The day after

Full-time MacHale Park

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.

25 thoughts on “The day after

  1. I think the win and actual dive in debt has taken all talk away from our actual performance which was jeckle and Hyde like. First half was woeful to put it mildly which second was much better. I’ve seen it all year now out my God teams cut us open very easily…it’s worrying. There are no easy qualifier games so I except another tough game whoever we play. Redemption against Longford sounds good doesn’t it ?

  2. Pathe newsreel and all! This blog is just awesome thank God for it. Looking forward to the draw in the morning hope it’s not Cork away but if it is it is and will face the car Southwards Saturday morning. This Backdoor lark (whilst potentially treacherous) isn’t so bad with games coming thick and fast

  3. Away to Cork would be nerve-wracking. Memories of that league match are still fresh and that performance was very worrying. Cork are just so unpredictable.

  4. WillieJoe
    That’s a brilliant description of today’s “anti-“social media.
    I was afraid for a moment that your site was in danger of getting carried away, over ONE incident.
    Thanks for giving everyone here a bit of perspective and for running a great site.
    Here’s hoping for several more games this year!

  5. Couldn’t agree more with you WJ regarding ‘noseybook’ and twits(ter), I couldn’t be bothered with or be a member of any……….places where people seem to create loads of problems yet no solutions.. They may have helped those poor suppressed misfortunates bring about the Arab Spring and rightly so butthe way they are used to insult and cyber bully by the faceless and gutless has become an ugly cancer on modern society.
    Anyway Fuc# them we won and are in tomorrows draw and that’s all that matters now.
    MaighEo Abú

  6. Oh the green and red of …..Portugal.
    Strong team ethics, grind out results and leaders stand up when needed. Not so different to us against Fermanagh.

  7. I’m a big fan of social media, and I’ve learned an awful lot I would never otherwise have by engaging in debates and indeed, the odd argument on it. I’ve learned that being questioned and being wrong and being told you’re wrong is often the greatest education of all, and I’ve made lifelong friends via both of those media. If you play the ball and not the man, it can be a valuable resource. And this blog itself is “social media” at its very best, the difference being that here, there are clear boundaries of behaviour in place and a moderator who runs a tight ship.

    And then, there’s thr other side of it. I took screenshots of just some of the hundreds of vitriolic, abusive tweets sent Aidan’s way yesterday and they would make your eyes water. The comments on Facebook are for the most part, vile and illiterate. It absolutely baffles me that no “traditional” media would get away with giving abuse like this a platform, yet Facebook and Twitter are completely unaccountable for the actions of their users.

  8. To the Mayo ‘supporter’who booed the team at half time til he was purple in the face(50 yard line davitt hse side 3 rows from the back of stand)-I hope you’re real proud of yourself!

  9. That’s right Anne Marie but Facebook and Twitter are perfect for snipers.

    No accountability or moderation unless something is completely beyond social boundaries.

    That’s the world we live in, anyone with a smartphone can take a shot.

  10. At least the purple faced supporter didn’t hide behind an anonymous twitter tag.

  11. Does anyone know why so many Dublin fans have a problem with us and show so much hatred? A quick look on some of the Dublin GAA fan pages would make you angry to put it in a nice way.

  12. Yew tree I often wonder that too, we still make them nervous, I’m not getting carried away with anything yet, poor yest in first haft, cannot fathom why we had a line of players going across the field around the half back line, no one in their positions, no shape, a lot of work to do, maigheoabu Abu

  13. I think there’s still some bad blood with some people in Dublin after the semi-final last year. In the year since that drawn game, I’ve had things said to me from Dublin fans about Mayo players that don’t bear repeating. It’s quite disrespectful really. I have my own personal opinions about the antics of some of the Dublin players in the past, but I still have a great deal of respect for them as people and players, and I can see that they do their best each and every time they put on the Dublin jersey. They’re a credit to themselves and the county. It’s a shame that some of their fans can’t seem to enjoy that without denigrating players from other counties.

  14. To my mind the penalty was warranted as the Fermanagh full back had his hands on Aidan’s hips and pulled his jersey. If that happened out field it would be an automatic free for pulling his jersey. So if the offence happens inside the square it’s penalty.
    While not agreeing, Fermanagh’s goalscorer Sean Quigley said after the game: “Being honest, they [Mayo] probably could’ve had a penalty a couple of minutes before that.”
    There were 12,317 fans at the game. By my reckoning 12,000 were from Mayo! Shame on the so-called Fermanagh followers for not being there to encourage their team.

