We are living in a polling vortex. Everything is polled. From opinions on VAR to the ‘Great Jamie Heaslip Podcast Plebiscite’ debacle, we have tested and tasted so much that instead of just cooking a family dinner, it’s best to create a twitter poll, socialise it, and wait an hour before going to the shops. The adage “if everything is important, nothing is” now applies to polling; if everything is worth polling, maybe nothing should be.
Around 45 minutes from throw-in time, with the sense of anticipation building in Kingspan Breffni Park ahead of Donegal’s semi-final win over Tyrone, a familiar figure was calmly stepping out distances between the cones he was setting down and the poles he was plopping in.
The same week Stephen Rochford embarked on his first of three underwhelming Connacht championship campaigns with a visit to Ruislip, another manager familiar with some football grounds in London as well as working with top players for a support base craving silverware brought out a book called Quiet Leadership.
Eugene Lavin knows relegation, the reality and the fear of it. There was the relegation play-off defeats to Armagh and Kerry 30 years ago. Hazy in his recollection now but it was the loss to Kerry in Ennis that saw them drop from the top flight.
Tom Parsons is here and he isn’t. Like at a séance, journalists sit around a mobile phone in Breaffy as the Mayo midfielder chats from his Dublin base. Certainly a first for an All-Ireland team’s press event.
Mayo’s decision to deploy Aidan O’Shea at full-back to man-mark Kieran Donaghy isn’t the first rabbit from the tactics hat that the westerners have employed 2017 – Lee Keegan, drawn All-Ireland quarter-final v Roscommon.
Former Mayo forward Conor Mortimer has said that more of his county's forwards "need to step up" after their single-point defeat to Galway in Sunday's Connacht Football semi-final at Pearse Stadium.
Mayo fatigue is being experienced across the country but this team doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. That belligerence has to be respected yet the question is, can they transform doughtiness into dominance? looks at the arguments for and against.
On March 19, 2017, Kerry are set to entertain Dublin in their round five Division 1 game. Should Dublin extend their current 29-game unbeaten run to that point, they will have the opportunity to match the greatest invincible stretch set by the Kingdom between 1928 and 1933 when they went 34 matches without a defeat.