It is time now to get out the flags and the bunting and business people in particular should adorn their premises with the green and red of Mayo and add to the atmosphere as we prepare to take on the mighty Kingdom on Sunday, August 21, in the All-Ireland football semi-final.
Have we lost our sense of romance and adventure when it comes to the All-Ireland? Have our senses been dulled by too many bad days at headquarters?
Let us not let the depressing results of the past get too deep into our psyche.
This is a young, bold and fresh team with a huge future and while they may still be a work in progress, we owe it to them, as indeed they owe it to their supporters, to give it our best shot when it comes to giving them support and encouragement.
After all, they are amateurs who are expected to be semi-professional given the training and preparation now involved in getting a team to this stage.
Remember the halcyon days of ’96 and ’97 when the county marched behind John Maughan’s army and it was it was case of asking the last man leaving Mayo to switch off the light as the mass exodus took place to Croke Park.
Some of the cynics, and I’d nearly count myself among them at times, will point to some severe beatings in Croke Park which has left us with some deep scars of low self-esteem when it comes to taking on the might of Kerry in particular.
In the 2006 final Mayo were beaten out the door by Kerry but under Maughan in 1996 they beat Kerry in a memorable semi-final, proving the Kingdom are not infallible.
And for what it is worth, when Mayo last won the All-Ireland in 1951 Kerry were their semi-final opponents. Maybe the portents are good this year.
Horan himself was part of that ‘96 team and will know all about Kerry psyche.
He has built a new team from very young foundations with a new sense of purpose and self-belief permeating right through the side.
It will also not go unnoticed that we are still in the midst of one of the longest and deepest depressions the country has ever suffered.
If nothing else, a Mayo team playing with pride and passion can provide us all with a badly needed boost and help us to cast off the shackles of inferiority which have imprisoned us for so long when it comes to delivering on the bigger stage.
Mayo go into the semi final as underdogs and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But their performance against Cork would indicate the team is made of sterner stuff, the physical edge to the game taking many, including Cork, by surprise.
All we can do now is support them and the one tangible way is to get those flags out and declare our true colours and maybe, in the euphoria of All-Ireland fever, we can, for a few weeks at least, put the depression aside and try and live for the moment and what it may offer as they don’t come our way too often.
Let us celebrate being who we are, what we are and where we come from.