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Highlights on Off The Ball

How Tipperary stars Pat Shortt and Declan Browne reacted to clinching the Munster title

The entire population of Tipperary and its diaspora rejoiced in the footballers' outstanding Muns...

How Tipperary stars Pat Shortt...

How Tipperary stars Pat Shortt and Declan Browne reacted to clinching the Munster title

The entire population of Tipperary and its diaspora rejoiced in the footballers' outstanding Munster final victory over Cork, and two of the counties most famous sons were no different.

Pat Shortt and Declan Browne joined Joe Molloy and Kieran Donaghy on the latest OTB Sports Supervalu Roadshow to talk about the historical significance of the footballer's achievement, how they spent the match, and what the triumph meant to the county as a whole.

'I got very drunk'

For Shortt, the ecstasy of ending the 85-year drought overshadowed the Cavan and Donegal match that began after the final whistle in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

"I got very drunk," Shortt admitted, laughing at the sheer joy of the occasion.

"I do not remember much of the Donegal match.

"Where I come from it would be a lot more hurling, up in north Tipperary. Look, we support all Tipp teams, there is no doubt about it, but we would not have a huge knowledge of what is going on in the football normally.

This team, I was watching because I had [a personal] interest in it many, many years ago. My nephew played with a lot of the lads there."

Tipperary captain Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan embrace at Pairc Ui Chaoimh 22 November 2020; Tipperary captain Conor Sweeney, left and Michael Quinlivan of Tipperary after the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Final match between Cork and Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

While Browne celebrated the occasion in a slightly different manner, the elation and pride was the same in his household

"I watched it at home with my wife and two girls. These things are more than a Munster final to Tipp footballers, you know," Browne, one of only two men to achieve All-Star status in Tipp colours, said.

"The occasion and everything was just special."

Inspiring future generations

While both men acknowledge that Tipperary will forever be a hurling county, there is a sense that this win could inspire future generations of boys and girls to aspire to perform for the Premier County in football.

Stars Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan might just tip the scales of interest back toward football in the hurling stronghold.

"There is a huge amount of [interest] now," Shortt said when asked of the effect an All-Ireland semi-final appearance has had.

The emotions around the fixture were evident all weekend as the game took place on the centenary of Bloody Sunday.

This only added to the pride and excitement experienced by all in Tipperary, old and young.

"I think with the jerseys on, in a Munster final, beating Cork was amazing. There was something about that whole Bloody Sunday event as well," he continued.

Tipperary players celebrate their win over Cork Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Browne fully agrees with that sentiment. The occasion drew tears from his entire family as the weight of expectation and history was lifted with David Power's men lifting the trophy.

"It was a fiercely exciting household. Listen, obviously we all cried at the end of it because we were waiting so long for it and it is something we all dreamed of happening someday.

The circumstances of this unique season only placed a minor dampener on the occasion, according to Browne.

The players are unable to soak up the experience with the public due to the coronavirus pandemic. In ordinary circumstances, they would travel the length and breadth of the county to enjoy the experience with their supporters.

"It is a real pity, we should be celebrating this for the next six months," Browne said.

Courage of the Tipperary players

The historical significance of the occasion coupled with the extremely long drought could shake even the most experienced players. Bearing that in mind, it is extraordinary that the team and backroom staff performed so beautifully in this high-stakes encounter.

This should be emphasised repeatedly.

"Our guys are confident. They are used to winning and that shone brightly in a Munster final. The occasion did not get to them which was great and to see the jerseys, you could not have marked the weekend any better," Browne concluded.

Will Tipperary feature in the All-Ireland final at the end of December?

The odds are stacked against them as they take on a supremely talented Mayo side who are also looking to end a long run without success in the Sam Maguire.

If Tipp manage to get over the line, and they will go into the clash at Croke Park with absolutely no fear, according to Shortt, it would cap a wonderful season for the footballers on the pitch.

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All-ireland Cork David Power Mayo Michael Quinlivan Tipperary