We’re now less than 48 hours out from this year’s All-Ireland final. Indeed, in 48 hours from now it’ll already be all over.
The pre-match butterflies really started to kick in for me today. Every time my mind wandered to the game – which was frequently during the day and has been constantly since then – my stomach started to do somersaults. I think a beer before bedtime might be in order tonight.
It’s gas, isn’t it? It’s not as if this is a new experience for any of us and a good few of us – myself included – have been to every final, including the replays (bar last year’s Covid one), that we’ve contested since 1989. No matter, each one is a huge occasion in its own right and each successive one is as nerve-shattering as the one that went before it.
So into that maelstrom we head again on Saturday. This time with high hopes of success, albeit hopes well anchored to a considerable degree of caution, in light of our experience in previous years. But with plenty of hope all the same.
This close to the game I start to find that all the coverage surrounding it starts to meld into an increasingly incoherent babble. Or maybe that’s just me, trying to articulate something resembling a sensibly formed sentence. Yes, I think it’s time to say hello once again to this lad.
Right, let’s cast a rapid glance over some of the coverage that’s out there today about the game.
Not much in the Irish Times today but this piece by Una McCaffrey, written from a Tyrone perspective, is worth a look.
In the Irish Examiner, Christy O’Connor has a good piece on why James Horan’s youthful team is built for Croke Park – that’s here. Eoghan Cormican has a piece featuring Conor Mortimer who gives his view on how best to get Aidan O’Shea into the thick of the action on Saturday – here.
The same paper also has an article by Maurice Brosnan on the phenomenon of Mayo GAA podcasts, our own one included – that’s here.
Over at the Irish Independent, Ciaran Whelan gives his assessment of how he thinks the match will go and he plumps for us.
Finally, John O’Mahony, speaking with James McMahon on the RTÉ website, gives his in-depth view on the game and, not surprisingly, he goes for us too. That one’s here.
Oh man, my head hurts. And there’s another day’s build-up to come. Up Mayo.