The summer of 2011 was unfolding as normal for Tyrone.
hey were hit with a Dermot Molloy sucker-punch goal in Clones in falling to Donegal in the Ulster semi-final, but were briskly making their way to the closing stages of the All-Ireland Championship.
They held Armagh at arm's length in a round three qualifier, polished off Roscommon in quick time and then the draw produced exactly what they wanted - Dublin.
Brian McGuigan explained: "Anytime we drew Dublin, you could see the change in intensity, the atmosphere round training after that.
"That was because we relished playing Dublin and there was nowhere else we would have wanted to play Dublin than in Croke Park because when you got on top of them, their own crowd got on their backs."
As well as that, there was an added bit of needle; Tyrone had been knocked out by Dublin at the quarter-final stage the year before.
"We went into 2011 looking for redemption, but we were fooling ourselves. The legs had gone from a lot of our star players," explained McGuigan.
"Diarmuid Connolly had a massive game that day and there were a lot of people saying that if his first shot hadn't gone over, he might have had a stinker. He was a real confidence player and once the first one went over there was no stopping him.
"Something that stuck in my head was that there was a ball going over by the sideline in the first half on the Cusack side. Marty Penrose was going for it and he would have been one of our fastest players at that time and he was five yards in front of Cian O'Sullivan. And by the time they got to the ball, Cian was a yard in front of Penrose.
"I was in the middle of the game, standing there and saying out loud, 'Wow, would you look at that?'"
At the time, Dublin's form had been shaky. They got through a strange Leinster final, 2-12 to 1-12 winners over Wexford. It came about through a complete freak goal. Wexford goalkeeper Anthony Masterson raced off his line to try to punch a ball clear. Instead, it hit full-back Graeme Molloy and trickled into the net.
But this was a blitz that tore Tyrone asunder. The scoreline finished 0-22 to 0-15 but it could have been a lot worse only for a series of goal chances butchered at the end with the Hill baying for Red Hand blood.
It was with that evidence that Jim McGuinness concocted a different game plan for when Donegal took on the Dubs in the semi-final.
He took possession of the players' mobile phones and rolled out the plan; only one forward. At the time it was utterly radical and it was working at half-time when they led 0-4 to 0-2.
Kevin Cassidy explained: "McGuinness, looking at it down through the years, he might have felt our best chance of getting over the line was frustrating these boys to the point where they were turning on each other and didn't know what was going on.
"Funny, listening to Bernard Brogan's book - I'm listening to it as an audiobook - he says of the 2011 game, a year or two before that, they would have imploded in the dressing room.
"But Caroline Currid (renowned performance coach who had worked with Tyrone in their 2008 All-Ireland-winning season) was working with them that year. In our dressing room, Jim was saying that next door they would be killing each other and they don't know what is going to happen.
"Whereas in the Brogan book, it was completely calm in their dressing room. They were saying what we expected them to do, and how they would not fall into that trap.
"So we underestimated their mental toughness."
We all know what happened next. Dublin found a way through the second half. They found a way against Kerry. Apart from blips against Mayo in 2012 and Donegal in 2014, they've kept finding a way, every game, every year. They have dominated like no other team have before.
And for all their talent, nobody saw it coming.
"I don't think any player of that time would have thought that. Dublin were knocking on the door and the thought might have been that they could snatch one and then party and disappear," said Cassidy.
"If you remember 2011 when they won, there were pictures of Sam Maguire in the jacuzzi, pics of champagne everywhere. I thought to myself that their heads would go. In the year after, they didn't win either.
"But I go back to the Brogan book, by the end of his career he was a former Player of the Year and had multiple All-Ireland medals, and he couldn't even get on the panel - couldn't even get into the in-house game at training!
"You couldn't imagine that happening to other big players in counties, say a Mattie Donnelly or a Michael Murphy. They might not want to do that. It's just that the mental toughness of Dublin is unbelievable."
And McGuigan exclaimed: "Jesus, I didn't think it could happen. You look at the Kerry golden years, they couldn't do five in a row and now we have a team going for six.
"I think at this time you have to appreciate the players they are bringing through. Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O'Callaghan, Brian Fenton, they are among the greatest players ever to play Gaelic football."
In the meantime, they continue to break all records. Only Mayo stand in their way today of completing six in a row.
According to the weather forecast, as I write, there is a 4% chance of rain on Saturday, an hour before throw-in.
Bad news for Mayo. For them to have a chance, they need as much chaos and unpredictability as possible. The worn pitch might have provided some of that but a 'skift' of rain wouldn't have hurt either.
Dublin will do what they know best, and what has worked handsomely for them in the past. They will hunt down David Clarke's kickout and get scores off it. Mayo need to disrupt everything. And we aren't being thuggish here, but no team yet has given Dublin a hard time on and off the ball, physically. That means jostling and blocking runs, getting in the road and being a complete nuisance.
And Mayo might do all of this, all to no avail. We'll see, anyway.