For the first time ever, the same man has lifted Sam Maguire four years in a row. Today was Stephen Cluxton's sixth All-Ireland and his fifth as captain. And at 36, he shows no signs of wear and tear or slowing down, and has had another incredible season, winning the kickout battle today with Niall Morgan and even being compared to Che Guevara by Colm O'Rourke, somewhat bewilderingly.
Cluxton's speeches haven't always been as memorable as his performances but there is also a certain quality to it not following the age old structure of the All-Ireland winning speech. Níl áthas air an Corn Sam Mhic Uidhir a ghlacadh.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 2, 2018
This year, in between the regular thank yous and acknowledgments, he also snuck in a little dig to some of the criticisms often thrown at Dublin and their natural and manufactured advantages. When mentioning the stellar work of the Dublin County Board, he made special mention of that kind of coverage.
To the officers of the county board and the staff of Parnell, we'd like to thank you for your endless work and dedication to the team. And regardless of what people say about money and population, to put these teams out and really, really go as hard as we can.... (Cheers)
It's unusual for a Dublin player to acknowledge these criticisms and the fact that Cluxton put it in his speech talks to the frustration the panel no doubt feel about this coverage possibly undermining the greatest run the county's history, and one of the greatest in the history of the game anywhere.