Published Monday, 19 September 2011
I recall John talking about there being "no predetermined outcomes", "the script not written yet", and how "the game can change at any given moment".
The 'this isn't going to be our day' mentality was an imposter not welcome. With seven minutes to go in Sunday's All-Ireland Final, it was hard not to buy into the notion that it wasn't going to be Dublin's day.
But just as John had said, any game can change almost instantaneously.
When Kevin McManamon smashed his goal to the Kerry net, it also made me think of Jon Young's lyrics to 'It Ain't Over': "When the road gets rough and you had about enough, and you feel like giving up, just remember that it ain't over."
To come from four points behind against the most successful and experienced team of a generation, was no mean feat, and one that took immense character, belief and mental resolve.
Never mind the fact that predicting a narrow Dublin victory had reinstated my fragile reputation as a reliable tipster.
Even the perk of a nice double on Kilkenny to win the hurling and Dublin the football couldn't surpass the delight I felt for a team who really had done it the hard way. Beaten out the gate by Kerry two years ago, a lot of hurt and soul-searching resulted in a desire to get the head down make more sacrifices and work even harder in the pursuit of success.
This manifested itself in early morning training sessions, more meticulous preparation and a group of reasonably talented players buying into a real team ethic. Often you get what you deserve in sport.
None of us would deny that Kerry outclassed Dublin for long periods of this game, but in a marathon, it's often about who finishes the strongest.
I've never been a great fan of goal-keepers coming up the field to hit free kicks, but Cluxton is a genius with an incredible nerve. Going by his absence during all the post-match celebrations, he's not the kind of guy you'd be ringing up to go for a pint with.
But the type of fella you could sure rely on when in a tight spot.
A thoroughly enjoyable final, the Dubs showed that it's the last line of the script that really matters.