Why us?

Why always me

Photo: 101greatgoals.com

Mario Balotelli, after one escapade too many, had beneath his t-shirt a slogan, “Why Always Me?” Indeed, we chuckled. Mario appeals to the Irish wit. After the titanic rumble in Limerick between Mayo and Kerry we could also ask ‘Why Us?’

History is what we look back on. I love it, some hate it, regarding it as sentimental and backward. Nothing could be further from the truth. History is our blueprint, our memory bank and once accessed properly, can provide the clues going forward.

History becomes just that with the eclipse of time but when the event occurs in real time, it can be exhilarating or hateful. But its creation is in real time, true colour and raw emotion. It’s how we deal with the fallout that prepares us one way or the other for the future.

The All-Ireland semi-final of 1939 between Mayo and Kerry finished 0-4 apiece. Interesting to note that Donegal hadn’t got exclusive rights to low scoring game plans. As time ran out the Mayo centre-forward was flattened on the run. The referee pointed to a free in.

As our man got treatment the Kerry County Board chairman and secretary approached the referee. A brief but intense conversation took place. As the Mayo man resumed duty the referee took the ball, indicated a throw up and then promptly blew the full-time whistle.

Mayo were outraged. Both referee and Kerry denied anything untoward. The referee simply said that a Mayo man fouled after he awarded the free thus negating the advantage, resulting in a throw up. Sheer fantasy. The replay saw Kerry paste a dispirited Mayo by 3-8 to 1-4.

At that juncture Mayo had been All-Ireland winners three seasons previously and were en route to league title number six in-a-row. The Mayo County Board withdrew the team in protest from the 1940 league and on their return in 1941, promptly won it again before travel restrictions arising from the war intervened.

In 1949 Kerry faced a new challenge. Antrim had swept through with a hand- passing game. They gave Kerry a mauling before Kerry decided to take out the initial passer, thus preventing him running onto the return. Officialdom looked on, shrugged their shoulders and smiled “cute Kerry hoors”. Years later the “Bawn” and other greats from the Kingdom acknowledged they fouled Antrim out of it.

In the 1948 All-Ireland final Mayo crossed Cavan. A storm and deluge saw Mayo go in at half time 3-2 to no score down. A battle royal saw the Westerners drag themselves back into it. Then two cataclysmic events occurred. Mayo had a 14-yard free in front of the posts charged down. Mick Higgins was a mere eight yards from Carney on striking. Then as Peter Quinn burst through a whistle sounded.

Quinn, outraged at getting a free when a goal was on, looked at the referee. But it was not a free. As Quinn handed the leather over, the referee blew for full-time. There were four full minutes left, not accounting for wastage. Mayo were robbed.

John Healy wrote majestically about the moment. A Franciscan reading his breviary during the storm on and off the field, asked Healy what had happened. On being told the sequence of events, the Franciscan snapped his prayer book shut and said “Fuck that”. My own sentiments decades later. Final score Cavan 4-4 Mayo 4-3. The installation of the Bogue Clock in Croke Park was the GAA’s limp acknowledgement that Mayo had been shafted.

I have no doubt that reader after reader have their own versions of Mayo being shafted. And we have to be careful here to disentangle shaft as from shooting in the foot which we are equally adept at. However on the balance of coincidences and fate, Mayo have got a poor shake of the dice.

In 1985 John Finn gets a broken jaw in front of the cameras and 55,000 people in Croke Park against Dublin. No-one was held accountable for that act of blatant thuggery. However it didn’t stop a Mayo worthy recently extolling the “great relationship” between the two counties. It wasn’t worth a pile of beans in August 1985.

Moving to the present we saw a diabolical display of officialdom in the 2009 quarter-final against Meath. Terrible line calls, sleeping umpires and a contentious penalty saw us off. A year earlier Tom Cunniffe was upended on a scything run through the Tyrone defence as time ran out and a point separating the sides. No free and an immediate whistle was our lot.

The year 2012 was to see our noses smeared in it a number of times. In the League final Mr. Deegan declined to award a rampaging Lee Keegan a free in when hand tripped attacking the Cork goal. The breakdown saw Mayo appeal, Cork attack, the ball hit a post and a Cork man plant it in our net. We went from a possible plus two-point lead to a minus four-point deficit.

Cork thuggery

The minors that year had the dubious distinction of having a debatable penalty awarded against them against Meath. In addition, Mayo’s line ball went to Meath with grievous consequences. One of Mayo’s star players was “dealt” with. All the papers noted the poor quality of the refereeing.

Now to the final of 2012 and the same Mr. Deegan refused a blatant drag back on Cillian O’Conner. As Mayo raged the ball was swept up the pitch, hit the post and wound up in our net. This is not Johnny Cuffe’s view, this was how the Irish Independent saw it.

Last year against Dublin Keith Higgins kicked a point at the Davin End. I watched it go over. The umpires weren’t sure but watch McQuillan, he was. Cluxton ran to restart , then Hawkeye was summoned. It showed the trajectory arch inside the post but slightly touching its inner. “Ah sure we know it’s a point” went a Dublin man behind me. Imagine our shock as the graphic “Miss” went up. The Dublin man and myself, for different reasons, used the old Franciscan’s refrain from 1948.

That Cormac Reilly made a mess of the All-Ireland semi-final is now accepted. When Colm O’Rourke noted his poor officiating led to 2-2 to Kerry, that says it all. Interestingly enough the County Board that reacted to Reilly’s appalling display was the Meath one. They backed their man to the hilt. Really it’s none of their business but I am shocked at the silence from the Mayo County Board.

Limerick handbags

So there we have it. Coincidences, bad fortune or poor choices? Either way Mayo have had an inordinate amount of unfair pain inflicted on them. The inability to deal with past misdeeds leads to future ones liable to happening.

Kerry disgraced themselves on the last three four minutes the last day as did Dublin in last year’s final. Why? Perhaps because the greatness of the prize. Until Mayo recognise that they are a soft touch in certain areas then they will be the victims of another chapter in The House of Pain.

Has the County Board the gumption to confront Croke Park or has GAA Headquarters some hold on the Mayo Board? Is there an issue – I am serious here – with Meath officials taking charge of Mayo games? Has the Mayo County Board full confidence in the (soon to be ex-) referees’ supremo McEnaney, bearing in mind the rancour and controversy he visited upon this county in 1996?

Until we can stand up for ourselves at executive level then the sterling work achieved by James Horan and his warriors will come to nought. Having had a brief but informative view of the innards of Mayo GAA with the ill-fated Strategic Review Report a few years back, I wouldn’t be holding my breath.

112 thoughts on “Why us?

  1. Good stuff John, totally agree with you on the subject of History is important in going forward.

    Something drastic maybe, pull out of the league for 2015 in protest?

  2. Great post John C.
    Sean, no, we shouldn’t pull out of the league but use it to frighten the shit out of the reillys and kerrys of this world by taking crap from no one, if that means taking red cards and match bans ,so be it, it would probably highlight and draw comment for our treatment in Limerick………
    Let us show a Mayo aren’t hurting attitude because with a ‘we don’t hurt anymore’ and a ‘we just dish it attitude’ it might make some sit up and notice.
    We get sneaky jibes about our tackling being too close to the edge from hand wringing, referee influencing managers ,we’re classed as dirty even. So let’s show them we can deal dirt as well.
    If we can’t make them respect us, make them fear us because it’s one and the same anyway.

