By and large, Mayo's victory over Dublin last night was celebrated throughout the country.
Gaelic football had become stale as we watched Dublin cruise to All-Ireland after All-Ireland, with only the odd scare here and there all that was left to entertain the masses.
There has been a sense that this Dubs side was not quite the unstoppable force that it had been in years gone by. Many thought Mayo had a chance, even if it was not a big one.
However, there was no doubt who deserved to emerge victorious after the 90-plus minutes of action in Croke Park. After a poor first half display, James Horan's side battled back and were full value for their victory.
A first victory over Dublin since 2012, it is something that this team deserved.
Many had long written this group off, Joe Brolly included. The former RTÉ pundit has long been open in his views that Mayo lacked what it took to get over the line on the big occasion, raising that point once again earlier this week.
Writing in his column for Gaelic Life, said that Mayo would never win anything as long as what he deemed as a 'celebrity culture' was still present in the group. He also said that a Dublin victory last night was 'inevitable'.
Horan has a charmed group of untouchables, who will never be taken off regardless of performance. This is corrosive to the culture.
The others feel they are dispensable and when they are unable to logically justify the disparity in treatment, they become aggrieved, the bonds of togetherness essential for serious success are not forged and the project is doomed...
This group is doomed and will not win an All-Ireland until the celebrity culture is banished by a manager who is not himself a part of the celebrity culture.
Holmes and Connelly tried but were ejected after one season by a coup spearheaded by the charmed inner circle. Rochford brought them closer than anyone with the excellence of his coaching. But they were doomed to fail, inevitably losing out when it came to the crunch, because Rochford did not have the courage to take on the problem.
Instead, the players quietly got rid of him after two seasons, preferring to go back to the comfort of their first coach. Never mind that he was tried and failed. Things would be just the way they liked them under Horan.
Another three years of plucky failures, plenty of commercial opportunities, lots of TV time, TikTok videos and a smattering of All-Star awards.
Dublin’s culture means victory is inevitable on Saturday. This Mayo group truly does not understand the joy of football, which is all in the journey, not in the anti-climax of a victory.
They are a team that does not operate in the real world. They do not face the truth and deal with it. Instead, they are happy with the instant gratification that comes from awards and a victory here and there. A league title. A Connacht title. Padraig O’Hora has come in (belatedly) and is made of the right stuff. As are Keegan, O’Donoghue, Mullan and a few others. But it is not enough.
To be fair, he gave them the credit they deserved last night.
One of the great goalkeeping performances by Rob Hennelly. But for me, Padraig O’Hora is the beating heart of this new Mayo, reminding me of Alex Ferguson’s line that in the end, the game is about character.
— Joe Brolly (@JoeBrolly1993) August 14, 2021
While it was one thing to say Dublin would win, to write this Mayo team off in such a manner after all they have achieved in recent years certainly seemed premature. If it were not for the presence of the greatest team in the history of Gaelic games, it is likely they would have had at least a couple of All-Ireland under their belts at this point.
They still have plenty of work to do if they are to end that particular hoodoo, but at least the Dublin monkey is now very much off their back.