Time to turn our rheumy eyes to 2014 and show losers some love
Wash out the taste of a rotten 2013 with decent league campaigns for Sligo and Leitrim and Kildare
Let the Mayo footballers keep on keeping on, especially after their defeat to Dublin (above).
We end every year the same way, godding up the winners from the 12 months just gone as we circle the plughole one more time. It’s a nice tradition, not least for us media monkeys who would otherwise be on our knees in the dirt scrabbling for nuts and morsels at a time of year when there’s damn little sport around to provide them.
The glasses have all been raised by now though. They’ve been raised, drunk, refilled, reraised, redrunk and regurgitated. There is no horse left to flog – or if there is, it’s your local supermarket’s freezer section that’s doing the flogging (see how long ago 2013 feels already?)
Time to turn our rheumy eyes to 2014. And just for once, some love for the losers. The people who couldn’t bear to read an end-of-year review piece, who lunged for the remote as soon as any kind of retrospective came on the TV. They suited up just the same as the winners but when the time came to snapshot the year, they were faces in the far back row of the photo. A thought or two spared on their behalf, then.
Let the Mayo footballers keep on keeping on. Funny how all but one other team in the country failed to win last year’s All-Ireland yet it’s to Mayo we look first. That’s their curse and it’s far more acute than anything to do with a funeral in Foxford in 1951. Let them rise above it, secure them in the knowledge that the vast majority of teams can’t beat them.
Come back healthy
Let Donegal come back healthy. Grant that young Cork team a few early results. Find room for Paul Galvin in a Kerry team with only the odd legend left. Wash out the taste of a rotten 2013 with decent league campaigns for Sligo and Leitrim and Kildare.
It would be nice if the Galway hurlers could find some strength this year after the tragic winter’s loss of Niall Donoghue. Whether they do or they don’t, let them find a way back to some sort of normality. Ease a few of Kilkenny’s older soldiers back into action at their own pace. Rattle the Tipp hurlers out of their torpor. Have someone truthfully tell Oulart The Ballagh they’re a credit to their people.
This isn’t big and this isn’t clever but it really would be a lot of fun if Brian O’Driscoll scored the winning try against Wales in the Aviva next month. If it only levelled the scores and Johnny Sexton had to plant a tricky conversion to win, so much the better. Fix Seán O’Brien’s shoulder. Stitch Stephen Ferris back together once and for all.