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Why Mayo Cant Win An All-Ireland

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Im writing this post in the best of sport and in the spirit of fairplay, and to start I have to congratulate Tyrone on their 4th All-Ireland win. Well
done, and enjoy the celebrations! A great performance. The following pist is meant as a kick start to a topic I think ought to be discussed, and I mean it as a fan first and foremost, and someone with enormous respect for Mayo GAA.

Getting onto the topic of my post, Mayo.....
Its very hard to sum up what Mayo football is about. It has to be one of the most puritanical and fanatic football counties there is. From my experience only Kerry and Cavan supporters generally surpass them in terms of their general interest in the club game and their devotion to the cause of the intercounty teams; football is the opium of the masses in these places, and no other sport is on the same platform. However Mayo have lost 11/12 All-Irelands in thirty years. This is a statistic that is unrivalled in any sport on the planet in any circumstances and quite literally over a period of 6/7 different team rotations over a period of a third of a century, they have lost and lost and lost again when the cup was there to be lifted. Im going to try point out why that is:

1/ they love the journey more than the endgoal. Mayo are happy with token trinkets such as the connacht championship and the odd win over a Kerry or Dublin etc in a knockout game. Theyre happy to
win a league title or reach a league final. Theyre happy with a nice write up in the paper and a few nice comments on the sunday game. They love travelling to games across the country and sharing their colours. Ruthlessness and the doggedness required to be winners at the very top level simply isnt in their DNA. Theyre too nice to put it very mildly and theyre satisfied deep down with the familiarity of the last 30 years.

2/ The next year phenomenon. Next year is another year. We will bounce back. Sure we'll go out and give it a shot. Sure we'll see what happens. Sure today just wasnt our best day. Sure we missed a few chances. The opposition just took their chances. The opposition was better on the day. etc etc ad nauseum to infinity. A huge lack of true self belief and an ability unrivalled in sport to rack up losses and move on as if nothing happened. Mayo always seem to
find some very eccentric pride and defiace and even obstinance in defeat. Theres always next year and every loss just adds to the mounatin of repressed emotions. Mayo for Sam 2022. The broken record keeps on spinning. A sport psychologist's nightmare.

3/ squads full to the brim with good players but who are overyhyped massively and generally reflect the attitude of their fanbase. The nicest people youll ever meet and a good team for any neutral to support, but theyre satisfied with having their photos in the paper or on facebook, and winning a tokenistic title, but never the All-Ireland. Theyre happy being everyone's second favorite team in the country after their own team and theyre happy being local celebrities and the big man about town and filling out their jerseys. Theyre caught up in a system which chews them up and spits them out as the poster boys of the heroic defeat or the pinup boys of the mighty underdog. The irony is that this is misunderstood every time they become competetive as genuine hype. The media will champion them until the very day they go out and win Sam Maguire, then all media interest will vanish into thin air and Mayo will suddenly become villains like many other counties, simply because they go out and win. Mayo's relationship with fame and celebrity and their neverending attitude of eternal nicety is why they are what they are. Their relationship with the Irish media and society is a factor of why they consistently fail.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 480 - 11/09/2021 23:35:07    2379828

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I think that they've lost so many finals at this stage too that the hurt just isn't there any more. 2017 was the nadir, I think their hearts were truly broken that day and since then they've come to resemble a thirty something singleton, happy to plod along and take whatever comes their way,not really too bothered one way or the other.
They performed brilliantly against a half empty Dublin side in the semi but apart from the first 90 seconds yesterday they never looked like a team who were going to win,who believed they'd win, or who were desperate to win, the outrageous decision to leave o Shea on for the whole 70 despite yet again playing atrociously being a microcosm of their entire effort.

And the sad part is they'll still probably get a bigger homecoming than Tyrone.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 936 - 12/09/2021 10:25:22    2379871

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Replying To Galway9801:  "I think that they've lost so many finals at this stage too that the hurt just isn't there any more. 2017 was the nadir, I think their hearts were truly broken that day and since then they've come to resemble a thirty something singleton, happy to plod along and take whatever comes their way,not really too bothered one way or the other.
They performed brilliantly against a half empty Dublin side in the semi but apart from the first 90 seconds yesterday they never looked like a team who were going to win,who believed they'd win, or who were desperate to win, the outrageous decision to leave o Shea on for the whole 70 despite yet again playing atrociously being a microcosm of their entire effort.

And the sad part is they'll still probably get a bigger homecoming than Tyrone."
It must be very difficult coaching Mayo. Those big personalities dominate that team, maybe not in a positive way when its needed most. There is a collective mental attitude problem. But clearly if a player cannot be substituted the problem is also management and a lot deeper.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4727 - 12/09/2021 12:12:07    2379918

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I never understand the mayo fans constantly praising the mayo team for being "gallant losers". "Ah sure it just wasn't our day" bla blah blah... until you lose this attitude you will win nothing. There comes a point where you just have to say ah here lads enough is enough. You should be outraged. Outraged at the team for not giving it their best shot AGAIN. Outraged at management for making poor decisions AGAIN. Outraged that Tyrone looked like the team that wanted it more. Just like the games with Dublin in 16 & 17, when the game was in the melting pot, Dublin refused to be beaten and just wanted it more. How the hell could any team want it more than mayo after all they've been through. I'm sorry lads but the time for taps on the back is over..... it's not good enough. The mayo team has consistently let you lot as fans down. It's time to be outraged. Less praise more outrage. The mayo team has become too comfortable with losing, and the fans congratulating them on losing doesn't help. 11 finals 0 wins in 30 years. There is not another sport in the world you will see a record even remotely close to that.