  3. Its a very well written piece John Cuffe, that I really enjoyed reading and history has seemed to conspire against us but I think that we really need to try and rise above all of this. We can do this too. Kevin McStay comes across as a confident fella, in the kinda way of a person being very comfortable in his own skin. A confidence that Cillain O’Connor displays in spades too. Maybe thats the kinda confidence that we need in our team. Not to be the victims anymore but to be the victors. We have won 5 of the last 6 Connacht titles. It took Dublin to get to 6 out of 7 Leinster titles before they won the All-Ireland title in 2011. Since then Dublin, Donegal, Mayo and Kerry will have appeared in 2 finals each. Dublin winning two and us losing two. Donegal have won one and Kerry have lost one. After this year’s final Donegal will either have two or Kerry will have won once since 2011. Surely our turn must be coming soon, if we can keep this current ship sailing in the right direction? Is Kevin McStay the man to lead us there with maybe Noel Connelly as his assistant? I’d like to see Ciaran McDonald with them as well.

  4. Good reading for me with the Morning coffee here in the office In Goro Mine New Caledonia

    Great piece of History there John.

    But history is exactly what it is. its nearly a week now since the match and very soon it will be a memory brought up many times in pubs and homes throughout the county.

    If you look at the picture of kevin McLoughlin on the Ground being assaulted by the Kerry Players ask yourself what is wrong.
    Kerry were allowed by the ref and our players to commit these fouls and aggressive behaviour.
    My attitude to this scenario is if the law is not going to protect us then “take the Law into your won hands”. Look at Donegal they seem to be back to their old tricks and are getting away with it (third man tackles, blocking runners, sly blows galore)
    We cant allow ourselves to be bullied and then cry to the authorities who dont give a shit later.
    Inside that white line is where the talking should be done in the form of physicality.

    With regard to a Manager an inside man from within the county who knows the club scene is needed at some level in the management set up if You Go with McStay as he would not be up to date with all the possible players out there.
    Noel Connelly is touted as an option but he distanced himslef from some senior club jobs in the past few years due to family and work commitments. His time with the U21 team that won the All Ireland is well noted.
    I dont think Enda Gilvarry is an Option as managing minors is one thing but managing grown men some with big Egos and personalities is another.
    Pat Homes is not an option either as he is very slow to make changes on the field during a match a bit like horan
    What we need is a man who can analyse a game, make changes during the game if required and does not have serious baggage. If he has a good backroom team the rest will follow.

    The biggest issue of all i see is the county Board but i will hold fire for another day

  5. Good read. Ya we were badly screwed over by Reilly against Kerry and it’s going to take more than a while to get it out of the system. I’m still fuming at the GAA HQ for sending us to limerick…. Feels like the world is against us at the moment. But we do have to rise together and fight on. There’s no other option. The sun will rise in the morning.

  6. John excellent article. You are totally right. To win an an All Ireland Mayo have got to plan for an incompetent referee, a county board that does nt help and learn to be more cynical like Kerry this year and Dublin last year.We have the players , wonderful supporters and with the right management for 2015 we can get over the line.regards Jimmy

  7. Sean Burke,Tony Hanahoe of Dub. fame in the seventies was manager and captain on 77 winners.Probably only only man with that record.

  8. Doc, i’ll grant you the ref was poor to both sides. But the majority of that was two hops, trips he didnt see ect, thats jus bad refereeing .

    Its the one he did see that still has be bamboozeled, he gave a penalty for to Mayo because he deemed Enright dragged Cillian to the ground when bearing down on goal.

    He seen it because he awarded a penalty.

    How can he justify not giving a card? It just doesnt make sense. Its fucking mental, honestly pure madness .

  9. I don’t think anyone could honestly say that Kerry were the ” much better team”. Fact is they were not ! Mayo were robbed and Kerry’s win is tainted for sure. Not that they will take that as anything other than a compliment though down in the Kingdom.

    The Shane Enright situation seemed contrived in retrospect. He was left in to do the hits and then taken off knowing he would not be sent off. This , to me, looked like a fix.

  10. Felling sorry for ourselves will do us no good. Can only count 5 of our player who played anywhere near there potential the last day. Ref was poor but so were we

  11. Cillian could also have be called for a push on Enright beforehand. Enright’s initial foul was outside the square. Sure could have been a black card but other black card incidents were also ignored throughout the game. We could debate several decisions some of which indirectly led to mayo scores, not as obvious as the two pointed frees which Kerry got. Kerry would have lost to a phantom free at the end of regulation only for Donaghy’s basketball like block.

    In the drawn game I would have much preferred (like 90% of Kerry supporters) if Lee Keegan was just given a yellow even though the ref was technically correct. If we were to beat Mayo at all I would much prefer if ye were at full strength.

    Both were games that will live long in the memory even if we had lost. It was edge of the seat stuff. Rarely have I seen such heart and never say die from two teams. The game was won and lost in the middle eight not by any refereeing decisions. It’s a shame Mayo did not bite the upper lip and move on. If the roles were completely reversed this blog would be completely over the moon with the win.

  12. doc
    the ref got kerry over the line.. look at the video of the game again if you’re in doubt.
    while you’re at it have a look at donegal vs dublin.

  13. John can I add in the case of the 2001 Connacht Final. Another meathman, Mr McCormack, sent off Ray Connelly and Roscommon won by a point. Overturned after….

  14. I am sure other counties can catalogue loads of occasions where they felt hard done by as well. The fact that it hurts us so much is that we are absolutely desperate to end 63 years of famine. I thought Reilly was nothing short of brutal last Saturday but I don’t buy the conspiracy theories. About 10 of our lads didn’t play to their usual high standards, yet by force of will they forced extra time on the back of a heroic performance with 14 men six days previously. I am still sick about last Saturday but whinging in public about refs kerrys cynicism etc wont cure that hurt. I d love to say lets just look to the future but that doesn’t look all that bright when one sees statements from Co Board regarding restrictions on new manager. Last Sat we lost more than just a match, We lost a wonderful opportunity to finally land Sam as I am convinced we would beat Donegal in final and we also lost the best manager we have had in my life time. Depressing all round.

  15. I am starting to feel a little uncomfortable with this public “why me” lament that is going on. I have been as upset as anyone else with the antics of Reilly last Saturday. The accusations of Machiavellian plots are unfortunate because it might lead people to believe that he is anything other than a fool who completely lost control of a huge game. The occasion got to him and he was utterly and shamelessly incompetent. His actions undoubtedly cost us the game but we are far from blameless in our demise. Cormac Reilly did not make us start Caff on Donneghy, nor did he stop us from switching another player on to him. Cormac Reilly did not let David Moran run riot in the middle of the field and jump for ball after ball uncontested leading to a unbelievable 47 possessions.

    The biggest problem with focusing solely on the past is that the county board are giving clear signals that the future might be worse. Finances are now obviously a major issue and in the modern game, money = results. The other kite they flew was that they intend to greatly restrict the managers control over club games. So now you are asking a prospective manager to come on board one of the most high pressure, high profile managerial roles in the country and take over a team who have been through the ringer for four years with the added burden of reduced finances and restricted control over the players.

  16. It’s ok to have a real moan after last week’s game (I’ve never been as angry after a game before) but we have to start looking forward. People will start calling us cry babies if we have articles like this dragging up refereeing decisions from the 1930s.

  17. Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    Now we have been very often the architects of our own downfall. We should have closed out the game against Kerry the first day BUT that does not excuse officials shafting us year after year. This article just highlights a small portion of the injustices against us.

    Imagine if it was the like of Cork Kerry beat in that game in Limerick….they would be crowing on every national media front even today.

    Id love to be the CB chairman of this fine county cause as a Wall Street trader told me in the Bronx in May…we don’t go to work each day…we go to war. Our county board should go to war for our players, county and supporters.

  18. ‘Doc says:
    September 6, 2014 at 3:47 am
    ”Cillian could also have be called for a push on Enright beforehand. Enright’s initial foul was outside the square. ”

    You’re missing my point completely and you’re not the first.

