Read all about it…after the game!

Colm O’Rourke tipped Roscommon to win the Connacht Final in last weeks Sunday Independent

Okay, this really has to stop. For years, I thought I was on top of it, that it was under control. On Sunday, I lapsed. It has to end now

Growing up, I read the match previews in the Sunday papers, because that is what you are meant to do: see what they’re saying about your match. In theory, it ought to give you confidence if the writers plump for Roscommon; and, if they predict a Roscommon loss, you can always bear a grudge for a few hours/look forward to them being proven wrong. Win-win?

In latter years, I stopped reading the match previews in the Sunday papers, and likewise the online predictions. I decided it’s much, much better to read the previews after the game. If you read a preview before a game and it predicts a Roscommon win, you’re into some kind of ‘hostage to fortune’ territory! Tempting fate. Of course the dream scenario is for Roscommon to win in style, and then – at your leisure, after the event – to catch up on pre-match analysis that had predicted the opposite.

The last thing you need on the nerve-wracking day of a Connacht final between two fairly evenly matched teams is an array of positive newspaper headlines or confident online predictions about your team…setting such an optimistic mood just doesn’t sit well with us!

Last Sunday, I ever so briefly lapsed. I allowed myself a glance at the views of an RTE expert online, then – much worse – I paused when flicking through the pages of the Sunday Independent sports’ section. To my horror, I looked.

There it was, in black and white, the headline on Colm O’Rourke’s column: ‘Roscommon have firepower to crush Galway’s title hopes’.

My heart sank. This really has to stop….