Dublin fan Hugh Gallagher is a bit bemused in the build-up to the Sunday's final. He tell us why, below.
It’s 2013, it’s All Ireland Final Week, and for us Dublin fans the shoe is most certainly on the other foot. Why you ask? Well the answer is twofold.
‘Mayo for Sam’ – that’s the message from everyone – celebrities, common folk, politicians, farm animals, buildings etc. The fact that there is a team opposing Mayo is a shock to some people. Being from a county that have been known for the ‘hype machine’ in the past, this has taken it to a new level. In comparison, it’s been very quiet in Dublin – the flags, bunting and banners are up, but the songs have yet to come out and the whole approach is a lot more low key. Maybe that’s a top down approach – the Jim Gavin style resonating with the entire fan-base.
One trait of All Ireland week – the only AI Final week I’ve been old enough to appreciate anyway - is the over-analysing of the game by everybody, including myself – ‘They’ll win because this will happen, no they’ll win because he wears his shorts the wrong way around for luck.” The real truth is that none of us have any idea of how the game will end up, not even the players, not even the management. Sunday could come down to a gust of wind blowing the post in one inch and the ball not going over, probably won’t, but could. What definitely won’t decide the game is DESTINY. That word has been thrown around far too much over the last few days. “Sure Mayo have to win, it’s destiny.” Was it not destiny in the last ten finals? They’ve been immense this year, but that doesn’t give them a right to lift Sam. Destiny is something that people can use to describe something when looking back on it – if Mayo do prevail Sunday, then down the line people can pick points from the final and say ‘It was destiny’ – but to say it now is jumping said gun.
Neutrals Actually Like Dublin 2013
Another reason this has been a strange build up is the general public perception of this Dublin team. Whether people care to admit it or not, there is an appreciation for the way Dublin are trying to play the game. Neutrals on Sunday will favour Mayo because of the long gap, but there is a lot of love out there for the Dubs.
We’re use to the barrage of abuse from all corners of the country, with ‘neutral’ after ‘neutral’ being sure to let us know how badly they want to see us beaten. But this time its different. I think people see a Dublin win as two fingers to the modern stereotype of anti-football. But to be fair Mayo and Kerry both play open nice football, so really the traditionalists have already won.
I’ve been privileged to watch this Dublin team in 2013 – they’ve made me smile. Back in the mid 90’s Kevin Keegan had his Newcastle team playing under the strict orders of ‘score more then them’, whether that was to win 6-5 or 114-113 he didn’t care. This is Dublin 2013 – concede three goals to Kerry inside 15 minutes, who cares? It’s a blasé we are only here once lets enjoy it, type of approach. And that’s why I’m not worried about the lack of build-up and the low key approach, because come Sunday we’re going to get the same spectacle we’ve gotten since Jim Gavin has taken over – and whether that’s enough to lift Sam we don’t know, but what we do know is that they’re going to have some fun trying.