Belfast Telegraph

We would all be living in dreamland if everyone could come to their senses

It started even as the alarm went on my mobile phone on Friday morning. I glanced over. Ten messages. Opened the first one. Strange number. It's always a strange number.

'Hello Mr Bogue. Sorry to bother you. It's Jamie Clarke here. Just want to ask if you would please interview me now on the season we are having with Armagh. Please let me know when to call you.'

Opened another. 'Mr Bogue, I can call to your place any time over the next few days if you would please see me. It's Charlie Vernon here, by the way.'

I never bothered with the rest. They were deleted without reading.

These boys are only after one thing anyway.

My time is much too precious to be bothering with these people.

So I fired a couple of messages back to the first two. 'Why should I?'

A number of replies, sounding increasingly desperate, then flooded my phone. 'I will buy you a hot meal. Restaurant of your choosing. Dessert and everything. Pls txt back. Ps Can I just call you?'

I chose to ignore their pleading. Then the house phone started going.

Heavy breathing, in an Armagh accent. Spooky.

Once I got the breakfast in and got my personal assistant to fire up the computer and access my emails, more surprise. One hundred and forty five requests for interviews.

One player had even taken the liberty of being interviewed for me, sending me his quotes, rather helpfully with quotation marks around them, to aid in my copy and pasting.

"It has been a good year so far but it counted for nothing if we cannot beat Donegal.

"The league is not important now. Sure everybody knows that the league is the league and Championship is where it's at.

"It's going to be a massive, massive challenge to face Donegal.

"They were All-Ireland champions a couple of years ago and have won three Ulster titles. They bring a lot to the table and we are going to have to put our heads down and put our shoulder to the wheel. Hopefully, it will be enough to get us over the line."

One was obviously influenced by Dublin media utterances.

"We have a massive respect for Donegal football. They have a brilliant club scene. Their county board were very welcoming to us in the past when we played down there.

"We are giving them all the respect that we can as we prepare for this tie."

And it was at this point that reality began to swim around the room and I woke up.

No Armagh players wanted to talk to me, nor anybody else.

We suspect they will be accessible next year, and that the media, Armagh and Paul Grimley can all begin again, a little bit older, a little bit wiser.

Now wouldn't that be nice?

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