Action, meet reaction

leeroy-chilled

It’s a bit like Newton’s third law of motion right now with the whole Leemuid business. Unveiled as a fairly shabby and transparent attempt to blacken our man’s reputation, Dublin’s amateur hour effort at dirty tricks has over the last 24 hours produced a strong and vociferous reaction from our side of the fence. Better still, their tactics have now become the butt of scorn and derision into the bargain.

The tipping point – the moment this whole thing reached jump the shark levels – came when Ger Brennan was wheeled out to add to the anti-Lee chorus. Who on earth could have thought it was a good idea to send out a Dublin player so well acquainted with being on the receiving end of red cards to bat on this issue? Well, some genius clearly did and the result was, as you’d expect, all a bit comical – report in today’s Irish Examiner here.

It was Tony Leen, by the way, in the same paper who yesterday became the first national journalist to call out the Dublin dirty tricks department on this issue and he did so in no uncertain terms:

Add to the rising hilarity from our standpoint, the Irish Dublin Independent had a cry-baby piece this morning quoting those Hill 16 “Army” numb-nuts who apparently can’t get their hands on tickets for Saturday. A guy described as their “group founder” – which means he set up the social media accounts – reckons our lot are only trying to get our hands on Hill tickets “to spite” the opposition. Didn’t you hear, lads – Hill 16 isn’t Dublin olny? Truly, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

There’s been plenty of stuff being made up all over the place today on the #ThingsLeeDid hashtag on Twitter. I generally recoil from “let’s get this trending” campaigns but I’m prepared to make an exception this once. If you need a belly-laugh, this is the place to head to – piece about it on Sports Joe here.

On the more serious side of things, it’s good to see that there have been plenty of solid contributions inside the last 24 hours aimed at bringing some much-needed balance to the Leemuid debate. What’s good about these is that not only do they nail the lies being put about by the opposition they also aim to introduce a bit of reason to the discussion.

Edwin McGreal in the Mayo News (here) goes behind the on-field story to show that there’s more to this mano a mano than is seen out on the pitch at Croke Park. Ed says that this duel is one that really should be savoured, a point that Ger Cafferkey, interviewed by Donnchadh Boyle in today’s Indo (a rare instance of balance from that organ), also emphasises in defending his team-mate’s reputation.

Enda Varley, speaking to the Irish Mirror, does likewise, with some bonus laughs courtesy of a re-run of that Ger Brennan intervention covered in that one too. Meanwhile John Casey, speaking on the Hard Shoulder podcast for Balls.ie, launches a strong defence of the “phenomenal” Westport player, stating that Lee “certainly doesn’t have a dirty streak. He has an aggressive, winning mentality.”

Okay, I think the message should have got through at this stage.  We’ve had the ham-fisted, bungling character assassination job – one that a proud, successful county like Dublin should really and truly be ashamed of – and now we’ve had a fairly candid and forthright retort from our side of the ditch.

I know that serious consideration was given to an official Mayo GAA media response on this issue. I understand the view has now been taken – correctly in my opinion – that what’s already been said, in particular over the last 24 hours, across traditional and social media platforms constitutes sufficient rebuttal to the amateurish and poorly executed smear campaign waged by the other side. It really is time to put this one to bed, I reckon, so we can focus on the game.

To get you in the mood on that front, there’s some good stuff in today’s papers. Mike Quirke in the Irish Examiner has a super piece about Donie Buckley, the Kerryman in our corner, without whose involvement I doubt very much these great times would have been anything like as good as they have been.

Over in the Irish Times, Malachy Clerkin has a sobering piece on all those stupid goals we’ve conceded in big matches since 2012. Malachy zeroes in on the majors we’ve coughed up in semi-finals and finals over this time period and one can only wince at the list. Darragh Ó Sé’s column in the same paper is also out today but it’s sitting behind that pesky paywall so I can’t, I’m afraid, say anything about that one.

To finish up instead, Colm Parkinson’s piece on Sports Joe yesterday (here) is worth a look. He talks about what it feels like to have been in the position – as Laois were in 2004 – of having not played at the optimum level in a major drawn game (the example he references is the Leinster final that year against Westmeath) and how they proved unable to hit the required heights again in the replay, which the Lake County, with Páidí Ó Sé at the helm, famously won.

