We were the better team over the two days and we still lost. It is definitely a curse. Mammy says we need to get the Pope down to Knock and then get him to McHale with the holy water to exorcise the place. She’s great. Leeroy was muttering something about a contract on a couple of ould lads. Donie said no point in giving it to Cillian because he’d miss.
But we definitely got a couple of things wrong. I had promised Rob a long while back that if we got to a final I’d give him a game. It was after he made his Communion and bought me a Curly Wurly with the money. You can’t go back on your word.
Then the Dublin media got Leeroy the black card. I was standing beside the ref and he said ‘look Mr. Keegan, Charlie Redmond, Ger Brennan and Paul Clarke cannot be wrong – it’s black for you.’ Imagine mounting a media campaign to ask somebody to apply the rules! Mad!
The one good thing was that I was able to get Conor on the field too. It was such an honour to have 3 brothers on the field at the final whistle. I think it’s the first time a losing Mayo All Ireland final team had three brothers on it – so that was great. Mammy was delighted. Daddy said it was the kind of record every father could only ever dream about. He seemed very emotional and was shaking his head as he said it. I didn’t know what to think. I still don’t.
I was devastated when I got back to the dressing room – because someone had stood on my hair gel and it was just everywhere. Firm hold and CK boxers do not mix well. Lots of the fellas were crying so I told them my Dermo Connolly joke about him counting to infinity twice – but nobody laughed.
Sometimes the lads can be a bit of a pain to be honest. Cillian was particularly bad – whinging like a baby. I would’ve thought he did enough of that on the pitch. But I suppose when you are the joint manager and miss the chance to save the match you are going to be sad.
Stephen then came bounding into the room then with a big box of Fat Frogs. He got a great alcopop sponsorship deal so at least we knew the bus journey home was going to be fun - as long as we could stop for a pee.
The homecoming was a great bit of craic. I love being on the back of a trailer – especially when there is no hay on it. The sound system was awful but as Keith said at least we were getting good feedback. Thousands of people coming to McHale in the rain even though we lost again – no wonder they are the best. I wanted to borrow that plastic Sam from the old guy on the Hill for them but I couldn’t see him anywhere. He probably couldn’t get a ticket because Mayo fans hoovered them all up. I love us having more fans there than Dublin to see us losing.
I didn’t even go to Coppers because I heard Cluxton say they were going there. I’d really love to be a Dub and if I went and had a few drinks I’d probably let the cat out of the bag. I love practising my Dublin accent when I have a few pints. ‘Story bud, will ya gerr off out dat, sound as a pound, the process, gwan ya good thing, ya know wharr I mean.’ I got very good at it in DCU. Once I was doing it in a Dublin pub and the barman said are you from Mayo? I was raging. I said, ‘how did you know?’ He said, ‘it’s the string holding up your trousers’.
Anyways I think I’ll take a few months off now. As Mammy says you can bring a horse to water but a pencil has to be lead. And I don’t know how many more times we can go to the well without going home thirsty. And then there’s the hunger too. Sure if we get any hungrier we’ll be skeletons.
I’ll work on me book for a few weeks. Typing with the two fingers is very slow but thank god for spell check. My book title ‘Super Aido the Curse Breaker’ will have to be changed. Daddy says ‘Heavy on the Mayo’ would be a good title but I’m leaning towards ‘If Only We Had 15 Aidos’. Keep a spot in your Xmas stockings. But I’m having a fierce row with the publisher about keeping the colour-in pages in it.
I better go – Shamie is calling me for a game of GAA on the Playstation. I get to be Dublin ... and I always win!
Slán go fóill ...