One of the fundamental differences between the good guys (us ) and the bad guys (them ) is our reaction to defeat.
Back in the days of the Old Firm, if Celtic lost, the support would be down for a bit, but our natural good humour, whetted by an occasional light ale, would soon put the defeat to the back of our minds. We’d shrug, blame the referee, moan about our defenders and that would be that until the next time.
We always knew that there were more important things in life outwith ninety minutes on a Saturday.
The other lot, though, never quite took to defeat without smashing a few pubs, or breaking a few fenian heads. towns all over Europe have suffered, usually because they had a cathedral, when the hordes descended and didn’t leave with the victory they felt they were entitled to.
That mentality is often quite a fragile mentality, and were Celtic not so far behind this season, one could almost be forgiven for thinking the title race isn’t over yet.
Celtic, still somewhat unimpressively recorded another win , this time against Motherwell, as gradually the ship began to get back on course.
“rangers “, still without a capital letter but with italics so we can distinguish them from the original club, drew with Hamilton, the late equaliser from the Lanarkshire side stunning the referee into forgetting to give the mandatory Ibrox penalty earlier, as even their most dedicated professionals start to show signs of complacency.
And it seems to be worrying them, beneath the surface, at least.
How else can you explain the outcry over a simple mistake in a headline ?
In this instance, the Sun have managed to be the first sports mainstream media outlet, and . of course, this being Scotland, I use that term loosely, to upset both sides of the Glasgow divide.
The word “hunger “, hyphenated here to make two words, has offended the delicate little flowers over the river, but also upset not a few Celtic fans.
” Ger “, in this context, refers to Rangers, a club that was placed into liquidation in 2012, and the implication is that the new entity is the same as the old one, which annoys anyone who likes to see the truth in the media, especially Celtic fans, who feel their club has played by all the rules to keep afloat, whereas the Ibrox business was to dump one business and its debt and simply form another one and carry on as though nothing happened.
And “hun “, a term coined by various media throughout the world to describe their rampaging support, seems to have hit a chord with the Ibrox fans, and one feels that it suggests that fragility , which masquerades as a superiority complex, as the prospect of their first major trophy draws nearer.
In short, they can still make an arse of it, as none of their players , or management , have ever been over this course before.
Then again, the world is full of that mentality that criticises others for faults that they have deep within their pwn persona.
David Baddiel, the former comedian has often criticised those he feels are anti semitic, and rightly so. any form of bigotry or hatred based on a persons background or faith is abhorrent.
Yet back in the nineties, during his brief flirtation with fame, Baddie, along with Brummie comedian-itself a phrase that you don;t hear very often-l was responsible for something that even now turns the stomach.
Jason Lee, a forward with Nottingham Forest has a reasonable claim for a lost career after the two funnymen, again an extremely loose term, decided to make him a figure of fun because he had dreadlocks.
Baddiel, who likes to see himself as something of a humanist, behaved disgracefully, even “blacking up ” to further ridcule the man,
Double standards, as ever, and as the media joined in the feeding frenzy against the player, it was all deemed to be in good fun.
Unless , of course, you were Jason Lee, trying to earn a living.
We’re sort of used to that kind of thing in Scotland, with one club steadfastly refusing even to employ catholics or Irish , and even now , long after their demise, they still perpetuate the traditions of that club, albeit with a different one, though as the saying goes its just a different shite these flies are buzzing around.
Not so much in employment policy, but in attitude, something that has now encompassed the British military, who they seem to see as part of their own identity, despite staunchly swarming to the shipyards every time there was a hint of warfare.
They even wanted to hire the Red Arrows, the aerobatic RAF display team, to fly over Ibrox to celebrate their title win, and started a crowdfund.
If its anything like their usual attempts to raise money, they’ll probably get enough to pay for the petrol for one of the planes, and even then someone will run off with it.
Tolkien would have said there’s a darkness falling over the lands, which when you include the plague and the way Westminster has hamdled it, with over 100,000 dead now, and he’d have been right.
But Tolkien also favoured the little guy, the chap would fought on without giving up, when the chips are down, when the breaks are beating the boys.
The chips are down, the breaks are beating the boys.
We’ve kind of adopted the superiority complex that was axiomatic with Ibrox.
Our support now is turning on, and not without good reason, it must be said, our club.
And yet it could be argued that the main reason the club hasn’t performed is the absence of the twelfth man in the stands.
Although a lack of fitness, tactical nuance and leadership probably has more to do with it.
If we really want this ten in a row, and nothing has been won yet, then the board, the manager and even the players must start to do their bit, as must we.
Celtic will shortly release their interim results for the year, which are not expected to be very good.
Thats despite selling season books and securing the Adidas contract.
As far as Scottish football goes, Celtic are far and away the wealthiest club.
Which begs the question about the vialbility of the others.
Will the league survive the next few months ?
Shouldn’t that be the focus of those in charge, searching for investment and sponsorship-shouldn’t the media be pushing that at every turn ?
Or is it all about one club getting the champions league money to survive ?
Which didn’t work the last time, by the way.