Home thoughts from abroad on the All-Ireland championships
‘A lone Donegal fan was in an empty carriage and had his head in his hands. He cut a forlorn figure. Who says nobody cares about the provincial championship?’
– If you stand outside the Oldcastle pub on W54th on championship mornings – run by Eugene Rooney, Mayo shot-stopper circa 1972 – you can hear the voice of Marty Morrissey in full flow drifting towards Sixth Avenue. For the unsuspecting throng of international tourists who trudge up and down this thoroughfare all day long, the sound of Marty in rhapsodic mode is unlike any sound they have encountered in their native continents. Some come to an absolute standstill and stare into the sky, as if enchanted.
– Is it true that while on stage in Thomond Park, the Boss congratulated the Treaty county hurlers on winning the Munster hurling championship before musing, “whatever the f**k that is”. If not, it should be.
– If baseball or gridiron umpires were aware of the plight of the GAA umpire – the powerlessness, the excruciating uncertainty that comes with waving the flag for a protested score – they would go on strike in solidarity.
– Even from this distance, it is plain to see that there is something about Mayo this year. If it really is Mayo’s year, then the county will go berserk. Warn the troika that they won’t hear tell of Enda Kenny between September and Christmas.
– It is time we began to face up to the fact that Barack Obama’s Irish heritage is not as important to him as we would like to think. He was asked for his views on Ollie Baker’s season with Offaly at a White House briefing and hadn’t a dicky-bird.
....And after Nowlan park has emptied and Bruce and the E Street band are back in the dressing room basking in the afterglow of a wonderful evening and fretting about the calorie count of the delicious current bread, a sharp knock on the door will announce the appearance of the groundsman, who will wave a huge set of keys in the direction of Steve van Zandt and say with mocking softness, “Have ye no homes to go to lads?”