    1…What you accuse Cillian of , is the way you seen it and is maybe correct but its not relevant to the referees actual decisions in the game.

    2. He awaded a penalty for a drag down on Cillian by Enright, so he actually seen it , he made the decision (do you follow) . It was his decision , he deemed it a foul . So it isn’t opinion or bad refereeing that enright didnt get yellow or black.

    3.It’s a fook up of major proportions, its a complete cheat by the referee .

    4. Anyone with half a brain knows it was a decision made in relation to the technicality issue with Keegan .

  19. Of all the lessons we need to learn from history it’s that we have an atrocious record of leaking goals from high balls into our full backline. 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014 x2. This is not a go at James Horan or anyone in particular, but we cannot ignore it. The players should have decided on the field in the first game against Kerry when we were 5points up with 4 remaining to put Parsons or O’Shea back on Donneghy “NO GOALS” should have been the battle cry. The new manager will have to put some major focus on parking the bus and closing out games when we have big leads, it was happening all year.

    The loss Saturday has upset me more than both final losses and I am disgusted at the way Reilly cost us the game. The media has acknowledged we were shafted and despite mealy mouth whataboutery by the Kerry people, THEY know we would have beaten them with an honest broker on the whistle. I think its time we picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, say “fuck it” and drive on again.

  20. To Win Just Once, I agree with some of what you say insofar as every county can catalogue many occasions when they have felt hard done by refereeing decisions. As a neutral (sort of… 8 years living amongst ye has left it’s mark on me!), the ref in the Limerick match undoubtedly made a few calls which hurt Mayo badly and very possibly cost you the match. Unfortunately all you can do is voice your discontent, to put it mildly, and move on.
    I think you are also right in that there is a desperation to end the long wait for Sam and anything less is deemed a failure. Without sounding flippant, it’s probably going to happen when you least expect it. From reading this blog alone, there is constantly people looking ahead a match or two instead of truly focusing on the next match only (granted this has no bearing on how the team and management prepare). I started off this championship absolutely delighted to beat Derry in Celtic park. I drove home from Clones with the biggest smile on my face and already I felt the summer was a success and an improvement. I stood in the Hill last Sunday listening with amusement at the many conversations regarding AI final tickets, even at half time when we were a point up. I just can’t understand fans thinking ahead when they haven’t dealt with what’s in front of them, it’s a recipe for disaster. Sorry, I’m going off on a tangent now. It just seems to me that Mayo fans are driving themselves crazy with what ifs etc every year. Just because you don’t bring home the cup doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful year. If Kerry beat us in two weeks time I’ll be disappointed but still happy that we had a great season.
    Incidentally, I have to disagree with you that you missed a golden opportunity to beat us in the final… in the form we’re in right now, that was never going to happen! 😉

  21. Reading your fine piece John makes me sick and mad as hell, if only half of those bad decisions went our way, how different the standing of Mayo football would be. But saying all I can’t help looking back on the drawn game with Kerry. After coming back from the dead to go five points up with a similar amount of time on the clock, it still haunts me how we could not defend our lines. Kerry were on the rack, we looked home and dry and with all the hurt of the past two years still ringing in our ears we sure as hell weren’t going to let this one slip. Regardless of all the bad decisions in the second game it’s the last five minutes of that first match that should haunt this team for a long time.

  22. We’re right to complain vigorously about the apalling referring last Saturday. If the CB had anything that resembles balls they’d complain vigorously too. It wouldn’t change the result but it might go somewhere towards sending an actionable message to the GAA to begin performance managing referees. Whatever about the limp leadership of our CB, the fact is that we’ve lost our golden chance of finally landing an AI and it’s likely to be a long time before we have the fortune of having a squad that can compete with the best again. Who knows that the next couple of years will bring but after the exertions of the past few years coupled with the rise of so many other counties around the provinces, it’s a high probability that we’ll be facing a barren spell. We can certainly thank Mr Reilly for his part in contributing to our team’s downfall.

  23. As many of the responses have alluded to above, we need to move on.
    For sure The incompetent Ref did for us in Limerick, but we must also own some of the reasons for that defeat, not being able to handle David Moran in midfield despite the presence on O’Sheasx2, Parsons and Barry at various times and one of these guys we also expect to pop in and put a halt to Mr D on the edge of our square, we weren’t up to speed here and most of us realise this cost us big time.
    So we have to move on ,and away from this learning experience, to not do so is to fall into the chasm of a victim mentality,a state in which we are helplessly at the mercy of outside forces -Croke park, referees etc and are reliant on perceived protectors- County board? the media?? to come to our aid.Now that’s a scenario I for one do not want to dwell on.
    James Horan ,it is now emerging battled for this county’s football future and his team in a way that few others managers appear to have done, as evidenced by the statement appearing in media during the week referring to the shackles being put on the incoming guy. Take a bow CB if you were in the corporate sector ,not to be confused with “box” plaudits would fly for the way to go on attracting the best man for the job.

  24. Andy Moran would make a fantastic player manager, already respected by the players and county in general, a proven leader and not a more determined man to land the big prize.

    It might seem a tad outlandish to make such a suggestion but it might not be such a bad idea.

  25. Good and informative article. However like Albany, Mayo McHale and others pointed out above, the ref wasn’t the sole reason for our loss. He was atrocious and has been taken to task by the media (sometimes in a measured and objective way, sometimes not), but we need to rise above all that now.
    Knowing where the referee made mistakes won’t help us in 2015, but fixing some elements of our own game will. For example, Kerry won more of our kickouts than we did. Reilly played little or no part in that.

  26. I agree with high or low Willie Joe, I have been so depressed this last week that I couldn’t read the papers or even this wonderful Blog – which has gotten me through the last 2 winters. We are not moaners and we need to keep our heads high and keep the faith in our county and their wonderful players who left all they had in them on that pitch last Saturday. I sincerely hope that the right man is got for the job now and that the County board give him the support he needs to have a good run again next year and maybe land the big one. I heard a song last Saturday night while I was far from home wearing my colours with pride, and it has entered my head more than once in the days since. Don’t stop believing

  27. Really I think this article is poorly timed.Even the title suggests self pity.I abhor this kind of stuff.
    Every county has frees given against them…bad calls and so on.Look at louths only chance to win leinster final.
    Fact is very little was done on the day.Andy tried to remonstrate but James was stoic and said little during or after.Maybe he was right but I thought he could have been a little more forthcoming.
    Protest needs to be made at official level but fact is it is too late.Having the name of bad loser will get us nowhere.McAneaney was shocking in 96 and he went on to promotion!
    The GAA treat Mayo as second class and this article will only reinforce their view that we are just bad losers.

  28. I do not support the posting of this piece. Its title, the photo at the top, the message, the re-hashing of ancient grievances. Many here have sensibly said park this stuff now and let’s move on. I worked in Meath in 96 and got my fill of it at the time from those guys. I despise the word whinger / whiner but the more you attempt to mention a perceived wrong awarded against your team, well you’ve opened the door to the gobshites, smart arses and wind up merchants, some of whom have made their mischief on this site as well as others and still do.
    The Horan era was one of great pride and yes success. Hopefully a new generation will have a spark ignited to aim for green and red glory in future years. My era was the one of Willie Mcgee, John Morley Johnny Carey and Joe Corcoran. And yes it made me dream. But the rebuilding of the structures just now should be all that consumes us. It’s vital we get it right. Its the only show in town. Fuck the wind up merchants. Fuck Ballotelli and fuck his tee shirt.

