Archive for the ‘Dublin’ Category

In the 50/50 chance that Jimmy McGuinness is reading this I decided to take the train to Dublin last Sunday to gather vital information on their potential finalists. On the way down I read up on the history of both counties. I had been under the impression that Mayo was short for something. I definitely knew it wasn’t mayonnaise but for some reason had assumed it wasn’t really Mayo by itself. Something was dinking around the back of my head regarding the Mexican-Albino Youth Organisation. I had read somewhere that in 1856 there was an influx of Mexican-Albinos at Castlebar looking to build stone fences but it appears they fled back when the harsh reality of winter in the west hit them. Yet the books presented no alternative. It really was Mayo.

A typical Mayo settler circa 1860

On arriving in Drumcondra, I decided to mingle with both sets of supporters in Quinn’s Bar which was close to the ground. There was a definite distinction between the city fans and those from the west of the country. I wrote it all down. All the Dubliners I overheard were talking about stock prices, bull markets, apartments, caviar, charlie, Dustin, Bertie, Dessie, backhanders, bleeding this and bleeding that as well as being mostly short and stumpy in appearance. On the other hand, the Mayo fanatics discussed cattle, butter, spuds, km to the gallon, red diesel, Louis Walsh, Mary Robinson, a bit of blue pipe, bulling, riding, a good long mass and Knock. They were also long, wiry, red-faced and wore corduroys. If McGuinness has anything in him he’ll get his charges to talk about those things in a negative fashion as a trash-talk tactic. (e.g “McAleese was some president” or “that Knock is a pile of dung” etc). It’ll fairly rile the Mayo lads.

Louis Walsh, on the beer in Mayo

As for the game itself, the Mayo performance was majestic in patches yet gave the impression of being a rather schizophrenic outfit. One moments they’re soaring 30-feet into the air, running the length of the field and back in seconds, scoring points from their own half. Then, whenever the darkness descends and fear or self-loathing swallows up their confidence, they play like England would in an international tournament. It was quite a remarkable transformation. I could see into the whites of the eyes of  Alan Dillon and Aidan O’Shea in the first half. They was gleaming and danced in their heads. The last time I saw that was when Ivan Drago was in the process of killing Apollo Creed in the ring. I thought I saw Ger Cafferkey mouth the words “I will break you” to Bernard Brogan at one point in the first half which would explain the good-looking brother’s lacklustre performance.

From Brogan’s POV

Then the light was switched off, the tablets ran out, the chemist was closed and the doctor was helpless. As if hypnotised, each and every one of the Mayo players seem to believe they were U12s again. Keith Higgins was smiling vacantly into the distance. It was almost like the onset of senility. Mayo, who were 23 points ahead with ten minutes to go suddenly found themselves on the verge of a very public meltdown. Somehow, like a boxer in the lead holding on in the final rounds after receiving a dozen uppercuts, they fell over the line.

I cannot explain it. Was it a mass schizophrenic event? Possibly and I’m sure Gallagher and Jimmy are reading up on the symptoms right now to see if they can trigger it early. Did they see the finishing line too early only for it to be a Dublin mirage, a cute ploy by the canny and cheeky Dubs to psychologically bewilder their opponents. Maybe. However, I have it on good authority that the Mayo management team sent their water-boy on to the field on 55 minutes and told all the players to let the Dubs back into it again so that the bookies will inflate the favouritism on the O’Donnell men. It was a dicey game but it worked. Even I’m convinced the northerners will beat them out the gate now.

Jame Horan might be the new Jimmy McGuinness.

Horan v McGuinness