Carr: I knew Dubs would lose '92 final a month beforehand
IT'S been 19 years, but Tommy Carr can still pinpoint the moment where he felt the 1992 All-Ireland final was starting to get away from Dublin -- and it came around a month before the final.
With their place in the final already secured, the Dublin panel went to watch Mayo take on Donegal in the other semi-final.
It was a dull encounter and with 10 minutes to go, one un-named Dublin player rose from his seat and declared to his team-mates: "We'd beat the pick of the two of them."
"At that moment I felt 'that's not a good sentiment to leave Croke Park with'," said Carr at yesterday's Vodafone All-Ireland semi-final press conference.
"That was the beginning of the end because it's very hard to get rid of that view of the opposition. I don't know if you remember it, but it was a deplorable game. It looked like neither team wanted to win it. It was pathetic stuff."
The 1992 decider presented the Carr family with a remarkable opportunity.
Twelve months earlier, Declan Carr led Tipperary to a Liam MacCarthy Cup and as captain, Tommy had the chance to match him by bringing the Sam Maguire to Dublin.
"There was a lot of talk around the time about two brothers winning (an All-Ireland) in successive years with two different counties in two different codes. It wasn't a huge thing for us at the time," he said.
"What was probably harder was that I had spent about seven years trying to win an All-Ireland. I came on the scene in 1985 as a 21 or 22-year-old and played in the '85 All-Ireland and you'd always have felt you'd have plenty of chances to win an All-Ireland because you're playing for Dublin. That's the way you thought in those times.
"But seven years later, it still hadn't happened and suddenly we got that opportunity in 1992 and we didn't make it happen. You then felt 'it's not going to happen then at all'.
"There was a funny feeling about it too. There was a sense that because of the way we approached the game we didn't deserve to win it. During that year we had been very good about preparing mentally for games and taking nothing for granted.
"We went into that without thinking we could lose and all we could see was the steps of the Hogan Stand and the Sam Maguire cup and the celebrations."