ignore it.
As far as I’m concerned, Twitter is great as a news source but as a forum for reasonable interaction it sucks. Which is why I interact less and less with anyone on it and also why my list of blocked accounts continues to grow. Facebook – well, Facebook can go do one as far as I’m concerned. The world would truly be a far better place were it Facebookless.
I was going to say that RTÉ – the national broadcaster, don’t you know – can’t be dismissed in the same way. But, you know, it can. The Sunday Game a long time ago gave up any pretence of covering Gaelic games in a serious, fair-minded manner and the over-the-top reaction to the Aidan incident by their so-called “analysts” is but the latest example of how they’ve put clownish buffoonery ahead of intelligent discussion of events.
Of course Aidan’s theatrics should have been set in the context of all the other acts of gamesmanship that have, for years, been part and parcel of the game, of course it was utterly hypocritical of the likes of Pat Spillane to call our man a cheat when James O’Donoghue did far worse in 2014 without getting called out, instead ending up being crowned Footballer of the Year. Of course Aidan’s fall should have been analysed in the wider context of how he and other players who are tall in stature can often find it impossible to buy a free. Unless they hit the deck, like loads of other players do too, all of the time.
So forget The Sunday Game and all their shoddy deliberations as well. And forget too all those dark mutterings about Aidan finding it very hard to get a free any time in the future: if that happens, it’ll just be business as usual for him.
In time, of course, the online baying will die down. Another topic will be latched upon and the Twitterati will be out with their 140-character pitchforks setting the world to rights once more. Off with them.
Back at the ranch, meanwhile, we’re in the hat for the Round 3B draw tomorrow morning – which takes place on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme just after 8.30am – and this is what we need to be focusing on at this stage.
In this draw we’ll be paired against one of Cork, Kildare or Longford, with the Round 3B matches to be played next weekend. Today’s draw at Pearse Stadium, allied to the fact that Hyde Park is out of commission, means that the scheduling of our Round 3B match could – if we get another home tie – be complicated by the fixing of the Nestor Cup decider replay for MacHale Park on Saturday (throw-in time TBC).
First and foremost, though, we need to see who we’re paired with tomorrow morning and, crucially, who gets home advantage. Venues and throw-in times for the Round 3B matches will be confirmed at some point later on tomorrow once the pairings have been decided.
We’ve played all three possible Round 3B opponents in the championship before now. We last met, and narrowly beat, Cork in a nervy All-Ireland quarter-final tie in 2014, while our sole clash with Longford was, of course, that infamous Round 1 qualifier defeat back in 2010. You have to go back as far as 1935 for our last – and only – championship meeting with Kildare, which took place at the All-Ireland semi-final stage that year (Pathé newsreel video here). They won that one, by 2-6 to 0-7, so revenge will no doubt be top of the agenda for us if we pull the Short Grass County in the morning.
Finally, for now, the MOTM poll on yesterday’s game is still open. I’ll leave it running ’till around eleven tonight and at the minute it’s a closely-fought tussle between Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor, who both, in truth, excelled for us yesterday. If you haven’t yet exercised your democratic right in this plebiscite you may want to do so before polls close a bit later on.