While it is often said that Gaelic football around the shores of Lough Neagh is a savage passion, it wouldn't be exaggeration to say it borders on insanity.
Last summer, I had a minor role in helping out a team. On a baking hot evening, we travelled to a club right on the shore for a league game. I've been to a lot of football matches in my time, but even I was startled by the experience. Before our goalkeeper had even collected the football for his first kick-out, a chorus of rival supporters were screaming, 'HOW LONG!?' to unsettle both the player and the referee.
Along our sideline, two old-timers planted themselves right behind our dugout and spent the whole game abusing us - by name. It was ultimate chaos on the pitch itself, with headbutts and punches going unnoticed and unpunished.
Driving home, my head was thumping. It was then that I recognised that managers can do an awful lot in Gaelic football, but sometimes you have no control whatsoever.
So to the very first play in last weekend's All-Ireland final. Referee David Coldrick threw the ball up, and Mayo's Diarmuid O'Connor's role was to block off Dublin's supreme fielder Brian Fenton and allow Aidan O'Shea to claim it.
O'Shea had it in his hands for a blink, but James McCarthy's momentum and brute strength knocked it loose and you could see on the playback that his eyes were already on the ball before his feet were planted and he got there first.
Dublin were in business. A defence will never be more open than it is in the very first play of a game, when players are in their traditional positional grid.
McCarthy didn't even take a bounce. Already, Ciaran Kilkenny had vacated the space immediately in front of midfield. Niall Scully made his run there, then looped around Eoghan McLaughlin to take the pass.
He immediately played it back to McCarthy, who had continued his run as O'Shea desperately tried to close the gap. McCarthy took a bounce and delayed his handpass until Chris Barrett had left Dean Rock, who remained at the back post.
McCarthy's pass was the perfect weight, although slightly behind Rock, who had to contort himself to swipe it home.
It was Dublin's seventh goal in the Championship. Four of them were back post palmed efforts. It's not something they introduced to Gaelic football, but it is something they have made their calling card.
It is impossible to defend against, and yet it requires high levels of coaching, along with patience and intelligence from the players. Former Dublin coach Mick Bohan talks about 'the power of doing nothing', of standing your ground and waiting to see how a play develops.
What could Mayo have done to prevent it? The truth is, very little.
A first thought was that O'Connor might have drifted five yards back goal side when the ball was thrown in, but a free leap from Fenton would have handed Dublin possession of the ball.
They might have tucked their defenders in five yards either side of the centre-back and ignored the runs of the Dublin forwards, but that would go against every natural instinct of a player.
There is a third way: Barrett stands by Rock. Yes, this means James McCarthy is through on goal, but he is at absolute full tilt. Any player has to slightly hesitate or slow down at this stage to get an accurate shot off.
The possible outcomes? A save from the best shot-stopper in the game, a late, lunging tackle from O'Shea that does enough to mess up the shot, a tackle that forces a penalty against Clarke, or he gets his shot off.
He might drill it over or drag it wide. The worst-case scenario is it's a goal, but at least you made it hard for him.
By this stage, though, they will be sick of giving away early goals in the opening moments of All-Ireland finals. From now on, their shape and intentions from the throw-in must be different.
Three weeks prior, the Dublin ladies, under the management of Bohan, were in Cavan for the All-Ireland semi-final against Armagh.
After three minutes, they put together a move ending with Aoife Kane squaring it to the unmarked Nicole Owens to palm home at the back post.
It's no coincidence that the two best teams in the men's and ladies' games - perhaps the two best ever in both codes - play to a house style, inculcated by coaches intensely familiar to it through their under-age structures but continually polished by the players themselves.
When you have such a high-functioning group of players, you can largely shape the course of games. Dublin are renowned for their players taking the lead in making adjustments of the type that nullified Ryan O'Donoghue in the second half.
Being able to bring on Brian Howard and Paul Mannion is one thing - holding back a superstar is a common ploy, after all.
But then they brought on Cormac Costello who, let's not forget, was sprung from the bench in the 2016 replay between these two and scored three points from play. And then Colm Basquel. And then Philly McMahon.
Dublin won this not because of some drivel about 'culture' or 'humility' or because they clean up after themselves, they won it because they have a better group of footballers who make fewer mistakes. That's all.
Let's talk about money and resources and the fact that Dublin teams don't have to travel long distances to training. All of those things matter of course. It is a supreme delusion to state that money doesn't matter.
When other county boards are stressing about how to keep the lights turned on or give their players a better cut of meat, all of that is taken care of in Dublin.
Back in February 2017, Tyrone players broke ranks over a one-off £15 payment they were asked to make for a foam roller and resistance bands. Ronan McNamee addressed the issue during a press briefing.
"You're not going to begrudge £15 for anything. It's the principle of it," he said. "I saw on Twitter, I can't remember who put it up, but someone said, 'can you imagine Dublin asking players for £15?!' The question would never be asked in the first place."
Pressed on whether it was affecting morale, he continued, "Well, there are constant issues with mileage… some people don't get paid full amounts of what they would maybe claim. But if it's being talked about by players, it's obviously going to affect it in some way. If it wasn't a problem, they wouldn't be talking about it."
That's one of their closest competitors, squabbling and fighting and getting bogged down, sweating the small stuff. But they can hardly help comparing themselves with the standard bearers, Dublin.
But what's maybe more important is the lack of travel involved, which means increased rest and recovery time.
Jack McCaffrey left the panel disillusioned by the effort required to commute from Kilkenny.
Eoghan O'Gara, another man who had a fair trek to where he lived in Wexford, left citing that commitment. Meanwhile, the panels of Tyrone, Donegal and Mayo have had to just bear it for years when up to a third of their panel have been commuting to training.
In the professional age, this is the greatest variable in preparing a team.