That’s your lot for now. Keep chuckling, people. And remember: Lee’s got it.

Not got a ticket yet? There’s one last and final chance to do so in the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto, with six tickets up for grabs in Friday evening’s draw. Play the Lotto here

80 thoughts on “Action, meet reaction

  1. Dublin lining up a host of former players is no coincidence and smacks of desperation in my book. Nothing coming out of camp Mayo but inside I reckon they are bouncing to get out on the pitch and prove everyone wrong…rain or no rain.

    Time to chill now….Il be honest I am giving up reading the papers at this stage. We had a four week wait before the final and 2 weeks to the replay…that is 6 WEEKS of build up and reading…too much for this particular posters.
    Wake me up at 5pm on sat. Up Mayo!

  2. Well said Willie Joe, that puts it all nicely into context. It was important that our side got it’s spake in given 2012, and now it can be put to bed.
    I often think that the players taking to the pitch and going into battle are living a totally different reality to anything we can imagine right now. Regardless of what is being said this week or any other week, they’ll have to cross the white lines on Saturday and face off each other and none of this will matter. It really won’t. They’ll know deep down if they fancy it or not and how the form will be on the day.
    That was a class anecdote in the Mayo News about Diarmuid sending Lee the pair of boots last winter. Also, the pic at the end of the drawn match where both touched gloves briefly, and probably grudingly, demonstrated the obvious mutual respect that is there.
    Of couurse those niceties will count for nothing on Saturday! But the real narrative of all this is that two spellbinding players will go toe-to-toe once again, on the biggest stage possible. As football supporters, does life get much better? No way. This is a battle for the ages and there is nowhere on earth I’d rather be than in Croke park to see it. Can’t wait for the match.
    Come on Mayo!!

  3. Yes! all looks good at this stage. There’s something around that almost lets you forget the big day that is Sat! Maybe it’s a new found confidence in their ability to take the award or maybe it has all to do with the masking effect of all that tautology that’s been trotting about for the last week! That is from a passer by …. wouldn’t want any of the team to relax so.
    It happens in theatre btw that first performance can throw up a lot of unforseens but focus is usually good. On second night often there can be patchy moments due to reduced tension/ alertness/presence! And again anything can happen.
    Hopefully our control of events will be a major feature of the day.
    Hup! Hup! Mayo !! Where ever we are you will hear our roars!

  4. It has been great see all the positive feelings from fans on here since the drawn game.
    From my own ways of looking at the game I’ll be holding back a small bit on the optimism because, yes there is a chance we could lose.

    If it does hàppen i don’t want to be facing into the dark days in a depressed state.
    Will it be any worse if we lose this time compared to any other time? I don’t think it would be, so really we have nothing to loose but can you imagine the craic if we do win !

    Truth be told we haven’t been good enough up till now .We can blame refs ,own goals injuries whatever but its still 15 v15 and we haven’t been able to lift the cup.

    So what about this time will it be any different ?We have more or less the same team for the last few years.Can we come up with something new that will get us across the line this time?

    The one thing that i see this time is a savage hunger in the team and the fans too.
    If the Dubs had beaten Donegal in 2014 they would be going for 4 leagues and 4 championships in a row this time. As it is they are going for the double double which hasn’t been done since 1932.
    I think they may have passed their peak fitness for this year so here’s hoping that we can exploit this on Saturday.
    COME ON MAYO! !

  5. Something to watch for as it happened a few times in last 2 Dublin games v Kerry and v Mayo is Dublin defenders pushing players to the ground off the ball – a la black card innocent victim McCarty

  6. Like all great protagonists in the opposite corner i have little doubt that Lee and Diarmuid will be regularly catching up for a pint on All ireland weekend in years to come…the only question is will they be doing so as peers both with celtic crosses or….not.

    The Joe.ie stuff is very funny.

    one more…. Lee Keegan fathered Kim Kardashian #thingsthatleedid

  7. Willie Joe, I see in the wonderful picture of Lee you have up, he had just cracked the wall he’s leaning up against, he. gave it. a warm up ‘shoulder’ and the wall cracked. Heard ‘Cillian’ gave him a lesson in breaking walls, sure. Cillian has been jumping through concrete walls all summer! Seen it on #ThingsLeeDid that he once shouldered the ‘Tower of Pisa’ it. has since been renamed!

