All launched up but nowhere to go

RTE launch at St Vincents

Photo: @GathererTony (via Twitter)

As well as being in the midst of First Communion season, we seem to be swimming in championship launch events at the minute. The Ulster championships were launched as long ago as 30th April at the MAC in Belfast and then last week it was the turn of Leinster (on Tuesday in the sumptuous surroundings of Farmleigh) and Connacht (on Thursday at the Centre of Excellence in Bekan). The Munster variant is due to be held tomorrow at St John’s Castle in Limerick.

This is, of course, all an exercise for empty yapping, with managers and players furiously down-playing their chances of success while smiling, or going all mean and moody, for the cameras. There was more championship yapping yesterday afternoon down the road from here when RTÉ were broadcasting live from St. Vincents where their summer coverage was launched on the Saturday Sports show, with Dessie and his big, soft grin and the whole Sunday Game crew on hand for the event.

Despite all these launches – and with New York almost a week out of it already – no shots are due to be fired in anger on the football championship today. This is, however, the last quiet Sunday we’ll have before the action all gets going in earnest.

Ulster, as it always does, will provide the first battles of interest, with Tyrone entertaining Down at Omagh a week from now. Closer to home, though, there’s a contest the same day that’s of more than academic interest to us, as Roscommon host Leitrim at Hyde Park (throw-in 3pm).  The reward for the winners in that one will be a home semi-final against our lads on June 8th.  Soon enough, then, we’ll be back in the thick of it.

50 thoughts on “All launched up but nowhere to go

  1. Thanks WJ.
    I asked earlier if anyone knew of impending challenge matches.

    We will be twiddling our thumbs for a while, so I expect some games have been lined up – or will they all be behind closed doors?

  2. The Roscommon v Leitrim game will be played in Dr Hyde park. Fine orange tan on Des Cahill!

  3. Delighted to see all this stuff in the papers today about Offaly’s Darby goal putting an end to Kerry’s 5 in row and how this Dublin team is good enough to go one further.. with the championship now under way you would wonder why anyone else would even bother as Dublin are already certain to retain sam for 2014.. the easier the journey they have to the knock out stages the better.. This Dublin team are good, probably better than last year but they can be beaten..

    On another note.. not looking good for Leitrim with both Fergal Clancy (collar bone) and Ciaran Egan (knee) both out for the Roscommon game.. with such a small pool of players to choose from its something that Leitrim can ill afford. In the Hyde I think Roscommon will have just to much on the day

  4. Jesus you’re right there 45, it’s a tough one to pick the biggest gobshite out of that stellar line up of gobshites

  5. I don’t see the biggest gobshite of all (the derryman) there. Does that suggest RTE have dispensed with his services or maybe he has gone to Sky or is it just the case that he was unavailable for the launch and we ll have to put up with his sneering stupidity later on in the year.

  6. Mayo will come out of Connaught again without too much drama. It’s what happens when we face the big boys for real that will tell our tale for 2014.

    If we get by the obstacles and face the dubs in a repeat final, all Mayo have to do for a walk in the park is to “pressure Cluxton, pressure Cluxton, and of course pressure Cluxton. That’s it. The championship is not he leauge,. Cluxton thrives on pressure when it’s on his terms but will lose control every time when opposing players face him down and get into his headspace. In the right words just take his control away by what ever means neccesary and you render Cluxton impotent. I think Cluxey was man of the match in last years AIF.

    Anyways that’s how you beat the dubs if anyone is interested. Target Cluxton and the rest will take care of itself.

  7. “45” & “Dan” surely ye’re not implying our 2 lads ; Kevin “Shot selection” McStay & Martin “very much so” Carney are anywhere near as bad as the rest?

  8. mcstay and his folder with the sheets falling out of it boils my blood, carney can be ok , not exactly alpha male commentators either of them sadly and this most likely due to not having a celtic cross , they probably feel they cannot face down their fellow pundits when they consistently run down mayo and connacht.
    please god when cillian o connor is doing the sunday game in 2034 he’ll have 3 medals in the back pocket and will take no kerry/meath/derry jibber jabber!

