Here’s the story. You’ve a provincial club championship match at the weekend. You’ve worked your proverbials off all year for this. Won the county championship. Done everything right. Eaten the right food. Rested when rest was needed. Got the sports psych in. A few guest sessions by a few supercoaches that turned out no better than your own man. A prophet in his own land and all that. It’s been the time of your life. Everything’s going to plan. Or supposed to be.
The Club Championship season is well and truly upon us. As All Ireland’s are decided and managers come and go it is back to what many people consider the real GAA. In its pure and most undiluted form, it is an intoxicating, heady brew.
In the aftermath of their Ryder Cup defeat, Phil Mickelson saw fit to question the management approach of Tom Watson. I doubt that he’d have been as forthright or as sour in his assessment of his leader if Brian Cody had been the Ryder Cup manager. Or Mickey Harte. Or Jim McGuinness. Or Paul McGinley for that matter. Each strikes you as a manager that commands respect.
Of all the forces to be reckoned with in Gaelic Games, the Cork ladies footballers are perhaps the most immoveable and irresistible. On Sunday in the Ladies Gaelic Football Finals they contest their ninth final in ten seasons as winners of eight of the last nine.
At this stage its an even keel, just about. Losing the All Ireland Final is a gut wrenching, sickening, heartsore feeling. And that’s only for the supporters. Imagine how a player must feel. The dust’s starting to settle now. But it’s a long winter for the men from the Hills.
Someone posted a message earlier saying they were suffering from Donegal and Kerry fatigue. For God’s sake man dear, it’s only Friday. Man up! But if you’re name is Rip Van Winkle and you’ve just woken up, here’s some signs that the third weekend in September is upon us.
All Ireland week can be a difficult time. All that pressure. Getting the jerseys sorted. Logistics, planning, leaving time, what time everyone is meeting at. And tickets. Always tickets. God knows what it must be like being a player. Supporting a team in the All Ireland final is exhausting. You’re looking at least a couple of days off next week to recover win, lose or draw. God help us if there’s another draw.