  8. Connolly is 6ft 1 inches tall. Nearly 14st in weight. He is a big man. It’s above the neck he has had trouble. Whatever happened in drawn game Lee and Diarmuid touched gloves on the way off the field. That’s that. What happens on the field stays there. 2 fine players. It’s been blown way out of left field.

    Keegan is 1 of a very few to quieten connolly. And to do it on the biggest stage means how good he really is. I think our main problem is in midfield. Mobility and tracking is essential here and if seamie don’t step up on his last performance were fucked. But I’m sure he knows this and will make amends .

    Keegan keegan keegan keegan. That’s my chant the next day

  9. I can hear it Toughnup! Sounds great. We ‘ll surely have one big gain from this enterprise whatever way it goes. The established choirs in the county will be having to open wide their doors to accept the mass influx of new members now that we re finally finding our voices! Would ‘nt it be a fitting thing…… The Big Band and all of those chords working together?

  10. Can you imagine it….? Thousands and the Band, all swaying from side to side to Moonlight….change key to West Awake…on to Green And Red of Mayo….finishing off with a right dollop of stand Up!!!!
    I’m nearly having to wipe my eyes at the thought!

  11. What a total cock up by the National (Dublin) Media. They have gone so overboard on the Lee issue that it has made it laughable. I think Maurice Deegan will have the hardest job on Saturday with the Dubs baying for blood. Cool heads required from our lads and we could take full advantage of this side show which will hopefully spill over to the Dublin players.

  12. I think one of stupidest phrases phrases in GAA is “if the dubs had beaten Donegal they’d be going for 4 in a row” first of all it was a semi they were beaten in second of all if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle. The Dublin centric “national” media would have us believe these super humans are unbeatable. It’s all bollox.

  13. My hope is our Mayo lads are onto pitch 1st this time and warm up (you know where).
    Hill 16 is Mayo’s too. Now there’s a thought.
    What a great photo that’ll make for the ages to come. No more nicey nicey from players and supporters. WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER TO WIN!!

  14. Mairead,
    unfortunately that won’t happen I’m afraid. To my knowledge Dublin will be out first as since 2006 when they got their panties all knotted as Mayo warmed up into the Hill, the GAA have relented to them and now it’s all done in Alphabetical order, to ensure they have their favorite dressing room,

  15. Mairead, would be a nice photo but Dublin will be scheduled to come out first and there will be GAA officals at their door to make sure they are on time (John Casey, you will be safe thus time around). Anyway this time I would prefer Dublin to warm up in the hill end and when they look up and see Green and Red they will realise there is no 16th man with them this time.

  16. Fed up with the Keegan and Connolly fiasco can the media not give it a rest. Up Mayo little did I think after Galway defeat that Mayo would be in a replay as long as they preform I will be happy.

  17. I have been slowly going blind reading everything in the early hours of morning and night. The hounding Lee was getting was dreadful and it was great relief to join in on #thingsleedid today. Well done to all of you on the work here, especially Trevor.

    Look forward to continuing to catch on all #allthingsmayoGAA. Thanks a million Willie Joe for all of your hard work.

  18. Fed up with this thread. What Connoly and Keegan get up to is repeated on every GAA pitch in Ireland. There is nothing exceptional about it. Lets talk about real tactics and not turn this blog into Hogan Stand or a Mayo version of Hill 16 Army. Dont know about you but I am finding it hard to get tickets despite looking after people from other counties when Mayo are not in the final.

  19. I have to say, I just laughed when I saw the headline about Brennan this morning. They they might have gotten away with it up til yesterday, but today just pushed it so far beyond the line that it became farce. I mean, Ger Brennan FFS? Above anyone they could have wheeled out.

    The response from the Mayo fans – and indeed at this point, the rest of the country – has been brilliant and has rightly made a mockery of the whole campaign. Mayo GAA were correct not to dignify this with a response; rather letting fans, ex-players (they came good eventually), local media and a host of neutrals call it out for them. And boy, have they called it out. That’s the epitome of Andy Moran’s words. “In this together.”

