Tuesday 24 April 2018

There's four sides to this final story

One of the big problems for a neutral on All-Ireland final day is deciding which team to support. But, being from Sligo, I have plenty of practice at this difficult task and I find that drawing up an exhaustive list of pros and cons is helpful, though there's also the option of doing the Irish underdog thing and cheering for the side that's losing.

Cheering for Dublin --

Pros:

1 Novelty. There was something immensely refreshing about seeing Cork break the Kerry-Tyrone stranglehold last year. The Dubs, in a first final since 1995, would be another welcome breath of fresh air.

2 We won't have to keep watching those clips of the 1977 semi-final if Dublin actually manage to win another game against Kerry.

3 Bernard Brogan's displays over the last couple of years deserve an All-Ireland. Alan Brogan and Bryan Cullen are due a winners medal too.

4 Someone will record an auld Dubbelin tribute ballad along the lines of '14 men' or 'the likes of Heffo's army'. Who's not looking forward to that?

5 The explosion of joy on Hill 16 if Dublin actually make it will be something to be behold. Try keeping those lads off the pitch.

CONS:

1 It will make Bertie Ahern happy. And Joe Duffy.

2 Dublin are a much more pleasant team under Pat Gilroy than they were under Paul Caffrey. But there's always the prospect that imminent victory might see a return to the showboating, opposition-taunting antics of yore.

3 We'll have to hear about what a blow this victory is to the accursed alien code of soccer in the city.

4 We'll be watching clips of this victory over Kerry until they beat them again in 2045.

5 Donegal will claim they could have won the All-Ireland because they should have beaten Dublin in the semi and thus be emboldened to persist in their negative ways.

Cheering for Kerry --

Pros:

1 Because there's really nothing like watching a classic Kerry final performance.

2 Colm Cooper's displays since he began his inter-county career mean he deserves an All-Ireland medal every year. Same with Tomás Ó Sé.

3 Kerry stand for everything that's good in the game, after a championship which saw new depths of negativity being plumbed a win for the Kingdom will prove that the footballing way remains the best way.

4 How are they going to survive another harsh winter down there in the wilds without having an All-Ireland final victory to talk about? They'd turn to cannibalism or something.

5 My daughter Emily's best friend Aine is looking forward to wearing her Kerry jersey around Skibbereen in the aftermath of the victory.

CONS:

1 Haven't they got enough All-Irelands? Don't they ever get tired of winning them? Surely they won't begrudge Dublin one measly All-Ireland?

2 You won't be able to go into a pub in West Cork without meeting smug Kerrymen from now till Christmas.

3 Guys will send me cranky e-mails saying that this proves beyond doubt, Kerry are better than Tyrone.

4 The horrible unctuous way commentators say 'Star' and 'The Gooch' when Kerry are winning.

5 I'll never forgive Paul Galvin for giving me incorrect advice on the best way to wear skinny jeans. Bastard.

Sunday Indo Sport

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