So who will come out on top?
Well according to superstition it’ll be Dublin – because Mayo are unfortunate enough to have a curse placed upon them for the last sixty two years.
We’re seriously putting Mayo’s past failures in the final for the last few decades down to a mythical curse – a curse moreover;
that wasn’t even placed upon them by a disgruntled gypsy woman at a cross roads at midnight while black dogs howled in the background?
For anyone who doesn’t know the story; Mayo last won the final in 1951 – and on that faithful day they disrespected a funeral while returning home and were cursed by a priest for doing so.
The priest faithfully shouted that Mayo would never win the All Ireland again until every member of this team is dead – and with at least three members of the ‘51 team still alive that accounts for Mayo’s passed failures right?
But there are a couple of things that should be considered with regards to this story.
Firstly; how exactly did they disrespect the funeral?
In Ireland you can do this by leaving the car radio on while you pass said funeral – which is an honest mistake a lot of people make; so unless the team in question was hurling abuse at the mourners – which I’m sure as decent people they weren’t – this curse seems a bit harsh.
Perhaps they were possibly a bit loud due to their win – and more than likely the consumption of copious amounts of alcoholic liquid – but the use of a curse still seems harsh.
Secondly; are priests allowed to dole out curses to anyone who annoys them?
This writer will admit he’s not all that religious; but it seems that a priest handing out curses has switched sides if you will – as curses are usually associated with the guy who lives downstairs; and if the rumors are true is a huge fan of Zeppelin, ACDC, Black Sabbath and Robert Johnson.
Any holy man handing out wrath in the Bible usually had the go ahead from the big man himself i.e. God – so if we truly believe in curses now; the question has to be asked does God have a vendetta against Mayo; and if so shouldn’t a decade of the rosary sort it out?
It’s far more likely that Mayo’s past failures are down to more logical factors.
Obviously the first reasonable explanation is: the teams that Mayo has fielded in the past weren’t as strong as people thought they would be – they came up against a better team and lost; unfortunately it’s that simple.
The second logical explanation is a psychological one.
Self fulfilling prophecies have been known about for a while and at their most basic level they are ‘ideas that become reality simply because someone believes them— (they) do not usually have strong effects. But a study shows that expectations may come to pass when many people hold the same beliefs—if those beliefs are unfavorable’ according to Psychology Today.
Put simply Mayo have lost every final they’ve been in since ’51 because everyone in Mayo – players and pundits alike – believed they would lose because of the mythical curse.
Back in the 50’s the Church had incredible influence in this country so it’s easy to see how such a curse would affect a football team’s confidence and even their superstitious supporters.
But it’s sixty two years on and it’s time for the lads from the West to step up.
There are no such things as curses but there is such a thing as lack of belief in yourself and your team – it’s time for Mayo to move past superstition and take Sam back home.
There is absolutely no reason why they shouldn’t.
So let’s get passed it and have a game that surpasses the quarter final between the Kingdom and the Dubs for excitement and edge of the seat action come the 22nd of September and hopefully this time the green and red of Mayo will prevail – putting the demons of the past to rest.