The All-Ireland hangover is a real thing, Dublin's dominance just made us forget about it 1 year ago

The All-Ireland hangover is a real thing, Dublin's dominance just made us forget about it

When the hunters become the hunted.

The dust has settled on Tyrone's shock exit of the Ulster championship at the hands of Derry.


They will have retreated back out of the spotlight, away from the media, and attempt to use the coming weeks to reset, refocus and regain that 'Eye of the Tiger,' they possessed last year.

In just a couple of weeks you go from being All-Ireland champions and Ulster champions, to handing over the Anglo-Celt cup and having everyone dismiss you as genuine contenders to lift the Sam Maguire again.

It seems like a huge fall, but it's actually nothing new. All-Ireland champions routinely struggled to maintain their form the following year and regain their position at the top table.


This was of course before Dublin came and changed the whole game in an era of dominance, where they robotically and systematically collected consecutive All-Ireland titles six years in a row.

As the Red Hands were the first side to finally break this monopoly, they are the first to rediscover the perils of being the returning champions.

You have to go all the way back to Kerry's 2007 winning team, to see the last time a side outside of Dublin's 'six in a row,' claimed back to back titles.


That's not to say that all hope is lost for Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher's current crop of champions. They will respond well to the underdog status, and really attack the qualifiers, but their exit in the provincial championship and poor league form shows that the hangover is a very real thing.

In 2013, Donegal were in an almost identical situation. They returned home from their team holiday and had to jump straight into the league, where they lost their opening game.

From that point on it was a matter of chasing their own form and trying to catch up with everyone, and before they knew it, the seemingly unbeatable champions were dismantled by Mayo, and sent packing.


Jim McGuinness' side had spent the previous two years building this reputation of being a team of mentality monsters, real process ninjas who were dead eyed and completely locked in to the one goal.

Although the scheduling of the Donegal club championship that year played its part in upsetting their preparations, there was a seismic shift in not only the mindset of the players, but the mindset of opposing teams as well.

In his book Victory Always, McGuinness summed up this change in attitudes.

"The big difference was that in the previous year we put every ounce of our souls into trying to possess something that was almost impossible.


"Now as All-Ireland champions, we were trying to keep it.

"And all the other teams wanted to take it away from us."