It’s nearly upon us now and while it may feel to many like the biggest match the county has been involved in since 2006, tomorrow’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin will in reality be no bigger a match for James Horan’s team than last year’s showdown against Kerry at the same stage of the championship. Because it’s the Dubs – who, unlike Kerry twelve months ago, are the reigning All-Ireland champions – and it’s set to be in front of a full house at Croke Park there’s a bigger sense of occasion to this one. And, perhaps, from our perspective there’s greater expectation too.
There’s no point, even if I had the time (which I don’t) to dwell too much on the coverage the match is getting in the media today, except to note that there’s oodles of the stuff. Some of the tipsters are going for us, some going for them and there’s all manner of interviews and analysis and so forth but at this stage it’s all melding into inconsequential background noise. The time for talking is all but over (well, it will be once we get the Bowe’s session out of the way later on this evening), the time for us to do our talking on the pitch is near at hand.
As I mentioned on Twitter last night, it’s been utterly insane here on the site over the last few days and weeks. There were just under 88,000 hits on the site in August, with 6,113 occurring yesterday alone. Cumulatively, the hit counter now sits just below 1.3 million. I can only imagine what the numbers will be like if the lads do the business tomorrow and we make it to our first All-Ireland final in six years.
Which is what we should do, though I’m not going to launch into another preview here. I’m confident, albeit a bit warily, that we’ll make it over the line tomorrow and that my small Dubs (two of them will be with me shouting for the Dark Side tomorrow, the other one couldn’t give a hoot either way and isn’t coming to HQ with us) will be back in our camp for the final.
Wherever you find yourself this weekend – and, as a former emigrant myself, all those comments posted here on the site from Mayo people scattered all over the globe resonate very strongly – I know you will, like all of us privileged to be in Croke Park for the event, be rooting for the lads and willing them onto what we all hope will be a famous victory for the county. Here’s hoping we do it – best of luck to James and the lads tomorrow.