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7 Things That You Can't Avoid Hearing At The Beginning Of Every Championship

7 Things That You Can't Avoid Hearing At The Beginning Of Every Championship
By Conor Neville
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It's late May and we've already heard all the classic tropes tossed out. The debates barely change from one year to the next. Here are a number of cliched stories that spring up like the plague every May.

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A Galway player will come out and say 'it's either the All-Ireland or nothing this year'

Back in the 90s, it was very much in vogue for rival managers to come out and say Galway were the team to watch this year, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't be proven wrong until August when Galway finally did play in the championship.

These days, it's the Galway players themselves who lay it on the line and say all the right things, no matter what Daithi Regan thinks. David Collins has dropped the line this year about it being the All-Ireland or bust for Galway and it was David Collins who Daithi lambasted last year following the heave against Cunningham.

Collins suggested that the talent is there in Galway to win an All-Ireland every year.

Rubbish David! That's absolute rubbish! Too much to say every year! You're not good enough to win an All-Ireland every year. And that's proven by the fact that you don't win the All-Ireland every year.

A pundit (usually Ger Loughnane) will remark that Kilkenny aren't the team they were last year and their dethronement is coming

Ger, recently dubbed a 'gas man' by Brian Cody - the same Brian Cody who referred to him as 'that lunatic from Clare' following the 2007 All-Ireland final - can usually be relied upon to provide hope to those hungry for change.

He may cite an indifferent League performance. He may cite recent big retirements. When he has very little to work with, he might cite the fact that they didn't quite hammer everyone en route to the All-Ireland last year.

But he'll find some way.


'Sure probably half of their lads will be in America by the time the qualifiers come around'

For a player on some beaten docket minnow county who've already lost their chance of provincial silverware and for whom the qualifiers is 'a slow death march to oblivion' (to quote Vincent Hogan), the lure of the States seems quite impossible to resist.


No doubt, given the nature of the campaign that has been run by the prospective Republican nominee, the issue of GAH players from Leitrim and Carlow and Wicklow and Longford landing in New York will become a big issue in the Presidential campaign.


'Six weeks now until they've another game'

Usually runs in tandem with the American exodus fears and it tends to precede a prolonged bout of alternative championship system spitballing.

Much keening about the predicament of possibly the most unfortunate beings on the planet - those who play football for the so-called weaker counties.

They haven't been tested yet


This is not merely a cliche that is restricted to late May. In recent times, this cliche has even applied as late as early August.

It is almost universally acknowledged at this stage that the Dubs will not be tested until late August at the earliest. In fact, we may not be that far from the stage where the Dubs will arrive at the All-Ireland winners banquet without having confronted a test all year.

That day is coming.


The League is the League

Other variations include 'League form goes out the window'. In their pre-match press briefings, managers are quick to dismiss League form as an irrelevance, especially those managers in charge of teams who have had a good League and who are facing into a match with a team who have had a bad League.

*Something about Ulster teams having to wade through all the muck and bullets in their provincial championship while Kerry have their feet up on the chaise longue waiting for the All-Ireland series. 

A tribal Ulster roar, it is simultaneously boastful and whingeing. Primarily, the former. They are proud about their own uber-competitive championship and scornful of the handy route Kerry are afforded in Munster.

We let Adrian 'Logie' Logan, formerly of that UTV weekly championship programme which we have forgotten the name of and currently of MacLean bookmakers, take it forward from here.



See also: 15 Things You’ll Definitely Hear During The 2016 Hurling Championship

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