Paddy Power took to the streets of Chicago this week in search of curse-breaking advice for last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Mayo who begin their campaign against Sligo at the weekend.
We ventured all the way to the Windy City to place an advert reading “Dear Cubs, any curse breaking advice? This is getting embarrassing – Sincerely, Mayo” outside Wrigley Field the home of the Chicago Cubs, who last year put an end to a curse of their own to win their first MLB World Series since 1908.
Mayo have been the nearly men of Gaelic Football in the modern era losing an astonishing EIGHT All-Ireland football finals since 1989 including three of the last six.
Of course the county’s misfortune is not due to any shortcomings on the pitch, but instead a ‘curse’ that has been over the team since their last title way back in 1951 – allegedly…
According to legend, the Mayo team were travelling back to the west from Dublin along with the Sam Maguire and passed a funeral in the town of Foxford without paying their respects and stopping. A priest put a ‘curse’ on them that they would not win another All-Ireland until every member of that team had passed away.
Mayo go into this year’s All-Ireland Championship as the 11/2 third favourites, however with two members of their 1951 title winners still alive today they’ll have to break the curse if they are to finally end their barren run.
Féilim Mac An Iomaire, a spokesperson for Paddy Power, said “In their quest for All-Ireland glory Mayo have tried everything from trips to Knock, lighting candles to putting Aidan O’Shea in at full forward, but nothing has worked for them to date. Hopefully with the help of the Chicago Cubs’ curse-breaking expertise they can finally make their breakthrough and our gesture won’t be as empty as their trophy cabinet come September.”
The western giants are the overwhelming favourites to get their campaign off to a winning start on Sunday when they line-out against Connacht rivals Sligo in Castlebar. Paddy Power make Stephen Rochford’s men 1/14 to see off their first challenge with the Yeats County available at a meaty 8/1 to cause the first major upset of the championship.
All Ireland Senior Football Championship
Monaghan v Fermanagh
Mayo v Sligo
Louth v Wicklow
Laois v Longford
Carlow v Wexford
Donegal v Antrim
Tipperary v Cork