On May 21st 2017, the people of Mayo were celebrating the start of the New Year. According to the Mayo Zodiac, 2018 is the year of the Beasht, and people believe their centre half forward Aidan Optimus’Shea will be their hero.
“The most exciting team in Ireland” Choom Herald
“They leave you feeling physically sick but somehow they pull it out of the bag” Irish Daily Fear
It’s not ‘just a game’
When the patron saint of Mayo, Willie Joe banished foreign sports out of Mayo in 1989 its people rose up vowing to be the best in Ireland one day. Willie Joe was most famously known for running through the field with his fetlocks blowing in the wind popping points over like a train in the night. Sadly, he wouldn’t taste All Ireland glory himself but has helped pave the way for the current crop. With a county steeped in such history be warned to never say ‘it’s just a game’ to one of its supporters.
Believe in Superstitions
The Kerryman is an urban myth about the ghost of a Kerry team who returns from the dead in search of Mayo people to piss off year in year out. According to the legend, if you look into a mirror and chant the name Pat Spillane five times, he will appear behind you wearing a Kerry jersey and annoy the shite out of you for three hours.
Keep the defibrillator handy
A widely known fact amongst Mayo people is that the best prevention against heart disease in the west of Ireland isn’t avoiding smoke or drink but actually moving to Wicklow. Much like the artery clogging condiment that Mayo is named after, the risk of supporting them has caused blood pressure levels to rise sharply. As a result each group of Mayo fans has to nominate one person to carry a cardiac defibrillator at all times while the rest get flittered.
One hand on the bottle
Forget your Yoga and your mediation malarkey. Doctors in Mayo advise fans to offset the risk of kicking the bucket by administering a shot of Paddy’s whiskey every four to 6 minutes throughout the game and to double the dosage in injury-time. If Mayo take the lead at any point in extra time, simply smash the bottle off the ground and then proceed to chew the broken glass until the ref blows the final whistle.
Scream like a banshee
Mayo supporters are like a Boeing 747 taking off on match day. What people may not be aware of however is that the Mayo mammies are actually descended from banshees which explains the eardrum popping decibels achieved in Croke Park. The shrill screams from the Mayo female Ultras can be heard as far down as the entrance to Flannery’s on game day.
Say forty Hail Mary’s
While they may not be as pious a county as before, when squeaky bum time comes Mayo fans can be heard muttering rosaries under their breath. By the time the inevitable heart in the mouth moment arrives; pagan gods are summoned, satanic verses are chanted and ouija boards are being passed around the stand in the hope that some spirit can break the curse of ’51.
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