Photo: Mayo News (Conor McKeown)
So, then, how’s your crushing disappointment getting on? With the homecoming now behind them, I hope the players’ mood is rising. The last thing they would have wanted would have been to come up so agonisingly short once again but that’s what happened and all they – and we – can do now is look to the future.
I was in bad shape yesterday myself but I’m in better fettle today. I’m definitely more buoyed up 48 hours on this year than I was last year or even compared to 2013. Maybe I’m getting inured to one-point final defeats to Dublin but, whatever it is, I’m emerging from the wreckage this time in a more optimistic frame of mind than previously.
I’m not yet ready to give any kind of considered thought to next year but there’ll be time enough for that. Once the provincial championship draws are made in early October then it makes sense for musings to pivot to 2018 and what might lie ahead of us then.
There are, of course, more immediate matters on the horizon. The ladies final – another Mayo/Dublin clash – takes place this Sunday and the All-Star football nominations are set to be unveiled on Thursday. Then, once the weekend is over, the focus will shift rapidly to the club championship action which will be getting going in earnest once more. The world truly does keep turning.
Yesterday was an exceptional day in many respects here on the blog. The deluge of comments, from so many contributors, was great and the content of them so uplifting. It was also nice to see sprinkled in there several comments posted by people from other counties, including from some gracious Dublin supporters.
Our respective teams went at it hammer-and-tongs on Sunday and, no doubt, will do so again when they meet next year (as, you’d think, they’re certain to) but Sunday’s final is over now. We’re all GAA people at the end of the day and the ability to engage in respectful debate with each other is one of the things the GAA does best, even in this often boorish social media dominated age we live in.
All that discussion on the blog yesterday obviously translated into a surge in web traffic. It won’t surprise you to learn that yesterday smashed the previous daily high on the site but it may come as a bit of a revelation to know that the record which finally tumbled yesterday had stood for over two years.
That high – 26,270 hits – was set on the last day of August in 2015, which was the day after the drawn All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin back in the Noel and Pat era. Traffic to the site around the time of last year’s two final matches came close to this high but didn’t reach it and this was the case with the two Kerry games last month as well. Yesterday, though, the record tumbled in rather spectacular fashion, the new high watermark finishing at midnight at 30,317.
Dropping by here was, then, clearly a form of therapy for some and I’m glad – and a bit humbled – that it was. Part of my therapy yesterday was, shortly after 5am, recognising that I wasn’t going to get any more sleep and so deciding instead to get up and write that piece I’d promised to provide for this week’s Mayo News.
In parting for now I’ll let you decide for yourselves whether or not that early rising was justified – the piece in question is here.