  9. Joe ruane i spent 2 days trying to explain to my daughter why that woman had a beard,now how da hell would ya explain them pair of freaks

  10. I hear ye lads. McStay sickens my hole when he starts pontificating about “shot selection”, I seem to remember him making a balls of many a “shot selection” when he was togging out! We used to call him “wing mirrors McStay” because he always had a quick look behind him before he went down for the ball. What colour is a ducks foot?
    Whatever about Spillane or O’Rourke at least they were integral members of era-defining teams and have the medals to back up their opinions. I have a bit of time for Ciaran Whelan also and I actually like Brolly. However, O’Hara is a joke and his rant against the Sligo manager last year was typical of a spoilt little brat that was too used to getting his own way in the Sligo set-up for far too long. I work with a lot of Sligo men and there was not one of them sorry to see Barry Moran “open him up” two years ago. Using his insider connections with RTE to get a handy job sits him in goo company with Dessie “who ate all the buns” Cahill.
    I liked Ryan McMenamin and Phillip Jordan when they had a go at it last year also.
    The entire football side of the RTE coverage has become very staid, tired and bland. It badly needs freshening up and is certainly the poor relation when you compare it to the hurling analysts where Loughnane, Farrell, Eddie Brennan and Sheedy.

  11. I never realised Colm O’Rourke was taller than Ciaran Whelan and the little lad from Cork looks like he just kicked a 14m free wide from in front of the posts! Glad to hear Niall Quinn over the weekend confirm he will be attending matches (and as such not working on Sky Sports).

  12. Lads go azey on mc stay and carney. They are our own after all. Martin carney owes Mayo nothing when it came to football, playing in a very poor era for Mayo. Mc stay was awful unlucky with injury and I for one wouldn’t relish the prospect of marking him when he was at his best.

  13. “the little lad from Cork looks like he just kicked a 14m free wide from in front of the posts!” Brilliant Trevor 🙂 🙂
    As regards Quinn, I am in full agreement. It’s bad enough to listen to him on soccer punditry it would be impossible to put up with him talking GAA.

  14. I agree diehard. Martin Carney is a sound man but come on it’s just gotta be open season on Mcstay all year round.

    I was just thinking the unthinkable, what if you cross bred Cahill with Morrissy, what would you produce? Ya defffo could make a hollywood blockbuster movie from the result. I’m thinking a Chucky type character but instead of a doll you’d have some kinda killer ompa lumpa transexual. Any ideas for a title would be greatly appreciated.

  15. Has anybody got the actual listing of RTÉ’s championship coverage for this year??

  16. Surprised at the invective aimed at McStay . Fine footballer, All Star, produced a great U21 team in 2001 but got screwed up over Foot/Mouth debacle. Mayo won semi in May but final not played until Oct to suit Ulster teams. McStay and carney owe nothing to Mayo, both did great work with under age Mayo teams taking them to 3 U21 finals plus a minor one. I for one would welcome McStay as the next Mayo senior manager .

  17. I presume all those criticising Martin Carney and Kevin McStay played better in their own days.
    Most of the posts in the last few days prove the old adage “if you have nothing to say, say nothing”

  18. With the way a lot of ye are talking about two of our own I’d hate to hear what ye would say if they were from another county.Either one of them could very well be involved in a future Mayo management setup,I suppose ye’ll be fully behind them then.Show a bit of respect to WJ and other users and cut out the shite talk

  19. A great bit of bitching lads! Could we raise the stakes and sell tickets for a wet tee-shirt mud wrestling contest to help pay off Parc de McHale?

  20. Would not mind a fully fit McStay in his prime lining out at corner forward this Summer.
    A fine two footed foottballer who if memory serves me correctly scored two excellent
    points off the dogged Nial Calahane in the 89 final.

  21. lads I think the comments on McStay and carney are a little over the top. There are times when one or both annoy me but sure we’re never going to agree with everyone all the time. Both have served mayo with distinction whether playing or coaching (or both) and one of them may have something to contribute to mayo senior football in the future too.
    Having said that, RTE do need a shake up with their football coverage.

  22. Agree Mister Mayor, bad mouthing McStay is way out of order, it they’ve nothing good to say about him, maybe it’s best say nothing….