    If I were Maurice Deegan at this point, I know what I’d be thinking, and I am now convinced that because of the Dubs over-egging the pudding, this will actually reduce the threat of the ref affording it any importance.

    As Sinead says above #WhatLeeDid has been a very welcome bit of light relief when we’re all getting a bit weary of these shenanigans. Got more than one belly laugh out of it today. Well done to our own Trevor Naughton who started the whole thing off.

    I loved Edwin’s piece which shone a different light on the whole rivalry. And this is a rivalry that if we’re honest, most of us love.

  20. Prefer if Mayo come out second. Let Dublin come out first. Let them get their cheer.

    Then when it dies down, the “MAYO MAYO” chant should start up before our fellas even leave their dressing room. They should be able to hear it from inside their room.

    Can you imagine the scene as Rochford is giving a few last words and then they hear the chant. Can you imagine Cillian saying “Christ lads, can you hear that noise”?

    Can you imagine as they are in the tunnel waiting for some fella in a suit to give them the signal to run out. Can you imagine how that would feel for them in that tunnel to be listening to a deafening Mayo chant before they are even on the field.

    Our work starts on Saturday about 60 seconds before Mayo are due out. Everybody please be on board. Dont forget the giant green and red flag on the Hill too. Have it in position before they emerge on to the field. No half measures here people. This stuff matters. We have a role to play too.

  21. We all got a chuckle out of this and I think we’ve made our point. I think it should be parked now and let’s focus on the game rather than talking about individuals. I doubt this kind of sideshow is good for the heads.

  22. Yes agree , park it but in fairness to WJ it’s probably ok for one day to highlight the shite that the dubs are trying to stir up in the media re Lee ,. Feckin long week and no luck with tickets yet . .

  23. I think we should put the Lee/ Connolly episode to bed and let Lee carry on as usual next Saturday. We have obviously rattled the Dubs and this is just a mean and cheap was to discredit one the finest players in the country, and get Deegan on their side.It is a very sly low level way to get the ref.and his officials to scrutinize Lee’s every move.
    What I would say to the, Dubs come out and fight like men and don’t be looking for special treatment before a ball is kicked, after all they are supposed to be this so called team of the ages, with all this shit about the process they have developed.
    Mayo should just go and repeat what they did the last day with interest and show no respect and run at them every chance they get.
    I would like to see Aidan at L.F.F. Andy at F.F. and Barry at R.F.F. just to see how they would cope with that.

  24. After Ryder cup where the legendary Christy O Connor played magnificent winning shot

    Golf fan:Did you see the shot Christy played.Magnificent

    GAA Fan:Yea but would he have done it if he had anyone on him?

    Connolly is like that .If Dublin could get Lee away from him he would be magnificent!

  25. Dublin have made a fool of themselves with this negative spin campaign. And let’s not forget the ridiculous bleating about Hill 16 and their ticket woes.

    Time for us to focus on ourselves now. Let them worry about trying to blackguard the media and officials. They’ve been called out on this and there’s every chance they’ll suffer for it.

  26. Managed to get a ticket last time not looking as promising this time at all. I actually thought it would be handier this time .

    If anyone has one to spare . Doubtful i know but nothing to lose in asking .0894155894.

  27. Sean you will get ticket. I promise u. They will surface and if I hear I will let u know.

    Anyone think about what team we would like to see the next day ?

  28. Sean Burke (and everybody else). Tickets will surface from Friday evening onwards.

    Keep eyes and ears open. We seriously need to get as many into Mayo hands as possible.

    Toughnup. I would like to see Dillon play a longer part. His point the last day was a thing of beauty. He is not a man for hopeless wides either.

    Diarmuid O’ Connor does not look right to me. Not since that night when he cut loose against Kildare in McHale. Dont know what the story is with him. Would also like to see Conor Loftus given a bigger role. There’s goals in that fella. Andy Moran made it to the 70th minute last time. Probably no need for the Peter Canavan role for him now either. He is in for the full match.

    We lost the toss the last day. If we win it this time, the Dubs play into the Hill first half.
    Aiden O ‘Shea out to midfield.

  29. John Maun poured cold water on Leroy campaign on Six One News. Great to see a bit of balance in this discussion at last.

