The fallout from Mayo's disappointing All-Ireland final loss to Tyrone has gained much unnecessary momentum with news/rumours breaking daily of rifts, upheaval and resignations from James Horan's back room team.
On top of this, the vitriol directed towards certain players and members of the Mayo management has made headlines because of some of the toxic content of it.
I watched the game back again last weekend for my sins to see was there anything I missed, as I hadn't enjoyed the real-life experience.
It was a painful watch. Far too many players didn't play well, some only in patches, others didn't play at all. The sideline didn’t exactly have their greatest seventy-odd minutes either.
We all know that, we have all been there. There is nothing more gut-wrenching for a player than to perform badly on the biggest stage of them all.
All the hard work, countless hours in the gym and on the paddock not to mention the discipline required to have your body primed for battle. Those players would have lived like monks for the last eight months except for a day or two here and there. That is what will hurt them the most, under performing- they will take it to the grave.
Watching Meath captain Tommy Dowd carry the Sam Maguire cup onto the pitch for their 25th anniversary victory over us evoked painful memories, albeit a quarter of a century later for myself.
Some people need to catch themselves on
Every person is entitled to freedom of speech and of course their opinion. We can all convey our disillusionment and hurt at proceedings on All-Ireland final day, chat amongst our friends, chat in the pub, even discuss the game with people we barely know in the street. There is absolutely no problem with that.
There has been nothing but talk in Mayo about the game and the disappointment of the performance and result. What is not acceptable however in this day and age, is the slating and vile abuse directed towards individuals in public forums on social media. It's simply uncalled for and not on and maybe it's time it's regulated.
Let me assure you, people involved in that Mayo set-up are hurting enough already. I read a certain pundit's article after the final and was bewildered at what I read, it became personal. I didn't see or read any of the stuff on Twitter but I'm told the abuse directed at Aidan O'Shea in particular is simply disgusting.
What have we become? It's all too easy for the keyboard warriors to come out in force after a defeat. These avenues have become such poisonous platforms for people to abuse others at their will. The fact that individuals can be tagged on these forums makes it impossible for them not to see it or hear about the abuse directed towards themselves.
Losing an All-Ireland leaves you in a very lonely place; it takes you months, years to recover from it, if you ever do at all. With the current emphasis on mental health and wellbeing and the “it's okay not to be okay” tag line doing the rounds - anyone that has directed personal abuse at people should take a long look at themselves. Opinions are fine; a personal attack on an individual is not.
We wait with bated breath to see the outcome of the James Horan, James Burke and Ciaran McDonald saga and what unfolds. Despite an apparent difference of opinion occurring in front of our eyes on the sideline on final day, I was too engrossed in the game to take any notice.
There is a good chance my head was buried in my hands at the time anyway. I have been told by a person sitting very close to the Mayo bench that there was a discussion between James Horan and Ciaran McDonald - and thereafter Ciaran Mc walked up the steps of the Hogan stand and sat there for the remainder of the game. McDonald is a well respected member of the back room team, I just hope word of his departure is untrue.
Back on the home front
There is nothing like a blast of club championship to remove the cobwebs and realign the brain. We have a feast on in Mayo this coming weekend.
It will be interesting to see how The Neale get on in their second year in the senior ranks, having impressed last year in their first year up, when they throw in against Breaffy on Sunday; and also, how Balla fare out after a lengthy absence from the senior ranks when they take on neighbours, Castlebar Mitchels.
The two stand-out games in the senior championship are Ballintubber against Ballina Stephenites and Westport against Ballaghadeereen. All four teams will have aspirations of wrestling the Moclair cup from Ray Dempsey's Knockmore who get their campaign off with a home game against Aughamore.
It's a great mind-leveller to get back watching club football and important to remember that players that you were supporting in Croke Park over the last few months, with accolades and pats on the back - don't need a kick in the backside this weekend. Enjoy the games.