  23. I seem ta remember mc stay kicking as many short frees into goal keepers hands as he kicked over da bar but having said that ive talked to him on a few occasions and he is a nice bloke

  24. Well said Andy D, JC and others about the ‘bitchin’, unwarranted and unnecessary imo.
    MaighEoAbú

  25. Shaking my head at this thread but I have to admit I had a chuckle at Wing Mirrors McStay. I gotta say, I don’t mind either of them, but then, I even like Brolly, so what would I know? Extremely discombobulated having run into Ciaran Whelan over in NY and found him to be a very pleasant likeable fella after all my years of ranting about his on-field thuggery. I think I told him so too, though maybe not in so many words 😉

  26. I hear Michael Gallagher has a very good interview with JH in the Western today. I can’t get hold of a copy until tomorrow. Has anyone seen it? Has JH anything interesting to say?

  27. The only problem I have with McStay is that I feel he has consistently declined the opportunity to stick up for his county and the West in general especially when coming up against the other three main pundits on RTE. He may have spoken out once or twice but he just has not done it often enough when on the Sunday game.

    Brolly on the other hand will always stand up for the North. O’Rourke might hate the Dubs at heart but at the same time he is the Leinster man on the panel. And they have the reigning champions in their province. And Pat will always applaud whoever comes out of the South be it Cork or Kerry.

    Whelan is ok I think. O’Hara looked inexperienced last year especially over the Kevin Walsh debate. Personally I always thought Anthony Tohill was exceptional but they seem to have drooped him completely which is a shame.

  28. Think Carney and McStay are quite good analysts but I am obviously biased. Having AI medals does not guarantee a good analyst. Having said that I think O Rourke and Whelan are good but to be honest I cant stand Brolly and Spillane with their endless criticism of lads who make huge sacrifices playing for their counties regardless of the strength or weakness of their counties. I hate their sneering attitude and their gloating when they get the odd prediction right and their rather pathetic attempts at humour . Going back to Carney and McStay I agree with John Cuffe. Neither owe Mayo anything. They were both fine players and also good managers. Both took Mayo U21s to AI Finals and McStay managed St Bridgids to AI Club success so I think both are entitled to respect.

  29. Just remember, all of the staffers, pundits, and analysts are in it for the money and their egos, so forget about their badges of honour from their playing or management careers. Judge them on on what they say and indeed what they fail to say before, during and after matches nowadays?
    But that’s of course if you give a fiddlers about most of their opinions in the first place?

  30. Anne Marie,

    Thugs, like con men, usually come across as very nice people when you meet them first.
    That’s how they get away with it.

  31. I wouldn’t be a lick arse like some here with respect this and respect that. We’ve paid respect long enough and what did we get, nothing. So a little less respect and alot more honesty and eventually we might do it

  32. @JPM Anthony Tohill seriously injured his hand last summer when he was using a chain saw at home so I think he may be taking time away from TV for that reason? Can;t see any other reasson why he would not be on The Sunday Game as like you said he is a decent pundit.
    PS: I think the staleness of The Sunday Game Show has lead to the unravelling of this particular thread and leading to all sorts of weird and wonderful/not so wonderful comments. Perhaps Headmaster WJ needs to put us back in line or hand out extra homework 🙂

  33. @cloud9 Read the interview with JH in the Western People. The main aspects in the article was looking back on the Derry match and league review, Keith Higgins, Black Card, current training, a supposed rift between JH and Donie Buckley, Jh being a dictator, watching games from the stands and injuries. There also features details in another article (Front Page) of JH stating that the Mayo team did not snub the fans at a fundraising night the Friday night before the NY game.

    Just on that last one about snubbing the fans, i cannot understand how fans expected to meet the Mayo team for a fundraising night two nights before a championship match. It would be highly unprofessional to do so. Imagine if the unthinkable happened and NY were to have won the game, reports would have been that the Mayo players were out at a fundraiser two nights before a championship match. Full support for management on any decision to concentrate on the game instead of going to a fundraising night. Have it after the game if need be but not before.

