Where did I go wrong? A good Cork city woman putting two of my sons in Green and Gold today for Kerry day at school. They start the brain washing young these days. I gest, or maybe not. Don’t forget I tell them, you’re half Cork. ‘Yeah, yeah Mom.’
If you have nowhere better to be or your team alas has not made it to the All-Ireland, ahem, there are fewer places better to be the Friday morning before the football final than your nearest Kerry town. This morning I found myself in Tralee, trying to fit my youngest Kerry son into his first pair of shoes. New shoes on we strolled up the street to suss out the craic in the town for the weekend that’s in it. And there they were gathered in little groups, looking for any excuse to walk up the Mall to talk about Kerry’s chances; the Kerrymen.
My inner Corkwoman dancing on the spot at the audacity of these people lining their main street in Green and Gold for the Homecoming. With their guesthouse places in Dublin booked since before the Munster final for the third weekend in September.
I take my newly shoe-ed buachaill for a cup of coffee to The Grand in Denny Street to get to the heart of the football speculation. You’re sure to spot a former footballer and watch the natives talking in code around the subject of tickets.
‘Not a ticket to be got.’
“Like Gold dust.’
And you know that it’s in a very rare and unavoidable incident that will be talked about for decades when a Kerryman doesn’t get into Croke park of an All Ireland Sunday. Remember ’86 when I had to watch it from Quinn’s. You poor thing, almost as bad as the, is anyone listening, the defeat to Tyrone. Say nothing.
One man, shaking his head this morning, whispered into his coffee that they were putting on a ‘very strange team’ and if I didn’t know better, I think it was put there to rile the troops. I think I might have heard a spoon drop to break the silence in the wake of the non-believers comment. A strange team what have you. Paidi O’Shea was right you know, these fans, we’ve never seen anything like them. When Kerry go on the field, they do so with the might and force of a whole county, young and old on their backs expecting them to deliver the majesty that leaves the rest of Ireland open mouth-ed.
Yes, they’re ready for you Dublin, they’re on they’re way again to bring Sam ‘home’ again.