  29. Nice piece John. In all aspects of life follow the money and you will found the answer. As a result of the new stand in McHale Park our County Board are heavily in debt and were bailed out by Croke Park. We are in a position where we cannot protest as we have a loan to repay to Croke Park. That’s the reason for lame response to 6 day turnaround in Limerick (CCCC Chairman is a Kerry man who fixed game for Limerick) & absence of protest for referee’s influence on replay outcome.

  30. sean burke

    thats a novel idea. would andy have the tactical know how? and be able to implement the changes as needed? the new man can be this that or the other but unless he knows how to make changes when things arent going right for extended periods, and match players up with opponents that optimise their chances we are kidding ourselves.
    this is a golden opportunity for some manager to step in and guide this same panel with maybe a few new faces up front over the line in the next year or two, look at the quality in this panel
    jim mcguinness is going to winning 2 Sams in 3 years with a panel thats no better than ours, this shows how important our next manager is. Watch jim mcguinness get his marking of donaghy and moran spot on, theyll get no room or time to be as effective as we allowed and donegal will win it.

  31. For what it’s worth WJ, I object to this piece and all it stands for. I respect Johns opinion and his knowledge of our county. I feel however that this is the kind of self pity and wallowing that people associate with losers and whingers. I think these players are above this kind of shite to be honest.

  32. Would defintly agree with the posters who see this article as self pity and wallowing.I am quite sure every top county has there issues with refs and the Gaa in general and this article comes off as whinging.I am sure that we have got plenty of decisions in our favor thro out the years but it is very easy to forget about them when we win.The simplest reason we lose most big games is that we were not good enough on the day and no amount of whining can change that

  33. I agree 100% with Liam. Willie joe, articles like this do nothing to help our reputation outside the county as whingers. Yes we were shafted last week. But it can’t be changed now. Move on and store the hurt for next year. Jesus dragging up stuff from the 1930s. Ridiculous and totally irrelevant to today’s team. Also Keith Higgins point last year was correctly ruled as a miss by hawkeye as it was over the post. The technology doesn’t lie, it was clearly not a point. Hawk eye also gained us a point against Kerry this year don’t forget, but of course there is no mention of that in johns article. I agree with him about mc Quillan in 09 surely, but we were very poor ourselves that day too don’t forget.

    I see tony mc entee is the new down manager. Excellent appointment would have loved to see him at mayo next year but not to be. I expect down to really improve next year, especially with the 2 collingwood lads back too.

    Noel Connelly would be my choice now. Any one have any thoughts on Conor Mortimer coming back into the fray next year?!

  34. Agree re wallowing and self pity. This looking around for people to blame outside the county does us no credit. Winners do not waste their time making excuses or listening
    to the excuses of others. I would like to think we are a bigger people than that.

    Take your defeats and give credit to the victors. It is over and move on.

  35. Thats fair enough bucks and i can see where yer coming from but i’d just like to ask is there any point where you’d feel the need to ”whinge” ?

    If the game was played in Kilarney?

    If there was a suspicion of foul play from officials?

    Do we just accept the tone and threatening manner of Liam o Neills statement ? What was that statement all about, why did he say ”if Mayo know whats good for them they’ll just get on with it” do we owe hq money and was that what he meant?

    I’m a Mayo GAA supporter and i want to know wtf he meant by his statement?

  36. mort had his chance and blew it give the younger lads a chance mort is past that would be Hugh step backwards. Mayo need to move on now.

  37. Completely agree with liam above. Time to move on and start focusing on next year. This whinging is annoying the shite out of me and this article is poorly timed imo. We are always getting slagged for whinging so lets park it to one side, bottle the hurt, and unleash it next year.

  38. So 1 week has passed since “ReillyGate” occured. The only thing that amazes me is the Mayo county board. The only communication from those idiots is a statement in the paper to say that the new manager will sign a piece of paper to agree to certain terms. In any other county there would be all out war with the GAA. Could you imagine if Tyrone or Cork were cheated in the manner we were last weekend, even on the venue alone nevermind Reillys performance. Look at the Dublin Co. Board who have immediately dug their heels in with the suggestion that their funding may be cut. But as Shane Curran correctly pointed out last week. The Co Board don’t care because they get their free ticket and their meal and glass of wine.
    A lot of posters on here in the last few weeks have stated that we will look back on James’ era with great fondness cos these days won’t last. Well I think the looking back is going to start fairly soon.
    I will make the following three points.
    1) The President of the GAA made a comment last week to the effect of “If Mayo know whats good for them….”, He has still not been pulled up on this.
    2) The new Mayo manager will sign and agree to terms…So the new manager will be undermined before he takes the job. James Horan improved Mayo football no end, improved every player and improved standards. People commenting on boards are irrelevant, people working for a media outlet don’t matter. All that matters are the players and look at the respect and admiration every player has for James. By introducing this “sign a contract” nonsense to undermine a potential manager makes any potential managers job of getting player buy in all the more difficult
    3) John Cuffe – In relation to the Why Us? piece. I presume with your appreciation for history you have read The Road to ’51 by James Laffey. The talk after every championship year focuses on players, management, other teams, tactics, cuteness etc. What is the one constant? The Mayo Co. Board. I believe it was one of the Mulderrigs from Mount Jubilee who stated that they won the All Ireland in spite of the County Board and the insulting way the medal was delivered. Well in 60+ years nothing has changed and the County Board hasn’t either.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if a number of this outstanding bunch of players opt out next year. They are well aware of what can be gained by spending a couple of months in America for the summer. Instead of being a front for the County Boards quest to pay for a stand. I will not be renewing the Cairde Maigh Eo ticket. I’ll support the team but I will not support a mortgage on a stand.

  39. WJ

    Please take this down. This smacks of being bad losers,whinging and crying over spilt milk. It is truly unsportsmanlike,full of self pity and dire stuff in general.
    Yes we were hard done by,yes the ref was awful but it is over. Move on with dignity.
    This drivel portays us as losers and honestly I am shocked you allowed it up on the site.

  40. While much of what is said is right the game was one and lost by ourselves. How did we not try something to deal with Donaghy? How did Barry start when he did not look fit?

    There was a lot if inconsistency this season. 3 games and Adam Gallagher disappears. Gibbons starts v Kerry, the next day is not one of 7/8 subs used. Varley is the go-to man then dropped. Richie the ignored man, then trusted. Barry starts v Galway, dropped and disappears completely for two games then re-appears. Maybe James did not trust his team enough?

    He did a great job, but the king is dead long live the king.

    Now is when supporters must be heard. The County Board are represntative of us. Our clubs vote them in. Lobby your club rep with concerns.

    The monstrosity in Castlebar is there. So many mistakes made but it must be paid for. The windfall that an All Ireland brings in funding is absent this year.

    The Strategic Review John mentions was rejected. Mayo still does not have a direction bar one group of 30 men. If each of the 30/40,000 Mayo people at the last two finals gave e10 specifically to a ring fenced training fund for the new manager they would make a start beyond what the Board threaten.

  41. James had total belief in his players his players had total belief in him.the ref was the poorest I have ever witnessed.but we still had the better of them if we took our chances.fisted point when 1point down in normal time. should have buried Iin the net.fumbled pass in front of goal in extra time which same player netted in galway.we weren’t up to speed the last day probably fatigue understandable what with playing 14 men 6 days previous. Hope james horan has some input in who comes next.1for all and all 4 1.

  42. Reillys a clown no doubt. And imo not a even county ref. But we didnt play well in too many positions.
    No point in talking about it know. Its done . Move on. Onwards and upwards. Hopefully connelly gets the job and brings in new blood to mix with the existing.
    With the help if god Donegal will win the final.