  30. I was afraid of Brady speaking about this as you never know what he’d come out with.All in all the Mayo narrative came of it the better.O se seemed to be chiming in on our side as well.Advantage Mayo.

  31. Anyone else think this puts massive pressure on Connolly? This stuff must creep into his head that he needs outside help to shake Lee. He didn’t perform well in last years replay after all the media attention, it could rattle him again this year.

  32. There is a lot of propoganda going on. I see on Dublin fan page claiming Mayo clubs are sending tickets back. Utter trash considering most clubs have not handed tickets out yet but just shows the narrative that’s out there. We have them rattled and they don’t like it.

  33. @ FW, I agree with you there, it always looks better for us when a neutral like Tomas O’Se is backing us, his comment “The Dubs are well able to dish it out themselves when they want to” sums it up really. Lets hope things move on from this saga now.

    Malachy Clerkin’s article today in The Irish Times was very interesting also about the goals we have conceded in the big matches. Keeping a clean sheet in the replay, would go a long way to getting the end result that we all want to see!

  34. John Casey having his spake now too. Describing it as a “planned and coordinated campaign” by former Dublin players. Mentioned Philly and Cooper too.
    Desperate stuff alright.

  35. The thing should be put to bed now for the next couple of days and hopefully Deegan has steered clear of most of this and will ref the game in a fair manner to both teams. On to the match!

  36. Our side have made a fair few comments now, so time to put an end to it.

    We’ve come out the better after all of this, so let’s stop before someone (yes David Brady, I’m looking at you) says something foolish and gives the Dubs some kind of moral high ground here.

    Christ will it ever end, now Coman Goggins has had his say.
    Personally I’m looking forward to Mark Vaughan coming out and espousing the virtues of true sportsmanship and high moral standards.

  37. The Dubs are still at it!

    Coman Goggins has an idea which could give Diarmuid Connolly the upper hand in battle with Lee Keegan
    Read Coman Goggins column every week in The Herald

    I believe there are merits in placing Connolly on the edge of the square for a significant portion of the game and have Bernard Brogan or Dean Rock loitering with intent around him. Not only would this bring Keegan out of his more natural habitat, it would mean that both players are under the gaze of a couple of umpires, something that might benefit the attacker.

    Simply replicating 2015 was never an option for Dublin but remaining true to the pure footballing ability that courses through this team has been the cornerstone of success. If Dublin can shift the mindset to a more attacking focus, their offensive know-how should shoot them over the line.

  38. What Deegan should be looking at closely is the punishment meted out by several of the Dubs on Cillian O’Connor whom they rightly regard as our main scoring threat. Just look at what McManamon and McAuley tried to do to him the last day and then Cooper throwing the boot at him as the players trooped off! What Gavin and his crew would love to see above all is Cillian sidelined one way or another.

    And when, oh when, are the GAA going to announce what fine they’ve imposed on the Dubs for their 5-minute late appearance last Sunday week when they tried to pull another fast one on us. Or are the top brass afraid to ruffle the feathers of our sensitive opponents before the big game. And surely the Dubs should also be sanctioned for breaking away from the pre-match parade as it came to the Mayo-packed Hogan Stand. What a furore there would be if we broke away before the parade reached Hill 16!

    Finally, I had to laugh when Darragh O’Se reckoned in today’s Irish Times that the weather might have a big bearing on the replay. Does he not remember that it was raining cats and dogs when Dublin hammered Kerry in last year’s All-Ireland final???

  39. Happy birthday today to ALAN DILLON, A GREAT servant to mayo football. i hope your foot is better by saturday to come off the bench to score another point

  40. Dublin is running scared of mayo . We beat them on dry days and drew with them on dry days no six point head start Saturday mayo by 5. Bring it on .just a rumor heard mayo co board offering a great deal buy 5 hill 16 tickets get 1 free.

  41. Everyone keeps saying stuff about friday that there will be lots of tickets available.There is rumour that mayo clubs wont get rid of allocation. Someone a fairly informed lad a brother in law of mine over in england has said to me “dont you worry about tickets, general sale on friday, just keep a close eye on gaa offical site” surely no way.

  42. Dan, just spotted that Coman Goggins piece. It’s full-on scripted stuff, again totally on-message, calling for DC to move to get closer to the umpires, bringing Lee with him – “something that might benefit the attacker”.

