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Eoghan Corry: How we bruised and beaten Dubs crave a Blue summer

HOW beautiful is a week of sporting anticipation. How high the stakes are for next Sunday.

It takes just a brief snapshot of time, seventy minutes in the life of our city, a spell that can be extended a little longer in our imaginations to define something much greater: a summer, a year, a childhood, a life.

It is something that those on the field and many of those on the Hill will not understand. It they did, it would find it somewhat overbearing.

They have done their bit. It has, already, been a Blue summer. And Blue summers are rare enough before we ask that it be consummated further; a paean of the Hill.

It is a lot to ask of fifteen footballers, even of 50,000 followers. They have one chance to define the self-esteem of a generation.

Someone will remember 2010 as the year the momentum built up to become an unstoppable force. Will it be the Dubs? Will it be a Blue summer?

To understand what it means to have a Blue summer you have to have a long memory.

It might go to 1995, when pre-teen girls chanted the name of Jason Sherlock. Jay-oh. How retr-oh. They are all in their late twenties and thirties now, so they can explain what the fuss was about.

The year 1983 was a grim one, an angry one full of northern troubles and near civil war over abortion.

Amid the badness, sadness and madness, the memory of Dublin against Cork became one of the great sporting recalls of the last century.

Forget the 1983 All Ireland final. It was a turkey, an embarrassment for everyone concerned. Not so Dublin's play-it-again semi-final, the drawn one in Croke Park and the ear-splitting sequel in the sunshine at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the greatest performance by a great team.



epiphany

The 1983 All Ireland was at the start of a dreadful recession, one that wiped out the underclass of Ireland who were driven to Boston and Brisbane in the quest of anything resembling hope. It was among the best of Blue summers.

The epiphany goes back further. Books and songs have been written about it but nobody is certain when it occurred. It was some time in late 1973 or early 1974 -- apply for details in any city hostelry, particularly those with proximity to Marino.

The footballers who won three All Irelands and carried the legacy of that 1977 semi-final with Kerry into immortality now gather for reunions on the golf course. Each year the stories get greyer than the hair of the protagonists.

The key is in the counterpoint. The seventies were a dirty time. Watching the Dubs win All Irelands made them special. Watching them win back Gaelic football for the conurbation was surreal.

The city saved Gaelic football and, in a way, Gaelic football saved the city.

The match video doesn't bear analysis, the stories do. It is hard to reconcile the stop-start shambles we watch on All Ireland Gold with the spellbinding match we watched at the time, flowing along inexorably like making music until the crescendo of Bernard Brogan's winning goal.

Even the name sounds familiar. Brogan. The music of the Brogan name fills the air again. Sweet succession.

The city has had a bad two years, hit disproportionately by a property crash and public sector cutbacks.

It sounds like a recipe for another Blue summer.

We need it.