There tends to be one every couple of years and this summer the fairytale run belonged to Carlow.
Victory over Wexford in the preliminary round of the Leinster Championship was the side's first victory in the showpiece in six years.
A date with All-Ireland champions Dublin went as expected, but Turlough O'Brien's men didn't stop there. Victories over London and Leitrim prolonged their summer before crashing out to Monaghan in Round 3B.
'Carlow Rising' was the phrase coined as the plucky underdogs showed that there was fight left in the county.
And while O'Brien enjoyed his summer and even a brief appearance on the Sunday Game, the Carlow manager bemoaned the lack of coverage the traditionally smaller counties receive.
Speaking on Saturday's Off The Ball, he said:
I think the whole approach about the GAA and how they’re promoting the game and marketing the game is wrong. The concentration on promoting Dublin and Kerry is nothing doing anything to promote the game across the country.
Jim Larkin once said that the great appear great because we’re on our knees. Well that goes for us in the GAA. The great appear great because we’re not getting a mention. We’re not in the story.
I think there are fantastic stories in every county across the country and they’re not being covered. There’s a wonderful opportunity for the national newspapers to get in on this.
Carlow have had a great year. There have been some great stories and we’ve embraced that side of it because we wanted to promote the game.
He also took aim at journalists covering the games and said that their research needed to extend beyond the obvious.
Journalists have to be more adventurous than deciding they’ll cover Leitrim and Longford. They have to talk to people on the ground.
I think that some of the coverage of the lower teams just goes back to their coverage of their national league games. Three or four players they’ve picked out as top scorers. That’s the extent of their knowledge.
A little more research might help.
O'Brien admitted that his side decided to make the most of the coverage they were afforded for a time and urged those writing about the counties to find the "human stories" that are rife within the GAA.
It’s really about the characters, it’s not about winning all the time. People love to hear the human stories. People like Sean Murphy who sheared sheep the morning before we played Dublin.
We’ve had so little coverage in my lifetime in national newspapers. This year we said we were going to take any opportunity to promote Carlow.
I’ve said before that if there was a national league of journalists, they’d all be in division four!
You can listen to O'Brien on Off The Ball in full over on Newstalk.com.
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