You’d have to wonder about that.
Sack the Kingdom and the Dubs equal the 34-game record posted by, who else, Kerry back in 1933 and, with a pointless Roscommon pitching up at Croke Park the following week, history would be there for the taking.
Fitzmaurice caught the second half of Dublin’s game against Mayo on Saturday night and his claim that they “looked as good as ever” was hard to dispute after the Leinster side’s 12-point cakewalk.
“They are an outstanding team,” said the Kerry manager.
“They are setting records left, right, and centre. There is not much that we can do about it. You have to go out and try to win.
“From a player and a management perspective, you talk about those things after a game or after a season. It is not going to provide any additional motivation or anything like that for us.”
All that aside, this is still a big game for Kerry.
Sunday’s win in Roscommon eased rising relegation fears but lose a third Division 1 encounter of the term and their last two group games will be devoted to avoiding the drop. Win, and they can eye a possible final.
Still, it is the Dublin factor that will dominate the build-up. It was, after all, Kerry who last managed to have their number back in March of 2015 when the hosts earned a two-point win in Killarney.
Mayo have now lost 11 straight to Dublin and, though Kerry’s list of reversals fall far short of that, there is still the sense that they have bowed the knee once too often to the capital side.
“Absolutely,” said Paul Murphy.
“We have to rectify that, try and move on and keep looking up the league. Dublin are in our way now and that is the way we will approach it.”
Kerry at least approach the Austin Stack Park game with their tails up after an important win in Dr Hyde Park, one earned by standing up to a stirring late run by the hosts.
The manner of it — holding a six-point lead, seeing it dwindle to one before winning by half-a-dozen — must have been pleasing, given they lost to Monaghan in the previous round despite leading by five points late in the first half.
“That is an encouraging sign,” said Murphy.
“We were very unhappy with the Monaghan performance, we would not be expecting to lose six-point leads so we could not have allowed it to happen two weeks in a row. It was pleasing to bounce back this week.”
Meanwhile Jack O’Connor has named his Kerry team to face Clare in the Munster U21 Championship quarter-final at Austin Stack Park tomorrow.
The team contains six of the side defeated by Cork in the Munster final last year: Tom O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom Leo O’Sullivan, Barry O’Sullivan, Brian Ó Seanachain, and Matthew Flaherty. With the exception of Matthew O’Sullivan, all of the side have won All-Ireland minor titles.
S Ryan (Rathmore); TL O’Sulli (Dingle), J Foley (Ballydonoghue), T O’Sullivan (Dingle); B Sugrue (capt, Renard), A Barry (Na Gaeil), D O’Brien (Glenflesk); B O’Sullivan (Dingle), B Ó Seanacháin (Ballydonoghue); B Barrett (Ardfert), S O’Shea (Kenmare), M Flaherty (Dingle); C Geaney (Dingle), M O’Sullivan (St Michaels-Foilmore), C Bambury (Dingle).
R Hayes (St Senan’s); D Connolly (Adare), J Liston (Gerald Griffins), E Sheehy (Granagh/Ballingarry); B Fanning (Pallasgreen), S Murphy (Newcastle West), M Donovan (Galbally); J Ryan (Oola), T Childs (Galtee Gaels); P de Brún (Firies), H Bourke (Adare), K Ryan (Mungret); K Daly (Na Piarsaigh), AJ O’Connor (Newcastle West), B Donovan (Monaleen).
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