    Finnaly, Willie Joe, thanks once more for wonderful up-to-date service you give us. I had not seen the British Pathe newsreel films of Mayo’s games in 1935 and 1949. Mayo wore red jerseys and Meath white in 1949, according to the commentator.

  15. The fact that Dublin (some) fans hate Mayo is more than likely because of insecurity. They know their team is on the very top of a tall pedestal with all they have been winning and that there’s very few out there than can knock them off, but they will be knocked off when it’s least expected.
    As far as draw for the morning, I’d take any of them and plan my game to suit beating their strengths.
    even the worst draw, cork away, is not beyond Mayo if they plan it properly and our key men cut out the nonsense of black card and red card plays.
    We escaped the sentences yesterday by a miracle but that was due to blind officials, on another day we would have lost 2 very key players. I hope it was noted by management.

  16. I couldn’t give two flying fucks what people say about the penalty decision. From where I sat in stand it looked like Aidos foot got caught behind Fermanagh lads leg and he tripped over. I actually prefer being hated than being patronized and sympathised with. What is really nice in the aftermath of the Galway game is there is no Mayo4Sam brigade no talk at all just the way I like it.Let’s just focus on next game and getting over that hurdle.

  17. I don’t give one smelly old shite what Dublin fans say about us. Particularly Ciaran Whelan of RTE who was a thug in his playing days. There are worse things than falling over which one could do. And Pat Spillane in his playing days often played dead as if he would never rise again [until the free was given and he was off like a hare]. I could go on but haven’t that much time.
    The fact that the ref indicated that the penalty was for a jersey tug proves that Aiden’s fall or dive as some call it had nothing to do with the decision. And nobody can say [except the ref if he wishes to] whether that jersey tug took place before the cameras picked up Aiden and his marker or not.
    As for social media it is not my thing. I looked at Facebook at one time and found it far too intrusive for my liking. As for Twitter, I hear enough twittering without joining in.

  18. The tool that booed at half time is beyond contempt. I wonder why these guys even follow the team? A lady behind me stated that she’d given up on the lot of them after ten minutes. We were two points down!!

    I think it’s rather ironic that it’s taken an external backlash against Aido to bind a fair proportion of our own behind him. He had a fantastic second half and led the revival in a big way. And in the run-up to the pen, we got a small sense of what’s possible if we can can decent delivery into him.

  19. Fair enough analysis, WJ but I’d go one further and say that O’Shea’s dive did not draw the penalty. I don’t approve of his gamesmanship but the penalty was awarded for something that happened between Cullen and him before the ball came in.
    A look at the sequence of events, beginning at the point where McLoughlin was preparing to loft the ball in to the square will make this clear.
    (It’s to be seen on the RTE broadcast if anyone is interested, starting about the 62:38 min mark.)
    The pair are to be seen on the left of the picture, standing shoulder to shoulder and jostling for position as the ball comes in. If Joe saw a jersey tug, it happened at this point.
    At the 62:38 mark , Maurice Deegan can be seen in the midst of things, ‘conversing’ with a group of Fermanagh players. He has left his post on the sideline and got involved in the controversy. IMHO, he didn’t arrive to offer them sympathy.
    The umpire nearest the scene must have clearly seen what happened between O’Shea and Cullen but he made no effort to intervene.
    Joe Mac was standing about 30 yards away but he had a clear view of what was happening in the square. Yet he was quite definite when indicating that he was awarding a penalty.
    In brief, O’Shea’s dive was unsporting and downright sportsmanship but the penalty award appears to be right.

  20. “yew_tree says:
    Does anyone know why so many Dublin fans have a problem with us and show so much hatred? A quick look on some of the Dublin GAA fan pages would make you angry to put it in a nice way.”

    The reason is they fear us and fear what we can do to them. Look how worked up they get when playing us – even their players are guilty of it. Personally I see this as a great positive for us. It allows us to knock them off their stride and shake their concentration. It was very evident in the drawn game last year – they were so worked up they weren’t really playing football at all for large parts of the game. A stronger ref and they would have lost over the head of that.

    Rather than wanting everybody to like us, my attitude would be you don’t like us, we don’t care.

  21. John Hannon – I’d say you could be pretty much on the ball there about the penalty incident. You’ll never make onto RTE, though, with that kind of analysis! They don’t really go in for that kind of sober, detailed, evidence-based stuff.

  22. Long enough we have been liked and patted on the heads as lovely nice nearly men, let them hate us let the whole lot be against us, we know what we are and what we can do. Win lose or draw back our men. Disgusted at the so called supporters and the treatment of aIden. He made the most of it but name a player that wouldn’t give the chance and making a split second decision

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