What can I say? A bad, bad week following a very bad Sunday. First up, I would like to apologise to the genuine Tipp supporters out there. I didn't perform, didn't do the job we had prepared for and have to hold my hands up for that.
Having been competitive in the first half, we were taken to the cleaners in the second half. Kilkenny got on a roll, scored three goals in rapid succession and we couldn't turn it around.
The final result seemed unlikely at the half-time mark. I thought we were competing well and had a good chance of pulling through in a tight finish. That's what I meant afterwards when I said the plan was working -- we were well in the game and a point up after the first 35 minutes. I was confident that we could drive on and win it.
At half-time it looked to me like the game was going to be similar to the 2009/2010 games and go all the way to the wire.
But when you get hit with three goals in quick succession, it's like a heavyweight knockout punch. You're left reeling and disorientated. We didn't see it coming and didn't respond when it did happen.
Of course, after the game all the pundits knew at half-time we were going to get hammered -- they just didn't say it before the match or at half- time.
The final scoreline defines everything that's gone before.
As it turned out, I didn't trouble the scoreboard, which in itself is not the be all and end all if the forwards as a group are creating and taking chances. We didn't and ended up only scoring 1-15 in 70 minutes -- not good enough.
What can I say to our genuine supporters? Again, I, as an experienced player in the group, have to hold my hands up and apologise. We didn't deliberately go out in the second half to get a trimming, but that doesn't soften the blow.
Fair dues to Declan Ryan. After the match he stuck by the players and didn't go casting blame all over the place, as others have done in the past. Declan also did his best to hold up the start of the second half as I wasn't out in time. I got delayed by 30 seconds, changing my boots in the dressing-room. This time I took too long and was late out.
As it turned out the game had started when I came out. It shouldn't have happened and was a distraction, but I don't think the short time I missed made any meaningful difference to the game -- no more than if a player is down injured for a minute or two.
The Tipp support had been building since the start of the year. Three championship wins, another Munster title and it looked like we would be back close to the top competing for the Liam MacCarthy for a fourth year.
That was the expectation entering the game and it ended in disaster. High expectations followed by a complete let down, of course there is going to be a backlash.
A lot of people have been good since the game and don't feel the need to rub salt in the open wound, but other pundits seem to delight in the misery and take pleasure in personalising the defeat. Why some people feel it necessary to belittle fellow GAA people on national TV and in newsprint I don't know.
Most players have been in a situation like we found ourselves at 5.15 last Sunday at some point in their careers. However, a number of former players quickly forget this, and the mistakes they made as individuals during their career. I can also confirm that there was no deliberate premeditated master plan to get anyone sent off -- that is simply not true.
The subsequent torrent of personally abusive comments, tweets and articles is something that I've grown used to. The anonymous letters and phone calls are part of the game now. Maybe it was payback for taking time off earlier in the year, I don't know.
Maybe a professional soccer player can change his address, job location, email address and phone number but for an amateur hurler, it's a little more difficult.
Most of the stuff you can put up with, there isn't much choice. But when it's coming from people that were in the same situation, as former players, you would hope they would have some understanding of the low you find yourself in after a result like this.
And, of course, it's not all bad. The same people around Thurles and Tipp who've always supported us are still there, encouraging. The people who'll help you out regardless of whether you ever hit a ball can still be depended upon. "Keep the head up, it'll pass in time," is the general sentiment around town.
Life goes on. You have to keep a sense of perspective. Many others have real-life troubles with ill-health, bereavements and financial worries. We, on the other hand, lost a game of hurling. Passing Dr Morris Park in Thurles on the Monday morning after the game, I saw a couple of hundred kids from around Thurles at the hurling Cul Camp -- hurling away, happy out.
Children maybe seven years of age, many of whom had been at the game the day before. They'd moved on by the following morning and were back out hurling. I could hear the shouts and laughter as the different age-group mini games went on. Adults feel the need to stick the boot in; kids seem content in the company of their friends, playing the game that they love.
Time will pass. We'll soon have a club game to get ready for. There's always another game. For the Tipp minors that will be an All- Ireland final against Dublin on September 9. Their superb performance against a really good Galway team shouldn't be forgotten just because us seniors didn't live up to expectations.
There are a good number of those lads who'll make the breakthrough over the coming years and win positions on the senior team. Life and hurling will go on, as always. The wheel keeps on turning.