Published Monday, 03 September 2012
Once again his team had defied all the odds in reaching their first All-Ireland Final since 1992. In recognising the massive performance and achievement of his boys he let his emotions run free showing his players how much the victory meant to him.
Jose Mourinho used to do it at Chelsea after games that you could hardly consider as season makers. No big deal, they hadn't been there for 20 years.
In stark contrast, I noticed at the end of Sunday's second Semi-final between Dublin and Mayo, James Horan consciously restraining himself from any such moments that may prompt an insinuation that the manager looked 'happy with his lot'.
You see, since Donegal won Sam in 1992, Mayo have been beaten in four All-Ireland deciders.
Their current manager played in two of those in 1996 and 1997. In the other two, in 2004 and 2006, Kerry embarrassingly hammered them out the gate. That hurt and feeling of incompletion won't go away until the final hurdle is cleared.
When we reached the semi-final stage a few weeks ago, all the signs pointed to a Cork v Dublin final. As we look forward to the fourth Sunday in September, we now have the most unlikely of pairings in Donegal v Mayo.
Someone said to me during the week that they couldn't see how Mayo could possibly beat the 'Dubs'. I remarked that Mayo's campaign this year reminded me of Armagh's back in 2002, when they slipped under the radar without too many recognising just how good a side they actually were.
At the Semi-final stage, back then Armagh were the 5/1 outsiders to capture the Sam Maguire. I remember because I backed them.
Going into that final, few gave them a chance against a Kerry team at the peak of their powers. After last week's dismantling of Cork, I came away with the belief that it wouldn't matter who came through the other tie, as neither team would be able to live with the intensity of Donegal's game.
After watching Mayo dismantle the 'Dubs' in some style, I am not so sure. With three weeks to the final it's a little early for predictions. The only predictable thing about this game will be the number of grown men jumping about like five year olds when the final whistle blows. And who could blame them?