    If I were Maurice Deegan I’d be starting to feel pretty damn irate at this point about this relentless implication from Dublin that he’s not capable of doing his job by himself … just saying.

  43. Sean you will get a ticket eventually but I would be utterly shocked if any club anywhere in Mayo were sending back their allocations!

  44. I have brought this up before and no one has answered the question yet; where are the 2500 ten Euro tickets? Looks like they will be off loading 50/70 each of these juvenile tickets if they can to the clubs at the very last minute. I know fundraising is important but the CB and a lot of clubs have got far too greedy in the past few weeks….

  45. @Sean Burke

    I hope any of those Mayo clubs with all these spare tickets will send a few over to the Stephenites because the max allocation promised from the county board will still be about 190 short of the paid up members of the club!!!
    I would say it is even worse for Mitchell’s who must have at least 600 club members!!!!

  46. General sale for tickets, sweet jesus I’ve heard it all now.
    Well done to all who pushed back against the concerted effort by the Dubs to influence Deegan and the officials.
    Maigh Eo Abú

  47. Sounds like another rumour to stir things up about tickets coming back from Mayo, my local club not getting their full allocation until later today and tickets very scarce!

  48. Well done to the mayo fans for standing up for lee. We did is before any mayo pundit opened their mouth. Id agree that dermo must feel like an ass that he needs this dirty tricks campaign running for him. I really expect this game to be absolutely filthy probably like the first game last year. I cannot see the officials being able to control it. There is alot of bad blood between these two now.

  49. Can’t see tickets going back out of county. None of my Mayo work mates here in Galway have ticket in hand nor have I. Relying on family in the county to get extra and most of us on the outside are the same. Lots if leads, no ticket. Last minute. Com. We could easily have enough Mayo people for all the tickets, kids who weren’t allowed to first game alone would ensure we more than match the Dubs in number.

  50. I just can’t see there being any returns from any clubs anywhere in the country let alone the county for this match.
    And I don’t have a ticket yet either.

  51. I’d love to see Mayo try some “outside the box” stuff at the start of the game. Maybe pull Doherty back on Connolly for 10 mins and give Lee a free reign to run at the Dublin backs, forcing them to foul him. After all of the calls for cards for pulling and dragging, the Dublin smear campaign would spectacularly backfire and cause panic on the Dublin sideline from the off.

    Bring it on!

  52. Don’t know if I’d fancy that idea Luigi. But I would like something new of course like being more alert, supportive, clinical, ruthless, composed, decisive and bossy! Just love to see us brilliant but prob a mediocre performance could see us through on this day of days.
    Ar aghaidh Fir Mhiigheo!

  53. Good man Inbetweener. If you could make that 4 tickets or 6 that would be better still.

    Do you need some tearjerking sob story cut and pasted from some facebook competition?.

    Something like “I’ve been to all the games since before I was born and I’d love to bring me [Dad/Mam/Brother/Sister] who’s the biggest Mayo/Dublin (delete as appropriate) fan ever. He/She’s not been able to go lately due to a (insert something like terminal illness for maximum effect) but would love to see Mayo/Dublin (delete as appropriate) lift Sam one last time.

    And no, I’ve not been to every game either.

  54. Tsall righ…Tsall righ..Tsall righ..!!!! As P O Shea was heard to roar to his line when thinking about making a change v Mayo the day Flanagan had to bail out! Memories!!!
    Sorry about that now FBD but I couldn’t find that feckin box I put things in! That’s me bucked too but sure look it, we ll be meeting ye when ye re coming down to deliver the goods!!!

  55. Win or lose I’m very happy that the team and management have done their homework and should be well prepared. I wouldn’t mind a little luck coming our way too! This will be a sweet victory beating what most people believe to be the best team in recent times. Up Mayo!

  56. I tell you what, they’re a nervous wreck over there on Reservoir Dubs…throwing up weather charts and all kinds of nonsense. Hopefully it’ll be dry on Saturday one less excuse for them to moan about

  57. That’s gas, Joe – I see they’re also wringing their collective hands at the bad relations on social media between the two supporters, which is a bit rich given their own track record on what’s been posted there down the years about players and supporters from other counties.

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