  43. We need to look at the issues.
    There is no doubt in my mind that we were shafted last weekend.
    To add insult to injury Headquarters also informed us that it was in our own best interests to be shafted.
    There is also no doubt in my mind that we contributed to the gameplan by not doing our own shafting when we had the opportunity. To have Donaghy revisit us after our experiences in 2004 & 2006 is nothing short of negligence. To have David Moran twice lording it at midfield is not the stuff of champions.
    In truth we were sailing very close to the wind this year given our close encounters with Roscommon & Cork. With hindsight I believe JH stayed on a year too long, gambled on a ‘nearly’ team being good enough to cross the line, lost the gamble & an opportunity to rebuild & move on was missed. The County Board ploughed more money in but still no Sam. They probably want to cut back now with the end result that the new man will have less resources than JH & so is at a disadvantage to start with.
    There is also a real danger that the new man might walk even prior to appointment.
    I think the County Board should be upfront & honest with everyone now & tell us exactly how much it costs to run the show on a proper yearly basis including the expenditure on MacHale Park. Is there some funding issue from Headquarters ?
    We need to have price comparisons with other teams & we then need to raise the funds that are required on a yearly basis. We are where we are with regard to MacHale Park so we need to just bite the bullet & get on with it.
    Funding is a really big issue for us now & if we do not put it on an adequate basis to start with then I would fear a downward spiral. We are competing with counties who have already taken Donie Buckley & Cian O Neill from us so let’s not fool ourselves.

  44. Thanks to WJ for the space to vent. In short the article is an attempt to point out that in not challenging the various slings and arrows of the GAA , we have become susceptible to being seeing as “nice guys” who will ultimately swallow. I may have failed in that attempt.

    Certainly I don’t do nostalgia or attempt to embarrass us. The ones that have embarrassed us are those who have failed to challenge meaningfully shite decisions that are a disgrace to such a fine county.

    John Cuffe is a domestique in the ranks of the Mayo faithful . Eamon Mongey is a legend and I quote from 1983 in relation to Eamons view of the 1948-51 team…”What we achieved was despite them (county board) not because of them and nothing in the intervening years (1983) would cause me to change my mind.”

    My own sentiments exactly another 31 years on.

  45. Three things we need to do
    1. Write to Croke Park outlining our disgust at the refereeing / timing / venue last week
    2. Write to CB outlining our disgust at the refereeing / timing / venue last week and demand a shackle free appointment for the next manager
    3. Then most importantly…..move on

  46. Thank you WJ for the space afforded me to vent and for not removing the offending piece that has embarresed and upset some. My intention, though obviously missed, was to point out that if we dont and didnt make a stand each time we were swissed, then we become vunerable to shite officaldom time and time again. Tough if I embarress anyone about that. Tough about what people outside Mayo think about us. I have lived away from Blacksod since 1970 with regular forays home. I am enured by the opinions about us as a county , the negative and positive. I obvioisly trod on a corn towards the end of the comments becasue a pattern has emerged. Good, lets hear all sides.

    Johnny Cuffe is a mere domestique in the foot soldiers of the Mayo vanguard. Eamon Mongey wasnt. He became a legend. In 1983 at a function he uttered the fiollowing about the 1958-51 team and county board. “What we achieved was depite them…not because of them…and nothing in the intervening years would cause me to change my mind”. That was uttered 31 years ago about events 31 years earlier. Can I add that I agree with every word he has said and include the last 31 years.

    PS I sat in the company of the late Mick Mulderrig shortly before he passed away. The raw anger, the sheer disgust he felt as he recalled recieving his all ireland medal in the post months later was as sharp and raw that night as it was pre Christmas 1951. So tough if I bring embarrsment to a few, one way to stop embarresment is this…stop doing stupid shite.

  47. Hi Sean,
    The only player/manager that I am aware of that won an All-Ireland was Tony Hanahoe in 1977 when Heffo took a breather for a while. I might be wrong but I think he is the only one, cheers.

    Kind Regards,
    Martin (still hurting) the Dub

  48. John Cuffe
    What is the purpose of this article.We all go to work and elsewhere as proud Mayomen.This article imbues our psyche with failure.It solves nothing and takes away our pride.
    In short I want to remember us as winners this year, beaten in the end narrowly.This depicts us as losers.Wrong article and definitely wrong time.
    You have written wonderful articles.This is not one of them.
    Sean Burke…you want us to withdraw from the league? Sean rethink that.It is hard to believe youre serious.

  49. All – I really think everyone needs to calm down a bit. John’s post was an opinion piece and I’ve had a long-standing policy for some time now of facilitating those who want to put forward their own viewpoints on issues relating to Mayo GAA. It’s clear from the comments that some of you agree with the sentiments expressed in the piece and that others don’t. That’s all fine, each to their own and all that, but the howling that has started up in the last few hours about it is starting to annoy me at this stage as it’s straying well beyond what might be termed fair comment. I’ve let a few OTT comments go on this up till now but I’m going to have to take action if some sense of proportion isn’t restored pronto.

  50. Nice reading John enjoyed the history piece. Now it is time to move on. I left Limerick last Saturday a very proud Mayo supporter. Kerry won the game and good luck to them. The ref was bad for both sides. Kerry adapted better and I believe it is known in Rugby as “playing the ref”. Kerry had their disappointing days also. Remember 2011 in the All Ireland final and they were home and hosed as we all thought. The strong finish by the Dubs was unexpected by all except those very close to that great Dublin team. On leaving Limerick last week I was impressed with the recovery that Kerry had made. New manager, new players, new coach new approach, adequate funding and a never say die attitude. This the only history lesson that is relevant to us right now. We have a similar road to travel. Our past record on this road is very poor. We should brace ourselves for all the challenges that await us. Pick the right man for the successor of our best manager so far. Get the necessary funding in place. Improve our backroom staff. Change out attitude to the setbacks. Finally I do not agree that any sanction is necessary for this ref. Yes he was poor but it does not mean that the other 15 on the panel are better. The winning of the game was in our hands but the Kerry lads would not let go. They had a few years of disappointments driving them onwards. I hope they beat Donegal in the final.

  51. John cuffe did u not say the cb pulled mayo out of the league following the Cavan shafting Inthe 40s,did it do any good?…I hurt like all of the other posters here,Reilly was a disgrace but I think the game was lost with the collision between aiden and cillian,neither were ad effective after that.bad luck on mayo.let’s look to the future with hope and optimism

  52. Bad reffing, a touch of tiredness, poor selection and match ups, ferocious Kerry tackling ( mauling) and slight underperformance by some of our lads didn’t help.
    But for me a really big issue was the collision of AOS and Cillian. It completely disrupted halftime wondering whether or not they could play the second half or not. It had to take the focus off the plans for the second half. Remember we were leading at half time having played poorly enough. It was obvious from where I was that there was confusion on the sideline (understandably) between the medical people, AOS and James Horan.
    Now that’s poxy luck. I feel that if that incident hadn’t happened we would have come storming out in the second half and gone on to win.
    You need a bit of luck and we had none on Saturday. Now it’s time to put it behind us and start over again. And I for one WILL be renewing my Cairde ticket. I hope everyone else does too.

  53. Is it acceptable to say that we disagree with this article?Or is that howling and not fair comment?

  54. I reckon that after the games that we have played this year, we now have the respect of the whole country. Its probably the first time, in a really long time, that we met Kerry in a big game, that we were seen as at least their equals. I don’t think that the Kerry boys saw it that way before the first game but they sure as hell did after the two games against us. Rather than seeing this as the end, maybe we should see it as the end of the beginning and the future should be bright for us. You’d just really hope that whoever takes over that there will be no more rumours of certain players not getting on with the manger etc. etc. I think that this took away a bit from all of the great work that James Horan did in the last four years. We need to have every player really feeling like they are just as important as every other player and that they are given plenty of game time to show what they can do. Roll on the next big games!

