NO 3: John McIntyre
MONDAY: It's all very well getting hot and bothered about hurling but some of us have real jobs too. Best check these last few pages of the 'Turbine' before going to print ... Galway camogie gals wallop Wexford? Check.
Sean Armstrong's hammer blow? Check. Weekly lotto results from Tuam Stars? Check. Report on the 145th annual Connemara Croquet Championships? Check. Preview of the Ballinasloe U14 Billiard Blitz? Bingo! That's all bases covered in the world of Galway sport this week. Not forgetting anything, am I?
TUESDAY: Feck it, the paper has gone and I completely forgot about the Leinster semi-final this Saturday! Can you believe it? Memo to self: remember to carry the result next week.
WEDNESDAY: Time to rehearse my post-match defence of Galway hurling in the face of yet more heartbreak snatched from the jaws of victory. "I just hope the people, the pundits, the journalists and the supporters are fair to Galway instead of posing question marks about their bottle and their f**king temperament," I recite. (Phew, almost forgot the asterisks!) Now, admittedly, this is a direct quote from the Tipp game last July ... but if Enda can plagiarise Obama, why can't I plagiarise myself? Besides, most hacks possess the memory of a goldfish.
THURSDAY: Here's another handy secret I've learned from the day job -- I can predict every single inane question I'll be asked outside the dressing room in Tullamore, starting with the obligatory "Well, John, disappointed/delighted obviously?" At which point I will deliver a three-minute monologue, answering all the daft questions they haven't even formulated yet. Then I'll finish with a cursory "Is that okay, lads?" and exit in a flash, leaving all the Vincent Browne wannabes convinced they've got me to bare my soul under their forensic inquisition.
FRIDAY: Twenty-four hours to go, and I'm getting nervous. Must eat fish today; then offer up a novena for Big Joe's heel pad/hamstrings/general health and happiness.
SATURDAY: Memo to self: on the off-chance it all goes pear-shaped against the Dubs tonight, must remember to tell my NUJ colleagues that we've 14 players out through injury, including Eugene Cloonan, Pete Finnerty and Fr Iggy Clarke.