  34. Folks , I am solely running down his pundit persona.

    I supported him to the hilt as a player and admired him , he really was a fine footballer and as john cuffe says owes us nothing.

    BUT…!!

    I am in the JPM camp in his lack of sticking up for connacht , I may be wrong but i believe he was sitting beside Spillane when he said that connacht football should be given “junk status” , not a peep out of the bauld mcstay . the next week we went up to dublin and gave cork a good seeing to in the quarter final.

    he consistently fails to stick up for connacht football ( even though he has actually done great work for underage and for club football himself !!) while brolly defends all ulster and then brolly has the hide to deny it afterwards!
    his fiddling around with his folder and sheets falling out of it annoys me too.

    WJ if my comments on mcstay are too harsh or seem biased then i understand if you take them down.

  35. Would ye give over on McStay “sticking up” for Connacht, as if the poor little province is getting bullied by the big boys. How sensitive are ye? Spillane is a poor analyst and is on the panel for entertainment’s sake (not that I would consider him entertaining). Brolly can be a good analyst when he wants, but he too spends too much time trying to ‘entertain’ the audience. McStay and O’Rourke are by far the best analysts – with McStay showing a level of maturity and lack of bias that is seriously lacking in most of the other pundits.

  36. I’m glad he stuck it to the Connaught Telegraph because I felt the reporting of that paper after the All Ireland defeat was terrible and I said so on here. It boardered on personal and certainly fed into the dispondent atmosphere in the county afterwards. He based his lazy jouranlistic piece on hearsay, rumour and unsubstantiated stories and I vowed then, and have stuck to it since, never to buy the Connaught again. If it was a critique of the performance and decisions made on the day that would be fair enough but Aiden Henry went for the cheapshot and tried to make hay on the back of a countys heartache.

  37. GBXI , the fact is that the vast percentage of viewers whther it be jamie redknapp or pat spillane or eamon dunphy they are watching then just parrott out what they hear on the telly. Leinster, dubs aside , is not much better than connacht but you wont hear that, no instead its “kildare are the fourth best team in the country” Spillane , “meath are never afraid of dublin” etc etc and such seafoid.

    i think we have a right to call out such poor punditry and maybe a right as well to expect fellow panellists to call it out.

  38. GBXI,

    I agree with you that McStay’s job on RTE is to comment rationally and honestly on the match and not to defend Connacht – or Mayo for that matter. I would like to think that most viewers are capable of being rational and seeing beyond the bullshit and cheap jibs of the likes of Brolly and Spillane. Unfortunately all pundit panels seem to have one or more whose job is just to be controversial, stir up comment on the newspapers and public and generate publicity for the programme. For other sports we have Eamonn Dunphy and George Hook and the like. if other pundits like to make eejits of themselves that is their business. One of my best memories is Colm O’Rourke;s face at full time of a Galway – Mayo match a few years ago when Mayo had a poor first half and O’Rourke spent half time making jokes about Conor Mortimer and Kieran McDonald’s hairstyles. Mayo came out in the second half and wiped Galway off the field leaving O’Rourke to pretend and explain the why. I have to say I don’t usually see the Sunday Game or whatever they call it as I am usually travelling home from games or wetting my whistle when it is on and i rarely remember to record it. It’s not one of my priorities.

  39. Peewee09 – thanks for that. I’m looking forward to reading it later.
    Agree fully with you – it was a County Board stunt to get more people up to Yonkers for that event. JH is spot on. We didn’t go, knowing common sense would prevail.
    Sure on the night after (Saturday) we were in Connollys upstairs for two hours before the junketeering Co Board boys arrived and then wanted the management to evacuate the place so they could collect the $20 a head. It was a joke.
    Thankfully most of the great Mayo supporters there went over and bought the tickets anyway, without giving up our seats.
    Same crack on the Sunday night – there was an Ad in the match programme stated $50 to meet the team in one of Rooney’s bars that night. Everyone I spoke with was giving it a miss. Entry dropped later to $30 but if they had said earlier it was for the players fund (not the Co. board again), the street wouldn’t hold the supporters, never mind the bar.
    Fair play to JH standing up against no nonsense lazy journalism and also for standing up to the Co Board !

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