Only five players in the history of Gaelic football have managed to collect eight All-Ireland titles.
Of those five, only one has managed to play every minute of every final in the same position.
Of that great Kerry side from 1975 to 1986, while the team remained largely the same, the one constant throughout was the centre forward berth held by Denis ‘Ogie’ Moran.
While being inducted into the GAA Museum’s Hall of Fame, the list revealing all of his accolades throughout a star-studded career was enough to make any athlete feel inadequate. Moran doesn’t stand on the shoulders of giants. He is the giant.
However, his record is in danger of being breached by various members of Jim Gavin’s Dublin side who won their seventh All-Ireland title on Saturday evening.
Not that Ogie is letting that affect him in any way.
“Yeah, I can’t do anything about that I think! Just have to suck it up”
Dublin have gone one better than that great Kerry side by making the impossible, possible by winning five-in-a-row.
However, Ogie isn’t thinking too much about records. He’d prefer to focus on the overall greatness of Jim Gavin’s side.
“Didn’t think too much about it really, but fair play to them, it’s not easy to do that. It’s a massive achieve not to have lost a game since 2014, and some of the players there have never lost. The goalie has been there for such a long time, the midfield is fantastic. That fella has a fantastic record, to have never lost a championship game. There are some great players up front as well. They are a very complete team, they are great athletes, very disciplined, great to react on the spot to the situation they are in.”
With both teams viewed as ‘once in a generation’ type sides, the inevitable comparison have already begun with many feeling that Dublin’s latest achievement forever sets them apart from Mick O’Dwyer’s all-conquering Kerry outfit.
Moran is right when he says it’s nigh on impossible to compare two teams from two different generations, nearly 40 years apart.
“That’s fine too. That’s sport, different eras go. In our era we were probably the prominent team, and now they are the prominent team.
“It’s very hard to judge it. It’s good pub talk. It’s just impossible to compare a team, there’s 40 years of difference. The games have changed so much, there is a running game now, a possession game. We probably stayed in our own parts of the field and there was a lot more kicking. You fought for your own ball and you were marking one guy, you either beat him or he beat you.
“Now its much more scientific, much more thought goes into it, much more preparation goes into it. In our time there was no such thing as video analysis. Kevin Heffernan, he was a one-man band Mick O’Dwyer was a one-man band, so it’s just a different game. So, it’s almost impossible to compare them. Its 40 years apart. But its good pub talk.”
As for Saturday’s latest match in the long-running Dublin/Kerry saga, the school of thought is that this may well be the second coming of what has long been touted as the GAA’s greatest rivalry.
When put to him Moran reflects on his own rivalry with Dublin and how life-long friends were born out of it.
“I think it’s great. We had some great friendships with the Dubs of the 70s. I see it now with the two Brogans their mum is from Listowel, they’re often down in Listowel so we meet them down there. There’s a lot of Kerry connections, Cian O’Sullivan’s dad is from Killorglin, Brian Fenton’s dad is from Spa in Killarney.
“There’ll be plenty of friendships when things settle down and they come down to the Listowel Races on their holidays in Kerry, they’ll build those friendships. They’re lifetime friendships.”