Offaly could have just beaten Dublin in football or Tipp in hurling, and this lad will still be picking fault with the starting position of one of the corner-backs. Let there be no doubt about it, if Offaly ever win another Sam Maguire or Liam McCarthy, this guy will say we could have won by more.
The Sunshine Fan
This supporter only ever turns up when the going's good. Offer him a tough league trip to Ulster on a rainy February Sunday afternoon, and he will invariably choose to stay in and watch Sky's Super Sunday. But, at the first sniff of a successful run, maybe a surprising first round championship win, he is in the wardrobe before you can say his name looking for the 1998 jersey he has somewhere.
The Hyperactive Child
Arguably one of the more annoying visitors to the sidelines of the GAA. Children who wear the colours, kick or puck ball at half-time, and largely get absorbed by the performance of their heroes on the pitch add so much to the game. On the other hand, kids who have arrived just because they were promised Skittles, and now think the seat in front of you is a trampoline do not.
The Guy Behind the Goals
Mick McDonagh is arguably the most recognisable GAA fan in the country, nevermind the county. Yes, that guy! (top right of the main picture) He parades up and down behind the goals at grounds throughout the country, wears his Offaly jersey no matter who is playing, and follows the Faithful whether they are fighting for Sam or Liam, or taking a hiding in Armagh. This guy is the epitome of a true Offaly supporter.
The Foul-Mouthed Old Man
This supporter usually shows the finest manners as he excuses himself getting past you into his seat before throw-in. He apologises, smiles at you, and sits down looking fairly tame. He's a veteran of the stands. Little do we know, he has been hardened by the up and down fortunes of Offaly through the decades, and proceeds to project a foul-mouthed tirade at referees, players, managers, waterboys and hyperactive kids. This guy is usually more entertaining than the match itself.
The Sensitive Mammy
Mammies of intercounty players are one of two things; sideline lunatics or timid worried-looking wrecks. The sensitive mammy sits in the stand, hopefully nowhere near the old man as he hurls his latest rant at her Johnny, and whimpers every time her son touches the ball, tackles someone, gets tackled, and so on. Whether the team have won or been beaten by 30 points, she will cheer to the rafters for her boy - simply because he survived that shoulder from the big full-back. #GodBlessGAAMammies
The Drunk Lads
The lads who think they are the absolute craic. They've gotten the early train, the early house, the early drink, and yet arrive late and stumble over full rows of fans as they find their seats. It all seems hilarious as they snigger each time the drunkest of them ends up on someone's lap. The boys tend not to care much about the result – they're just happy to be out and to be locked.
We need plenty of these heads at games these days. There will always be one fan telling the Moaner and the Foul-Mouthed Old Man to calm down and give the lads a chance. This guy definitely found a bright side after our footballers' 30-point loss to Armagh in the league in March 2017. 'Sure didn't we score ten points. That doesn't happen every day!' He'll be roundly told to shut up every time he speaks.
The Old Woman Who Can't See
This poor dear is usually married to the foul-mouthed man and spends her time telling him to behave himself, whilst also asking all who will listen what has just happened on the pitch. She'll eventually give up asking and resort to the thing we all do in Mass, kneeling when others do – she'll cheer and clap no matter who scores, much to the frustration of her husband. A flask of tea will no doubt be produced at some point.
The Sideline Expert
This guy played Junior B for ten minutes when he was 18, making him an absolute expert on the game. In truth, he shouldn't be in the stand at all, and should be up with Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane, or Cyril Farrell and Ger Loughnane, schooling them on the pros and cons of the sweeper system. This lad is humoured by all, despised by the same measure, and widely accepted to be an absolute gobshite. But do you think that will stop him putting in his tuppence worth every ten seconds? No chance - He jabbers on...
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