Country, province, county... and club.
A month ago my county lost in a final in Croke Park. Last night my province lost against Ulster. Just now, Cyprus gave my countrymen a lesson on how to play. What's a man to do?
There's still Mohill GFC.
Tomorrow in Cloone - barring more rain tonight - Mohill play St. Mary's of Carrick in the Leitrim Senior County Final. Mohill last won the senior title in 1971 and haven't contested a county final since three years later. Mohill were last in this position before I was born. Years and years of Mohillian dominance at under age football has never really come to fruition. Tomorrow's final is long overdue.
Nothing comes as close to home as club football. With the Leitrim team, I know all the names of course and I know some of the players to say hi. With the club it's different. I know everyone of them including the young guys (Murph is the old man of the team and he's two years younger than me). This means so much; it's easier to celebrate with men you grew up with and it's harder to handle when they lose. This is street football.
So, how will it go? Hard to tell. Carrick came through their semi-final replay by destroying Allen Gaels. Mohill's semi-final win against the Bors was last-gasp stuff. This was the match where Mohill put an end to the soft-centre myth; a myth that has held more credence in Mohill than anywhere else. Carrick have a bigger midfield and have come through an arguably harder journey to the final. Mohill are younger and faster. They may be inexperienced at this level but every Mohillian on the team has won county medals at one underage level at least. Many of them have played for Leitrim at all levels. When these players hit their rhythm, they play the most fluent football in the county.
But it's going to be tight and it's going to be tough - really tough if the forecast for tonight is correct and the pitch swims with water.Mohill need to dig deep. They must want to win more than oxygen. And they most never, never stop believing for sixty minutes and more.
I won't be at the game; I have to work. I'll be keeping track by phone and I can only hope, only hope.