  55. I find it surprising to think that there is a belief that we could have beaten Donegal if we played them in final. What Jim Mccguiness and his players did to dublin was truly brilliant and really shows how good a manager he really is. He had a game plan in place for the Dubs which eventually wore them down both mentally and physically. Mr donaghy wont be making hay like he was against us, making me think he wont start in final. Mccguniness would also have a plan for mayo, which i am sure would involve dropping high ball down on top of michael murphy and young mchugh picking up the pieces and i dont think mayo would have any masterplan to prevent this. Donegal also do not give leads away easy, which i feel is the difference between Mayo and Donegal, and that is why they are on the brink of winning there second All ireland in three years I watched our lads against Dublin in the league this year throw away a big lead and nearly lost that game,i thought those issues would have been addressed after that nite, but it was a trend for the year which would ultimately cost us. If we had one of the oshea lads put on donaghy we would have beaten kerry its quite simple with no replay required, but i still do not think we would have won sam as we do not close out games from winning positions.If the next manager can correct this while maintaining the never say die attitude set by James horan we will win sam inside the next two years as Mayo have never been as close even though it seems further way than ever at this moment Thanks to James horan and for the last four years, will go down as one of the best mayo managers

  56. Lads we lost the game because we could not exert any dominance on midfield simple fucking as that.We can talk about Donaghy and the ref but bottom line is and as o Shea said on the Sunday game they hammed the hammer.Onwards and upwards tis now time to looks to the future lads and lassies

  57. I think it’s a great pity that the problems that we all knew existed in the full back line were never addressed by management over the last 4 years ,

  58. Two sides of the same hymn sheet. Old history is what defines us, but recent history is what we unravel to improve. No point in whinging, but asking that the referee’s performance is assessed should not be seen as such.
    The black card is a farce and should be ditched. Where is the penalty, and that’s if it’s shown, in another player, fresh to the fray, coming on? Introduce the 10 minutes ban to the side line.
    Also, stop the clock, so there’s less time wasting.
    Finally, something like the citing rule is needed.

  59. Pj – agree with your comments, we need “to learn the play the ref”, I think that other teams do this better than us, hence we think that refs are agin us.

    Kerry do this to a tee, they know what needs to be done to win a game, it does not always work, but explains why they get to finals with average teams. Like our two games, if we were cuter, we would have won, had chances both days, irrespective of the refs performance, etc.

    We are close, very close but chances are running out for these players, hopefully our new manager will bridge that gap. Onwards and upwards!!

  60. Die hard,I’ve had the pleasure of reading your posts over the past few years and I can assure you my mind isn’t in the same league as yours.(you being premier,mine being division 3)but I will take that as a compliment

  61. The two last threads sit together well.
    The Aussies (best of luck to Cian) refer to our neighbours as whinging poms.
    The thought of fitting that nickname fills me with dread.
    Let’s move on.

  62. I live in Dublin and like many Mayo people with Dublin born kids I attend a large amount of club and county games and the feeling I get from the county board here and the county chairman is that their sole focus is to serve the needs and aspirations of every footballer and hurler, boy and girl who wear the jersey.
    That seems to be sadly lacking or at least far from transparent when it comes to our own county board. The lack of fight against the 6 day turnaround was pathetic. There may well have been implications, financial or otherwise, if we dug in and insisted on the replay on Sept 6th but dug in we should have been. And why? Quite simply, our players have been on the road now for 3 consecutive years chasing the elusive prize; with that has come a savage mental and physical toll on them and all connected to them. To ask them to turn around in 6 days was the biggest disgrace of all; they should have been afforded the common decency of a 13 day turnaround. The toll of the provincial losers being asked to enter a qualifier game 6 days later has been well heralded in recent years to such an extent that the obvious error of its ways has now been addressed by Croke Park. In the very same vein, our team should not have been subjected to such harsh treatment. If Croke Park could not see the stupidity in it then we should damn well have shown them and if necessary make one hell of a national scene until common sense prevailed. It is in facing down such a careless and ignorant decision as that imposed by Croke Park that we garner our people our players and our county board into a unified front. But in failing to put the fight to Croke Park our county board abjectly failed to understand the need to come in behind everything that this team and its 30,000 strong traveling support has pushed for over the last 4 years.

  63. Thanks for the historical recap JC. I tend to agree with you on a lot of the issues. I’ve heard much the same from me dad since I was a young buck. I suspect yer of the same vintage. He’s a decent fellow , just like yerself I suppose but had witnessed much mayo misery down through the years. He believed in this team though and despite the refs poor performance he’s not complaining about it. He’s more pragmatic now in his senior years and believes that we lived on borrowed time this year because we never got around to fixing the back line problems, the number of goals we conceded right throughout the league, yet we survived in Div 1. We got away with it because of lesser teams, cork exposed it but ran out of time. Kerry took notes, learned and made hay. Their approach was wholely predictable and ultimately successful. Still we could have beaten them.
    The hard done by the ref, I’m past that now as are the players I’d say.

    Two final things on this, our CB should lodge an official report to Croke Park on the refferring. It won’t make a blind bit of difference to the out come, but at least it’ll make us supporters happy and maybe piss off Croke Park.
    And finally, in that official report, why not ask for a clarification of what Liam ONeill meant when he issued those “we should know what’s good for us kinda words’. Again, won’t make a blind bit of difference but at least it’ll make us feel better, and be an eff U mr president. They should remember, it’s us that owe them money….we could do a very slow walk on that repayment.

  64. I have taught a few of the Mayo lads in school and the one thing that I have always hated is the ‘Mayo God help us attitude’ of people from other counties.This article adds to this type of philosophy and I truly abhor it.
    The lads I met this week and indeed supporters have one thing in common.Lets give it another go.They all recognise what James did and though some mistakes were made they will.look back with fondness on his tenure.None of them will withdraw from league or anything else…to do that would be to act as losers which they and we are not.
    I think Kevin McStay articulated the Mayo view very well with supported examples and he has found allies in the unlikely pairing of Colm O Rourke and Martin Breheny.Time to let it go now before more damage is done to the reputation of a proud county.
    I believe this article was a huge mistake and though you dont agree WJ and you own the site ,I feel I still am entitled to give my view without you describing it as howling or moderating it.

  65. Just seen the comments on the James Horan interview on RTE. Can’t find anything on the website to re-listen. Anyone hear it?

  66. Heard the interview Dan. James spoke well about his time as manager, how the news was broke to the players and the disappointment of not getting us over the line . Also asked about mistakes in match ups and these go through his mind all the time. Didn’t say much about the ref as it is wasting energy at this stage. He seemed a bit disappointed to be leaving the set up but other commitments , work , family needed his attention now . That’s all from the head – hope I haven’t included something he didn’t say .
    Also john Cuffe well wrote piece from you and your opinion .

  67. As I said last night, Mayoforsamthehardway, it’s an opinion piece. It’s not obligatory to agree with the sentiments contained in it (personally, I wouldn’t agree with everything said in it, far from it in fact) and what I want to ensure is that those voicing opinions on it do so with reasonableness. If you’re commenting on the site, on this or any other issue, you need to do so within the rules laid down so it might be more productive use of your time to familiarise yourself fully with the rules and stick within them rather than posting smart-arse comments like you did last night or arguing the toss with me about how I enforce the rules.

  68. Along with his most public aim of making Mayo consistently consistent, JH also aimed to rid Mayo of the “house of pain” mentality that purveyed previous teams. He achieved both with his players but it’s obviously still very prevalent amoungst some supporters. Whinging and crying about incidents that happened 80 years ago is beyond embarrassing.
    This self pitying, losers attitude has no place on a genuine Mayo supporters site, in fact your as well replace Mario with Linda Martin singing “Why me”. The only thing that wasn’t mentioned in the article was the funeral in Foxford, surprisingly.

