THREE days to go and cabin fever is setting in. This column can't wait for the 'dream' All-Ireland final and yet is liable to topple over the edge into full-blown insanity if compelled to write - even once more - those two short words, 'dream final'.
(Aarrgggh, that was the sound of a falling columnist). Forget all the hoopla and sideshows; why can't the game itself just happen? Right now!
Ergo, in desperate search of light relief, Curve Ball has gone trawling through the Dublin player profiles (available on the Dublin County Board's website www.hill16.ie) and the Kerry pen pictures (courtesy of a glossy All-Ireland booklet produced by their own county board).
And, guess what? It worked! We did stumble upon the occasional gem, intentional or otherwise. Here are a few snapshots...
BRYAN CULLEN: Best advice you ever got: "Get your retaliation in first." (And from the captain, of all people! We can already hear the angry mothers of Ireland on the blower to Joe Duffy.)
GER BRENNAN: Ambitions: "Win a couple of titles with the club, and All-Ireland with Dublin, deepen my relationship with God." Toughest Opponent: "My craving for chocolate." (Hopefully Declan O'Sullivan won't take offence.)
DAVID HENRY: Ambitions: "Live till 100." (A welcome change from virtually every other Dub who delivers the predictable line about winning one All-Ireland; or two, in the case of a greedy Tomás Quinn ... or 10, in the case of hurler Liam Rushe!)
STEPHEN CLUXTON: Favourite position: "Corner-forward." (Well, if he's going to take the frees, it's the logical next step.) Best advice you ever got: "Don't talk to the media." (He told us exclusively -- not.)
KERRY PEN PICTURES
We should stress that the players below are not responsible for these, ahem, colourful descriptions penned by an unidentified wordsmith, so any angry complaints from offended inter-county stars should be forwarded to their own county board...
KIERAN DONAGHY: "The Star -- if Gooch is Robin, then Kieran is Batman without the cape!"
MARC Ó Sé: "Mr Dependable -- best man-marker in football today." (This was obviously written before the usually stellar Ó Sé ran into Andy Moran.)
PAUL GALVIN: "Braveheart -- Oh yes he is -- oh yes he is -- a dedicated follower of fashion!"
DECLAN O'SULLIVAN: "Mr Classy -- gifted and verbose -- leads by example." (Eh, when did verbose become a term of endearment?)
PáDRAIG REIDY: "The Shadow -- tenacious defender who should not be forgotten." (There's a hidden message in there somewhere for Jack O'Connor.)
TOMáS Mac an t'SAOIR: "Has the loneliest job in football -- reserve goalkeeper." (Try being a Donegal forward.)
COLM COOPER: "Superhero -- sells more dummies than Mothercare!" (Good grief, any more of these and you'll find Curve Ball at the bottom of a very high cliff. This match can't come quickly enough ...)