Self-delusion versus Apathy: Gub's Friday Ramblings
But what makes a derby match? For example what is the main psychological difference in the make up that separates an Inter fan from an AC fan? Is it that while the Inter fan's granpaw was struggling by Abyssinia after extra time and a penalty shoot-out in the 1930s, his AC counterpart was still at home perfecting his Lemon Sorbet?
Is it that the modern AC fan takes more pride in his Vespa scooter than the average Inter fan? We do not know. What I will say is, from the outside looking in; they might not like each other on a Sunday afternoon, but they still share a religious/cultural element. Maybe they go to Church in their Vespas...
What is the difference between Real Madrid fans and Barca's support? Yawn, yawn, yawn, Civil War, yawn, yawn, yawn. Mind you, I don't know what goes on in Buenos Aires. Boca v River Plate might be some sort of modern day Corned Beef war being re-enacted, but I'm sure there is a side dish of crack cocaine in there also.
Getting much closer to home I have to confess the Man Utd v Liverpool derby not so much tics all the right boxes as tickles them.
I mean I've read a Manc stating with something akin to moral superiority that Liverpool was responsible for the Slave Trade. But what he forgets is that while rich Scousers were pointing their fancy ships out of the Mersey towards the Atlantic singing 'Ole Man River' his Mancunian equivalent was sending ten year old weans into his cotton mills to do an 18 hour shift.
So, whether it be picking cotton at source or spinning it in Manchester, it seems to me suspiciously like part of the same Slave Trade. It cannot be argued that this particular fixture has evolved into a 'derby' and a bitter one at that, but it is not for any moral reasons.
So where was I? Ah yes, baying at the moon come 'derby day'. Now I know as a Rangers fan, who has been affected in some part by the inner politics of the Old Firm rivalry for over forty years now, I should be immune to the mental deficiencies of our separated brethren but I have paid a price for such complacency. In short, these people although never to be trusted are still capable of gasting this hardened cynic's flabber.
Okay, time moves on but their steak pie stunt last January still leaves a very sour taste in the mouth. That one will never wash away. But that's twice now in the last two weeks when even by their own lowly, slovenly standards their sectarian, brainwashed minds have had me shaking the head and marvelling at their capacity for self delusion. Of course, they will always get away with it due to a two parts compliant, on-side with the message press, mixed with a one part press, too terrified to speak out against them.
First up was Peter Rafferty, el presidente of some Celtic supporters' group who was in a tizzy because Scott Brown was going to miss the post split Old Firm fixture. There was nothing rosy in the Rafferty garden last week; and it had everything to do with 'incapability Brown'. Of course this fruit loop's mental affliction was not helped by the news that while Brown would miss out on this game, our own Boogie would not.
Now we should all be aware of Rafferty and his cerebral excesses from days gone by. Rafferty after all was the dullard who had Eddie Shoestring on two nights, a Saturday and a Sunday overtime, trying to discern the drinking habits of referee Jim McCluskey, in the run up to the League Cup final of October 1990.
Only in Scotland would this moron be taken seriously. 'All we're looking for is a level playing field' he yelped. It's almost child-like this mindset that comes into play when this shower think they're on the receiving end of foul play. Although there is nothing remotely innocent to be found in their make-up. If this 'child like' mentality had a name, it would be 'Chukky.'
So, let's look at the facts as they truly are. Because of his own indiscipline, Scott Brown it was decreed, by the rules of the game, would miss the first two games after the split. Boogie, by the same rules would miss one, the first one.
This is where we get down to the nitty gritty. Because of the behaviour of the Celtic support during and after the Celtic shame game of May 2nd, 1999, Strathclyde Police and the SPL decided that never again, where possible, should there be another Old Firm title decider.
It is because, of the behaviour of the Celtic support ten years ago that Scott Brown will miss this next Old Firm clash. Obviously the Celtic fans were pinning their hopes on the OF match being the first one so that Boogie would also be out.
But again they only have themselves to blame as another thing we were told in the aftermath ten years ago was that Plod didn't want this match to be played on a holiday weekend.
Yet no one in the Scottish Press (probably David Leggat apart) thought it prudent to point these salient facts out to Rafferty. As I said earlier, they are either onside with Timbo's message or they are too terrified to speak out against them.
This week we then had Celtic FC openly questioning the fixtures after the split. Correction: this two-bob mhob are openly questioning/having a dig at Rangers' fixtures after the split.
Again, the rules state that teams will play 19 home games and 19 away games. Timbo has already played 17 at home so has two home games post split. Rangers have played 16 home games thus far so will play 3 home games post split. So what is their problem you may ask?
As usual, the problem is all in their foetid, sectarian, apartheid-educated minds. You see, they have it in their heads that because they struggled at Tynecastle recently, it automatically follows that we would go there and struggle accordingly, with the possibility of dropping a couple of points. All the while it has conveniently been forgotten that Rangers will have to travel to Easter Rd three times.
It truly is unbelievable what this shower get away with. Once again, no one in the press thought it prudent to point out to them that they started the season with a home game and will end it with a home game.
No one thought it reasonable to point out that the SPL are waiving the rules for them yet again. After all, they said after 2003 that if the title race was going down to the wire, both clubs would play away from home on the final day. At the time of making the fixture list, post split, everyone and their dog thinks the race is going down to the wire. Everyone that is but Gold and Co. apparently.
It is also a matter of record that Celtic have NEVER had to play three away games since the advent of the split. Strange that. But once again don't ever expect the Scottish press to point this innocuous wee fact out to them.
The thing is, though, Murray has a selection of hand-reared and hand-picked press poodles out there ready to do his bidding at any time. You only have to think back to the turn of the year and the usual suspects' dig at the RST's 'We Deserve Better' campaign.
At the drop of a hat they will yelp when their master's voice tells them to. But where have they been this last week or so when first Rafferty and now his club's own bitterness has came to the fore? You can be sure they will have taken up a vow of silence.
However, if we don't expect the press (and especially Murray's pack) to tackle Lawell and Co., surely we are entitled to expect the chairman himself, his CEO, and his manager to come out and defend our corner?
Put it this way; later today the manager will give his pre match press conference. It really is quite simple - if Walter Smith doesn't use it today to give a measured thought-out response from the management team to Celtic's unique insight-cum-bile earlier in the week (they've had since Tuesday to think it out) then he shouldn't be in the job.
I'm glad to say that I think the penny has finally dropped for an increasing amount of Rangers fans. There is nothing remotely dignified in this continuing silence of ours. It is apathy, it is weakness and it is very much welcomed by that shower across the city.
Sadly, silence is Golden at Murray's Ibrox. I will be very pleasantly and very much astonished if the emphasis changes this afternoon or any time soon.
The Govanhill Gub