McGuinness' media mates and feet firmly on the ground in Galway
Jim McGuinness' relationship with the media has come a long way in a short time, while it's good to see they're keeping their feet on the ground in Galway.
McGuinness rolls out the media welcome mat
As impressive as Donegal have been in the defence of their Ulster title to date, what must be worrying for their fellow All-Ireland contenders is the lack of fuss with which they are going about their business.
Wind the clock back 12 months and you couldn’t open a paper without coming across a story about Jim McGuinness’ troops, whether it was the shedload of criticism that came their way for their defensive style of play or the furore caused by Kevin Cassidy’s controversial dismissal from the panel.
Before this year’s Championship, McGuinness’ relationship with the media seemed to cause him a fair degree of discomfort, literal discomfort when he copped a bloody nose after a collision with a photographer following the victory over Kildare last summer and a more social form of discomfort during the farcical interview conducted with TG4 earlier this year when he had to discuss why Kevin Cassidy wasn’t in the Donegal panel... when Cassidy was only standing a few feet away. To be fair to him, he actually handled it pretty well under the circumstances.
Like Donegal’s All-Ireland credentials, however, McGuinness’ relationship with the fourth estate seems to be getting better and better and he was widely commended by media types for the Donegal press night on Thursday, when McGuinness and eight of his players were available for a chat.
Newstalk commentator Dave McIntyre had this to say about the set-up.
After his “crimes against Gaelic Football” comment during the Dublin v Donegal All-Ireland semi-final last summer we doubt whether similar hospitality would be laid on for Pat Spillane should he ever venture to the north-west, but McGuinness and the Donegal lads should be applauded for their accessibility and as McIntyre said, other counties should take note.
Yep, Galway hurling folk are really keeping their feet on the ground
Galway hurling people could be forgiven for letting a win over a Kilkenny side previously heralded as unbeatable by somebody who, eh, bears a close resemblance to your humble author, go to their heads, but thankfully for the Tribesmen, they haven’t been getting carried away with themselves in the west.
Or, at least the players haven’t. The supporters on the other hand...
Earlier this week, we showed you a poster that had gone up in one of the many fine Supermacs establishments dotted around Galway city, while the interweb was agog with memes such as this one featuring Brian Cody that could well come back to haunt its author later in the summer.
Continuing the theme of expectancy in the west, it seems as if Galway hurling jerseys have been flying off the shelves in the days since Sunday’s unexpected success.
"Yes, of course Sunday's unexpected win for Galway hurlers has increased demand for Galway hurling merchandise," a spokesman told the Connacht Tribune.
"Demand has been brisk and we expect as the All-Ireland semi final draws closer that supporters will be clamouring for the various items for the game and hopefully the final, where the real volume business is conducted."
Being from another western county intimately associated with getting hopelessly caught up in hype, I should sound out a warning to Galway supporters about the potential perils that lie ahead, but with that many jerseys about, at least they'll have plenty of cloth to dry their tears if it all goes awry further down the line.