ConnollyDub (Dublin) - Posts: 1992 - 12/09/2021 12:39:32    2379926

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Replying To arock:  "It must be very difficult coaching Mayo. Those big personalities dominate that team, maybe not in a positive way when its needed most. There is a collective mental attitude problem. But clearly if a player cannot be substituted the problem is also management and a lot deeper."
Absolutely, more i think of it, James Horan is too good a manager not to have taken him off imo, there must be some serious serious player power there, or something going on behind the scenes anyways.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 936 - 12/09/2021 13:04:49    2379934

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Great football county. They dont deserve the abuse they get. They overachieved this year with the team they had. Dublin went through a similar awful run losing semi finals and finals in the 80s & 90s until a bad ref call gave them the win in 95. With Mullen & CO'C back next year, Mayo will have an excellent team.

bad.monkey (USA) - Posts: 4536 - 12/09/2021 13:12:14    2379937

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Replying To ConnollyDub:  "I never understand the mayo fans constantly praising the mayo team for being "gallant losers". "Ah sure it just wasn't our day" bla blah blah... until you lose this attitude you will win nothing. There comes a point where you just have to say ah here lads enough is enough. You should be outraged. Outraged at the team for not giving it their best shot AGAIN. Outraged at management for making poor decisions AGAIN. Outraged that Tyrone looked like the team that wanted it more. Just like the games with Dublin in 16 & 17, when the game was in the melting pot, Dublin refused to be beaten and just wanted it more. How the hell could any team want it more than mayo after all they've been through. I'm sorry lads but the time for taps on the back is over..... it's not good enough. The mayo team has consistently let you lot as fans down. It's time to be outraged. Less praise more outrage. The mayo team has become too comfortable with losing, and the fans congratulating them on losing doesn't help. 11 finals 0 wins in 30 years. There is not another sport in the world you will see a record even remotely close to that."
Good post. It is nearly as if they are just happy to get to the final. It was no good beating Dublin this year unless they finished the job.

Bon (Kildare) - Posts: 1361 - 12/09/2021 13:18:01    2379941

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Replying To ConnollyDub:  "I never understand the mayo fans constantly praising the mayo team for being "gallant losers". "Ah sure it just wasn't our day" bla blah blah... until you lose this attitude you will win nothing. There comes a point where you just have to say ah here lads enough is enough. You should be outraged. Outraged at the team for not giving it their best shot AGAIN. Outraged at management for making poor decisions AGAIN. Outraged that Tyrone looked like the team that wanted it more. Just like the games with Dublin in 16 & 17, when the game was in the melting pot, Dublin refused to be beaten and just wanted it more. How the hell could any team want it more than mayo after all they've been through. I'm sorry lads but the time for taps on the back is over..... it's not good enough. The mayo team has consistently let you lot as fans down. It's time to be outraged. Less praise more outrage. The mayo team has become too comfortable with losing, and the fans congratulating them on losing doesn't help. 11 finals 0 wins in 30 years. There is not another sport in the world you will see a record even remotely close to that."
I experienced the same as a galway hurling fan in the 2015 final when kilkenny, who had loads of all Irelands, outfought and wore down the galway team who at the time had never won one. I appreciated their effort overall, amateur sportsmen etc, but at the same time,, come on lads ffs.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 936 - 12/09/2021 13:38:18    2379953

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Don't have the forwards.

tom84 (Cavan) - Posts: 292 - 12/09/2021 13:49:33    2379960

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Replying To bad.monkey:  "Great football county. They dont deserve the abuse they get. They overachieved this year with the team they had. Dublin went through a similar awful run losing semi finals and finals in the 80s & 90s until a bad ref call gave them the win in 95. With Mullen & CO'C back next year, Mayo will have an excellent team."
Sick of hearing ..... "next year"

THIS was their year. They dumped us out and Kerry werent in the final either. The two teams who were hotly favoured at the start of the year, gone. The 6 in a row champs outplayed and out fought for large periods and a Kerry team who were to take the mantle. Alas they ended up playing a Tyrone team who themselves hadnt played in a final in years. Mayo had far more experience of all Ireland finals in their ranks than Tyrone. Literally everything in their favour

And yet still, in typical Mayo fashion, they contrived to lose.

I never really want Mayo to win it, but after they beat us I was absolutely comfortable with the fact they will win it, this was their time, even more so when kerry went out.