  69. Alex Ferguson , the greatest manager of all time with trophies to prove it, never stfu whinging, complaining, moaning . Just a tip of the iceberg few examples……….

    In 2009, Ferguson whinged that some Premier League club’s changing rooms are far too small with Everton, Portsmouth and Fulham all provoking his ire. Goodison Park was labelled “too narrow,” Fratton Park’s were “not great” while the facilities at Craven Cottage were “smaller than my office.” He went on to suggest that there should be a minimum standard size of dressing room, “especially now you have more players on your bench and an increased staff.” Where is Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen when you need him, eh?

    FOOTBALL STRIPS
    In 1996, following defeat to Southampton at the Saints’ former ground, The Dell, Fergie moaned that were it not for the grey kit his team were sporting, United would have won. With the club 3-0 down at half-time, the gaffer ordered his players to change out of their horrid away strip and Fergie later claimed that the colours made it extremely hard for his players to pick each other out from a distance. The kit was then consigned to the rubbish bin.

    DAVID BECKHAM
    Fergie once bemoaned that Beckham changed once he wed his pop star missus Victoria: “He used to go into work with the academy coaches at night time, he was a fantastic young lad. Getting married into that entertainment scene was a difficult thing, he is such a big celebrity, football is only a small part,” he complained in 2007. Three years before that, the pair were involved in a dressing room spat that culminated in a boot being kicked at Beckham’s face, injuring him just above his eye.

    INJURY-TIME
    After watching his side lose to Aston Villa at Old Trafford in 2009 Ferguson said that referees should not be responsible for calculating the amount of added on time. Three minutes was signalled at the end of the 1-0 win but Fergie moaned: “there were two stoppages of two minutes three seconds, but we only played three minutes added time.” A year later, Leeds dumped United out of the FA Cup and again complained about stoppage time, claiming that the five minutes of added time was “an insult to the game and the players out there,” as his players attempted to claw their way back from 1-0.

    THE BBC
    In 2004, Fergie hit out at the corporation after a documentary made allegations about his football agent son, Jason. “They did a story about my son that was whole lot of nonsense,” the Scot said. “It was a horrible attack on my son’s honour and he should never have been accused of that,” he added. In August, however, he agreed to end his ban and began talking to the broadcaster again.

    Arsene Wenger AND ARSENAL
    In Wenger’s debut season, the feud with the Frenchman began. Straight away he questioned the Premier League’s decision to extend its programme in order to give United’s players a rest as their fixture list became very congested late on in the campaign. Fergie’s response? “He’s a novice and should keep his opinions to Japanese football.” In 2004, after his club had ended the Gunners’ 49-game unbeaten run, things reached boiling point in the tunnel after the 2-0 win. Players and staff were involved in scuffles and a large slice of pizza was hurled at the Man United manager with Ashley Cole commenting in his autobiography: “all mouths gawped to see this pizza slip off this famous, puce face and roll down his nice black suit.”

  70. Its not about whinging either tbh, its about standing up for yourself. We should of went bananas about the Limerick venue.

    We should be demanding an explanation of Liam o Neills statement.

  71. Horan was a fantastic manager but listening to his interview and following his line of thought throughout his tenure there is one aspect of his mentality i don’t buy into, he never speaks of winning the all Ireland or comments about winning it even yesterday, its all about improvement and consistency . Personally i think its a bit of a cop it.

    What did JOD say after they beat us, ” its about winning the all Ireland.

    Winning is the key word here, it was something i noticed anyway.

  72. Ok Willie Joe
    It is obvious you are simply going to counter all my opinions with insults and refer to them as smartarse comments and howling (despite the fact that many many others share my views)
    I have broken NONE of your rules .
    I merely gave my opinion.
    I will not prolong this and I will take my comments elsewhere.Pity because your site is generally excellent ,well maintained and run,with interesting comments.This article simply I feel shows us up as losers which I object to.Having met you once I found you courteous and well informed so to say I am surprised at the way you have dealt with my comments is an understatement.
    Farewell.

  73. Dan, get rte radio 1 app and you can listen back to Saturday sport. Interview is in last hour after news. He spoke really well I thought and was very gracious in defeat.

  74. Tyrone had never won anything at national senior level and indulged in their fair share of whinging and excuses, decisions in 1995 AI, physical pummelling they were on the recieving end of from Meath in 1996 SF to name a few of their major gripes.

    Then they grew up and realised it was up to them to put the record straight. They
    appointed a ruthless manager and within a few years had won three AIs. They realised
    it was about winning not whinging.

  75. Mayoforsamthehardway – I’m not going to rise to your barbs, nor am I going to get into a debate about it with you, but suffice to say that I reject completely what you say about how I’ve dealt with your comments. For the record, I’m of the opinion that you have at least once broken the rules and I’m afraid my opinion is final around here. This site has been in existence for over seven years and I think (at least I hope) that the rules on comments are enforced fairly and with the sole aim of keeping the debate at a certain standard. You’re not the first newcomer to pick an argument with me over how the rules operate – nor, sadly, are you likely to be the last – but I’ll make no apology for enforcing the rules the way I do and I think that the comments section on the site works better as a result. If you can’t live with that, well then too bad.

  76. Sean Burke I disagree with you on JH philosophy with the Mayo team. Their Goal was the All Ireland title and nobody could disagree with that. But the team was progressing via a continuous improvement strategy. This was a means to an end. In fact I do not know of any other way of achieving a goal in football or in any walk of life. It what humans do.

  77. Maybe so PJ i just picked up on a reluctance to use the words we are looking to win the all Ireland here. But in fairness im not familiar with how these things work , im only making an observation in the way i hear other counties like Kerry say ” its all about WINNING the all Ireland” in the context of anything else is failure.

    I could be reading it wrong of course but thats lil old me for ya, i get things wrong a lot.

  78. John Cuffe…..excellent piece as always. I have heard of all these injustices from my father who’s now 81, and who attended both the 50 and 51 finals.

    The one time we did “close out”an important game ala Tyrone or Kerry (AISF 2012) we had a national journalist slate us for cynical play in the lead up to the Final and then essentially boasted that he had gotten in the ear of the referee and influenced the outcome. Wonder if he will pen such a piece in the lead up to this years final?

    That being said winning the fvckin thing is the only way to put this behind us.

    Instead of focussing on the influence of the referee in these tight games, let’s start by looking at our own frailties as the springboard for getting ridden in such a manner time and time again.

    Roscommon-2001-Connaught Final-We had a 2 point lead, then cough up cheap possession in the middle of the field and let them waltz in for an early goal

    Tuam 1989-drawn game versus Galway-gave up last minute goal

    U21 AIF v Derry Carrick on Shannon-Drawn game-Derry score very late goal to bring the game to a replay in Irvinestown.

    “Derek Duggan 70 yard equalizer” drawn Connaught Final 1991 (I think). Had a last minute lead but Didn’t win vital kick out and had to foul the Ross man.

    Reason I bring up some of these less well known last minute lapses, is that coughing up late scores is endemic in our style of play-it’s not new, it’s been going on for decades.

    We have shed the nice guy/soft touch anchor…..now it’s time to get the other monkey off the back.

