It’s all a bit mad around here at the minute, isn’t it?
It’s taken me a little by surprise, truth be told, as work is busy enough right now, so I’ve been caught on the hop by the surge in traffic to the site since the weekend. This has seen the daily hit count reach record levels on Sunday – where a new daily high of 34,149 page views was recorded – with that target smashed to smithereens yesterday, when 46,931 hits were logged.
Thankfully, things appear to have calmed down a little today but I’d say this is just a collective pausing for breath before everyone gears themselves up for the weekend and all it entails. But a rest of sorts it is and for that we should be thankful.
On the way to the weekend, of course, there’s provincial action involving the county at both U20 and Minor levels. Tomorrow evening at MacHale Park the county’s U20s face Sligo in the Connacht semi-final (throw-in for that one is 7.30pm) and on Friday evening at Tuam Stadium it’s the Connacht MFC final against Galway (throw-in also 7.30pm). So it’s football all the way for the rest of the week.
Ahead of all that, how about a bit of light reading to distract you?
Let’s start with a bit of tactical looking back at the Armagh game. Aidan O’Rourke has a very good piece on the RTÉ website (here) where he talks about how our ageing titans – though, mind you, they’re not all ould lads – have adapted their hey-day playing style, a move he reckons could make us “more efficient and ruthless”.
Kevin McStay in the Irish Times today (€) also channels a similar end-of-era mood as he looks ahead to Saturday evening’s clash. In a piece that’s mainly focused on us, Kevin reckons that defeat could well spell the end for a number of long-serving players, an observation he says holds true regardless of who ends up losing. He could be right.
Back on the RTÉ website Peter Sweeney observes – as we’ve already done here – that this will be the first knockout Championship tie involving Mayo and Galway in twenty years. John O’Mahony features in this piece and here too there’s talk of what defeat might mean for some of the elder statesmen on both teams.
Back in the here and now of how we’re faring this year, Billy Joe Padden’s tactics column in the Mayo News (here) looks at how we won – and nearly bloody lost – against Armagh and considers what we need to focus on ahead of Galway.
Also in the Mayo News, Edwin McGreal poses three pertinent questions ahead of the showdown with Galway. I’ve a piece in this week’s paper too – that’s here – where I muse about sitting on the rocket that’s dually fuelled by the blog and the podcast.
Narrowing the focus back in to Saturday’s game and who may or may not be fit to face Galway, it’s being widely reported that Lee Keegan is out, Jason Doherty might be okay and Aidan O’Shea’s moon-boot might just have been precautionary. Pieces covering this: Irish Independent, RTÉ, The 42 (where, if you want to get annoyed, read the comments below the line. Sadness comes in many forms in this world.)
Right, that’ll do you for now. It is only Tuesday after all.