Our roving reporter in the Big Apple can't turn in any direction without meeting a familiar face. With troops from Killawalla to Bohola, Hollymount to Swinford the Mayo invasion is well underway.
DAY two has dawned in New York city and with the sun splitting the stones, it’s a balmy 23 degrees in the shade. Now this is much more like it!
Our first night out and about here confirmed one thing; the number of Mayo supporters that have made the 3,000 mile trip over is far bigger than anybody initially expected.
By the looks of things, resourceful Mayo fans have negotiated their way around the recession by finding deals for flights and accommodation. Everywhere you go around 7th Avenue, another familiar face pops up.
Eugene Rooney’s bar and restaurant has, as usual, become the unofficial Mayo Supporters HQ and the likes of Bohola, Killawalla, Swinford, Hollymount, Kilmaine and Kiltimagh were all well-represented there last night.
Also there holding court was the indefatiguable John Durcan (aka St Patrick). Not even a 14 hour journey via Chicago and a close-run thing with a bottle of holy water (you don't want to know!) could curb his enthusiasm and he is all fired up and raring to go for Sunday!
Eugene Rooney, a native of Kiltimagh who played for Mayo in the 1970 NFL Final, is a wonderful host and sat and talked football with us for a while yesterday evening. He still follows the fortunes of Mayo football closely and is great company.
According to our sources, there are some very disappointed players who didn’t make the starting team for Sunday. But, if they were any other way, there would be something wrong.
Tonight is the official pre-match banquet in Queens that’s being organised by the Mayo GAA Club here in New York. A crowd of around 300 Mayo supporters are expected and the team will be there too to show the face.
With a little over 48 hours to go to the game at Gaelic Park, the Mayo players will spend the next few days strolling around Central Park, soaking up the sunshine, and killing time. It’s not bad work if you can get it I suppose!