  79. JH in interview was as dignified and restrained as always. A credit to himself and his county. No whinging fair play to him. Maybe we should all do the same

  80. Kerry are in the final after taking up to 170 minutes at 100% to get over the line against a Mayo side performing at 60% and it has been described by the kerrymen as probably the toughest match they have been involved in for years.
    This for me begs the question, how tough would we be at full tilt ?
    Not only were we at 60% but we had to contend with a bias referee, the usual kerry gamesmanship of lying down (when ahead) to run down the clock, a man down in the first game, having to go nextdoor to kerry for the replay and a collision between two of our most influential players at a crucial time in the contest. Add to that, we were wiped out at midfield(our strongest area) and we couldn’t deal with donaghy.
    So we certainly over-achieved as Mayo at 60% but likewise we under-achieved in what we were and are capable of.
    Someone above mentioned that we shouldn’t become bad losers but most winners are bad losers, that’s what makes them winners and it’s what we need to become if we are to go on with our push for Sam Maguire.
    The Foxford issue of 51 has also been alluded to above, every time we get close, something unusual happens and I don’t know about most on here but it does bring that little doubt from the back of my mind to the fore, I as most think it stupid but then maybe I’m in denial.
    The only way to disprove it is to go on and win Sam.
    MaighEo Abu

  81. ….now that you mentioned the curse….I really never bought into that shit, that is until I witnessed Robbie Hennellys missile fall like a fuckin rock out of the sky at the last second…look at it lads… Forget that Donaghy pulled it down…just observe it’s perfect flight then, just dropped!!! FFS!

  82. Mickey Harte was a winner and his comments will always be coloured by being the words of a winner. Believe it or not there are some privileges to being a winner.

    Winning in my opinion is a skill in itself and should always be respected. In life in general nobody really gives a dam about hard luck stories.Life aint fair and most people realise that by the time they are old enough to order a pint. You deal with it.

  83. So the James Horan era has come to an end and you could say that we went the full circle and we still did not land the ultimate prize. We could blame the ref or bad luck or even the curse. We could even go down the Father Ted route (Sur we’ll have a Mass), to get us over the line! At the end of the day you just feel that we did not have enough natural scorers up front and enough teak tough defenders at the back. The top teams can just get their scores that bit more easier than us, when it really matters and do not concede as many bad goals as we do at crucial times. So roll on the new era. We have great foundations to build on, maybe just a few tweaks here and there might be enough to get us the result that we all want to see!

  84. How does one go about initiating a counter curse? Is there a government dept that handles such things ? Maybe there’s a grant for it. I might give the esb a ring If it’s an electrical problem they might have some ideas. I believe in bad energy but science must have a way to counter this. If we could find the formula we could win every year

  85. Anybody ever wondered why have we no mayo referees involved at national level. Surely after what we have witnessed last weekend it could not be a case of mayo referees not being good enough.Maybe we should try to rectify that and return the favours to some of the counties that provide the officials that always screw us up ie meath and monaghan. Then we might get a bit of respect. And of course our man should always get the backing of the county board no matter how many mistakes he makes.

  86. To all of you who say ‘ let’s save all this stuff and dish it out next year’… How do we manage that? I’m still raging over last Sat and I haven’t been able to talk much football all week long. As for the Co. Board, well you know what they say about pigs and grunts…

  87. Have been reading the comments on this piece with interest. For those of us who don’t remember 1939 (I suspect there may be a few!) it’s a fascinating lesson in history. It also makes for very sobering reading throughout, even if there’s a good chance it may paint us as supporters in a negative light. (And to the latter I say, who gives a fiddlers?!)

    Frankly, I think some of the reaction to it is OTT. I share in the anger of a few posters here in that I have spent the past week in a ball of rage over the events of the past two weeks. I’m still barely able to talk about it. Yes, I realise that we need to get over it, that we need to move on. Life’s not fair, yadda yadda. And we will. But “getting over it” does not in my book equate to lying down and taking this shameful treatment on the chin. It’s wrong, it needs to be called out, and then – only then – we can turn our attention to next year with a clearer mind and get on with the job in hand.

    At what point do we abandon the stiff upper lip policy and actually get angry about stuff? At what point do we start to hold the county board accountable? Why are we conditioned to be so meek? Our players, first and foremost, deserve more than that treatment that was meted out with such contempt from O’Neill and HQ, and while I am loathe to use the language of “entitlement”, both they and our supporters deserve more from our county board than just to be expected to suck it up and get on with it.

    Yes, we should be objecting. Yes, I believe Liam O’Neill should be held to account for his comments. Yes, we should be filing an official complaint about Cormac Reilly, because what happened in Limerick was simply unacceptable. Now, I won’t go so far as to say that he lost us the game. There is no guarantee that we wouldn’t have lost regardless (Donaghy and Moran alone would have done their utmost to ensure that), but the fact of the matter is, the refereeing was substandard, there have been significant questions about the appointment of Reilly to the game, and ultimately, our players (on both sides) deserve nothing less than a fair shake of the dice. But at a time when our county is at the very least entitled to defend itself and object to unfair play, the silence is deafening. Are they really that afraid of Croke Park? If they are, there is something seriously rotten within the Association.

    There will be no shortage of introspection from the team that went to Limerick and bravely fought for the ultimate glory for the fourth year running. You can bet your life that James Horan and his backroom team will have examined their roles more than once and asked themselves what they could have done differently. You can be in no doubt that the players who stick around to give it another shot next year will be bottling this disappointment and bringing it with them. But why should they be the only ones asking questions of themselves?

    Yes, we will turn our noses to face the road ahead once again. Yes, we will get over this – we have before and we will again. But the events of the past fortnight should also be addressed by the people running the show in Mayo, and doing so should not imply that we are sore losers. It should demonstrate that we as a county are presenting a united front (something that has been sadly lacking to date), and making a statement – that we are not going to lie down and meekly accept anything less than fair play.

    And what’s wrong with that?

  88. The ref was diabolical in Limerick but we simply have to move on.

    As bad as he was we could and maybe should have won the game. We were wiped out around the middle. This was an area we expected to control and even dominate. There’s no doubt the collision Aidan O’Shea suffered had a big bearing here but it still doesn’t explain why we were so abject in terms of winning the breaking ball.

    One issue that was in our control was putting in place some plan to deal with the long ball into our full back line. This was such an easy out for Kerry all day and we simply couldn’t deal with it.

  89. We were shafted. If we continue to take it it will continue to happen .
    Temerity due to our lack of honors or our lack of funds or due to some parish pump clown trying to veil a threat should not be accepted by our supporters. Our players deserve better support from their officials.

    Poor show this week with no comments on our treatment and then the release of the “ground rules” for our perspective manager.
    Pathetic.

  90. I set out on my maiden voyage as a Mayo supporter in the care of my dear departed father in the year of our Lord 1969. You, readers and contributors to this page, who are of my vintage (or are older or younger) have one thing in common – we are privileged and have been in a position to call this team OURS. To have men such as the peerless Andy Moran wear our colours and represent us on and off the field places us, Mayo folk, in a very enviable position indeed.

    Having returned from Limerick without achieving what we set out to do where are we now and what have we learned?

    Nothing to be gained from commenting on a certain Mr. Reilly. He will not be part of Team Mayo as we venture forth in 2014/15. What I am convinced of, though, is that with a modicum of better fortune allied to slightly better planning we would not have been flattered to have won the last two All-Ireland Finals. And, if we can learn from our very basic mistakes, we can seriously entertain notions of clearing the final elusive hurdle next year and maybe even thereafter.

    James Horan has done wonders with us and for us. Simple as that. He has imbued in our team a resilience and a never say die attitude which is the talk of all Ireland. But from my humble position as a former club player, coach and manager and cogniscant of the aerial threat posedby Donaghy I cannot understand how and why we slept-walked into that particular ambush. If I could rewind the hands of time I would love to be in a position to see the look on the face of Kerry’s towering number 14 as, following Amhran na bhFiann, he took up his position on the edge of the square and found that the hand proffered for a shake was that of Gavin Duffy’s.

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