We've no doubt there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when Sean Óg's column didn't appear last week. We didn't witness any of this ourselves but we are satisfied that there was widespread disappointment at his absence from the site. At least, this is what we told Sean.
Due to careful and diligent scrutiny from our team of hotshot lawyers, readers might not be aware of Sean Óg's gigantic talent for libeling people. In fact, he is quite prolific in this regard.
This is, of course, something he shares in common with many GAA men of his alcohol tolerance. It is the primary reason why this column has become increasingly dominated with italicised preamble.
He has confidently, nay breezily, informed us about the extra-marital affairs of some of the biggest names in the history of the game. Not only this but he has demonstrated an extraordinary and intimate knowledge of their financial indiscretions, their drunken antics, the professional missteps, and their brushes with the law.
The only invention in the above three paragraphs is the reference to "our team of hotshot lawyers". In truth, journalists who've done modules in libel law are the first line of defence when it comes to protecting this publication's finances.
Last week, the unprecedented decision was taken to pull Sean Óg's column altogether following several dubious and unverified claims made about high profile GAA figures.
Suffice to say, (name withheld) was a naughty boy when he was (activity withheld) with (county withheld) during the (dates withheld). That's as much as we are allowed to tell you here.
We thought we might get away with not publishing without Sean Óg noticing. He didn't even know which publication he was writing for at the start of the summer. Alas, his knowledge of us has grown too extensive. His nephew texted him to ask him why he wasn't on the website last week. Cue outrage. He was sore about this and was determined to take it personally.
I'm not talking to ye cunts anymore. It's worse ye lads are getting. Balls.ie? It's an ironic name because ye've no balls. Afraid of getting sued. Afraid of the GAA, afraid of the GPA. (pause) What kind of stupid name for a website is it anyway?
You can piss off if you think engaging with you anymore, giving you any more of your precious traffic. Paidí don't serve this man that pint. He was just going...
It required a mixture of frantic pleading and careful explanation to win Sean Óg around to the point where he was willing to at least engage again. Living in a state of happy ignorance as far as Ireland's libel laws are concerned, Sean Óg does not quite appreciate that columnists and editors are obliged to be more careful than pub-talkers. This is a painful lesson that Sean Óg may struggle to learn.
He had to bolt from Mulligans in any event on Sunday evening due to the unwelcome arrival of Joe Brolly into his lair. Despite the fact that his opinions often chime with those of Brolly (something we have had cause to remind him from time to time), he has an instinctive dislike of the man, one which primarily dates back to Joe's early days as a defender of what Sean Óg terms "Nordie-style football". Despite Brolly's mysterious volte face on this matter in recent years, Sean Óg is not for turning on the man. He hot-stepped it away from Mulligans not long after Paul Kimmage.
I had to depart this spot last Sunday evening anyway. I had just ordered a fresh pint of Guinness and went outside for a smoke when I saw that man coming into view. It was like watching 'Hard Days 'Fuckin' Night'.
It was pathetic watching all these celeb hounds throwing their underpants at Brolly. A crowd of bloody teenage girls wouldn't behave like it. When the Beatles walked into the Adelphi back in 1963, the crowd were more restrained and dignified.
When did this man become the messiah? Every gimp with a fuckin' mobile was walking up thrusting it in the man's face.
And Brolly? As far as I'm concerned, the guy loved it too much. Hooked on the adoration and the pantomime villain shite.
I had to get out of there sharpish because I'd have lost the rag if I hung around there a minute longer. I left a full pint at the bar.
Like 90% of the GAA world, Sean Óg has little to say of interest or novelty on the replay. The cliche of mass destruction following the drawn match was that "the Dubs can't play as badly again". It is an argument which rather overlooks the possibility that Mayo may have had something to do with the Dubs playing so badly the first time around. In total, Sean Óg used the phrase "the Dubs can't play as badly again" eighteen times during our conversation on the match. We have edited down his contribution.
Mayo continue to amaze us with their ability to find new ways of cocking up All-Ireland finals. Here they are, handed a game on a plate and they still manage to toss it away. They'll regret that the next day, cos I'll tell you one thing, the Dubs can't play as badly again.
Like all half-sensible people, I never believed in that curse nonsense. But watching Mayo score two own goals was awful funny (he collapses momentarily into a bout of wheezy laughter). That'll cost them now this week cos the Dubs can't play as badly again.
The game was pisspoor. Everyone was distracted from that reality because we had a tight finish. But the passing and the handling and the shooting were all bloody desperate. Even good lads - like Connolly - were making basic mistakes all over the shop. The weather probably suited Mayo's defence, even though blaming the weather is weak as far as I'm concerned. Sure, these Dub lads are nearly professional. I do wonder what they're training for if they can't tolerate a bit of moisture.
The thing to do now is drop Bernard Brogan. The man is past it. That's the second game in a row where he's barely touched the ball. Draft in Paddy Andrews. The lad was on fire the last day. Do that an they'll be on song. I'm telling you now, the Dubs can't play as badly again.
Our attempts to argue that Mayo showed phenomenal mental resolve to dig out a draw when trailing by 0-3 in injury time were brushed away with a magisterial wave of the hand.
"The Dubs can't play as badly again", he said.
(*Sean Óg O Kneejerk was in conversation with Conor Neville)