But you know what, I dont feel sorry for Mayo. They are massive architects of their own downfall. I think they enjoy being bridesmaids. They enjoy the romance of being nearly men and the love in that the country have for them as a result. They all enjoy losing. They live of coming back from amazing failure and morale victories. Look at us, were never down for long arent we a great bunch that we always come back and get to the final.... but when it comes to it, they just dont have the cajones to get it over the line and it's time to admit that they never will. Their fans are brilliant, and they along with the players feel like they probably deserve an all Ireland. But they dont. You'll win one when you deserve to win one. Their mentality is weak. On the biggest of days, they fail again and again.

They'll always bounce back and when it comes to finals of all irelands, they'll always lose

waynoI (Dublin) - Posts: 13617 - 12/09/2021 13:54:32    2379962

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Some good points, Mayo as a footballing county are achieving success though, they're winning Provincial titles, playing Div 1 football and getting to All Ireland Finals. There are around 20 - 25 counties who'd love Mayo's success year on year and they don't deserve the criticism that goes their way.

1996 and 1997 were two big defeats, 00's was a very strong era for football and the 10's had the best team to play the game in their prime, the finals against Dublin particularly 2017 was one of the best Mayo performances ever, they performed and it look that great Dublin team everything they had to beat Mayo.

But from 1996 to now the burden of defeats in All Ireland Finals is clear to see, it has become an obsession to win it and this must put serious pressure on Mayo teams. Tyrone struggled to get over the line for years but when they did, we seen yesterday they just rocked up relaxed, played a game of football and won an All Ireland.

What I did notice this week looking at the two counties social media, Mayo's were all about commercial activities, fundraising, golf classics etc whilst Tyrone's was about football and community, maybe that shows the difference in the week of an All Ireland Final.

sam1884 (UK) - Posts: 843 - 12/09/2021 14:14:28    2379966

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Tyrone looked like they wanted it more. Which is baffling when you think of what Mayo have gone through,they fought for every single ball.

Keegan and Conroy exceptions who fought until the end.

The others looked to have accepted they were going to lose once the penalty was missed. There was plenty of time left

galwayfball (Galway) - Posts: 1453 - 12/09/2021 14:21:58    2379967

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Replying To galwayfball:  "Tyrone looked like they wanted it more. Which is baffling when you think of what Mayo have gone through,they fought for every single ball.

Keegan and Conroy exceptions who fought until the end.

The others looked to have accepted they were going to lose once the penalty was missed. There was plenty of time left"
I think they looked like they had accepted defeat by the 10th minute.
I'm no body language expert but after a lightning start by Mayo Tyrone tacked over a few scores and showed that they weren't going to roll over (ulster teams never roll over), after which Mayo seemed to just accept their fate.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 936 - 12/09/2021 14:32:03    2379969

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Poor Mayo, in the words of Bob Seger..."Beautiful Losers when are you ever going to learn you just can't have it all".

katser (Galway) - Posts: 1354 - 12/09/2021 14:36:10    2379971

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Obviously Mayo have GREAT footballers or they couldn't get to the All Ireland on such a consistent basis but for one reason or another they come up short. Would you rather be Mayo and constantly compete at the top or be like Longford or Roscommon for example and almost never get there and almost never compete? Mayo are on the right track and like everything worthwhile you have to just keep trying.

Trump2020 (Galway) - Posts: 1339 - 12/09/2021 15:07:56    2379976

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Just not good enough...never had the top class forwards needed on the big day...always seem to lack composure when needed most..tommy conroy typifies this most bundle of energy but when presented with a good goal chance completely butchers it

jacktheDub (Dublin) - Posts: 944 - 12/09/2021 15:26:53    2379980

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Replying To Trump2020:  "Obviously Mayo have GREAT footballers or they couldn't get to the All Ireland on such a consistent basis but for one reason or another they come up short. Would you rather be Mayo and constantly compete at the top or be like Longford or Roscommon for example and almost never get there and almost never compete? Mayo are on the right track and like everything worthwhile you have to just keep trying."
That sounds fine but you could use the Longford /Roscommon angle to get around most issues with failure on the big occasion.
Kerry failed to stop Dublin winning the 5 in a row in 2019, made all the worse because they probably left the drawn game behind them.
Longfords lack of success that year was of no consolation to them, nor should it be.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 936 - 12/09/2021 15:33:28    2379982

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Why can't Meath win a Leinster title? Mayo are a great football county and have every right to be proud of their footballers. And Just like Tyrone yesterday I do believe they'll send one of their lads up the hogan steps to lift Sam.

seanie_boy (Tyrone) - Posts: 4235 - 12/09/2021 15:53:31    2379983

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Replying To tom84:  "Don't have the forwards."
You got it in one.Thet will never win an All Ireland unless they find at least three quality forwards.

dubarra (Wicklow) - Posts: 490 - 12/09/2021 15:59:05    2379988

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Replying To Trump2020:  "Obviously Mayo have GREAT footballers or they couldn't get to the All Ireland on such a consistent basis but for one reason or another they come up short. Would you rather be Mayo and constantly compete at the top or be like Longford or Roscommon for example and almost never get there and almost never compete? Mayo are on the right track and like everything worthwhile you have to just keep trying."
I'd prefer to actually win an All Ireland to be honest.

Bon (Kildare) - Posts: 1361 - 12/09/2021 16:07:26    2379990

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