Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Getting to Croke Park

The non Irish readers among you will have no idea what the title of this post is. Croke Park is the premier gaelic games stadium in Ireland, where all Ireland finals and semi finals are fought out in Gaelic football and hurling. I'm originally from a predominantly footballing county, even though I now live in a county where hurling is like a religion. By hurling I mean a very fast sport played with a heavy stick and a ball, and nothing that involves projectile vomiting.

Anyway, I digress. My own native county, Mayo, have not won an all Ireland Final since the early 1950's. To put it in perspective, my parents celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary last October, and they weren't even dating when Mayo last brought the Sam Maguire cup home. That's not to say that we haven't got to the final much in recent times. Oh no, we get there every few years. The championship runs over the summer months. With each victory, the excitement builds, the hopes of a county are raised. There are murmers from Belmullet to Kiltimagh that this could be our year, we could pull it off at last. The forwards are strong, we have a striker with a sweet right boot, that sort of thing. Tickets for the final are like gold dust. Half of Mayo converge on Croke Park, many of them (usually like me!) going there ticketless on spec, in the hopes of picking up a terrace ticket before the match. Then our guys meet the opposition, usually from Kerry. And Kerry royally wipe the floor with us. The fans stay to the end but exit the grounds dejected, defeated gutted. Hopes and dreams of victory lie in tatters. My Dad is 77 years old and he has always said that he thinks we will never win an all Ireland in his lifetime. I would love if he were proven wrong.

Our baby making attempts are like the reproductive equivalent of the Mayo football championship campaign. We don't have a huge amount of difficulty getting past the first obstacle, ie getting knocked up. When it happens the excitement is uncontainable. Those two lines carry so many hopes and dreams. Maybe this one is going to be a keeper. This will be our year. Keep thinking positively. But then another voice in my head says "don't get your hopes up, just in case...". So we wait and wait, hearts in our mouths, for that scan date that will tell us if our baby is alive or not. And so far our hopes have been dashed, our dreams left in tatters. But every time we get back past that first hurdle we try and put the past behind us and convince ourselves that it will be different this time.

If we ever do get there, it will be like winning the biggest prize imaginable. I just hope that we do get to see that day, and preferably in our parents' lifetime. Only five more days before we see if we've made it to the reproductive equivalent of Croke Park. Anyone want to open a book on this one?


Kim said...

Go Team Jane!!! To keep in with your sports metaphor: The Cardinals are in the Superbowl (american football), anything is possible. Fingers crossed for you!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I'm off to PaddyPower's anyway.

50 notes on 'Team Jane'...

womb for improvement said...

Yeah and following on from what Kim said, Hull City are in the Premiership. Good luck.

Mick said...

My county (Down) is sixth in the all-time top winners table. So miracles DO happen.

You have to remember that Mayo was runner up 9 times!

I sincerely hope you'll get your cup...

nutsinmay said...

I stayed in that big hotel opposite Croke Park once... ah, happy days.

Wait, I have some pom poms round here somewhere. Give me a minute and I'll work out a good cheer. With sequinned boots on.

Jane G said...

Kim - I take it the Cardinals have as good a track record as the Mayo football team then?

Xbox4NappyRash - 50, are you sure?

WFI - Hull too? Wow, these are all good omens.

Mick - That's exactly my point. Nine times runner up, but no cup to show for it.

May - Thanks for the cheerleading. I don't know how it would go down in Croke Park though. Unless you interjected it with lots of expletives and "go-on-ya-boy-ya" shouts.