It’s the morning after Mark Warburton’s Magic Hand has been found to contain nothing but wee balls of rabbit shit and an empty Monster Munch packet.
His hapless side was well beaten on the day, despite being ten minutes from winning the game, which would have been the greatest travesty since Arthur Mullard and Hylda Baker went on Top of the Pops to sing “You’re The One That I Want” back in 1978.
The one sided nature of the game can be surmised from the statistic that Anthony Stokes himself had five more shots on target than the whole of the Sevco team. It brutally exposed the weaknesses of Warburton’s side and there are many, as we’ve discussed before.
They finished the season on less points than Celtic (after both had played the same number of games). They won a solitary Ramsdens Cup.
From this manager of the year awards have come. Wow.
The myth of his greatness is based on a penalty shootout victory over us in a semi-final where the result was so bad we told our manager to start clearing his desk. (And yet even on that day, we dominated much of the game.)
I’d love to be discussing that here – and I will, later – but the truth is, there’s a much bigger issue to tackle today and it’s the remarkable, hysterical over-reaction on Sevco forums and amongst their fans to what happened at Hampden yesterday after the final whistle had been blown.
Let me tell you right now, I’m convinced, absolutely convinced, that some of their players were rough-housed yesterday but I am always suspicious about the extent of those events, partly because I remember that our shrieking media made much of the tap on the back of the head that AC Milan keeper Duda got at Celtic Park a few years back, with some describing that as an assault in particular given that he rolled around like someone who’d been shot.
I also know that no other club plays the “hiding behind external events in light of a defeat” card better than the Ibrox ones.
In other words, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if this wasn’t simply grossly overblown to deflect attention from their own failings and the lousy behaviour of that section of their own support that won’t join civilisation.
Nevertheless, when Peter Smith of STV and others say they witnessed assaults on the likes of Lee Wallace I believe them, unequivocally and I am aghast at the kind of idiotic mind it takes to do something like that on the day of one of your club’s greatest triumphs.
It’s proof, if ever we needed it, that football attracts a mixed bag of nutjobs and psychos who use it as a place where they can express all their deep-seated hatreds and unleash their latent violence whilst blending in with the crowd, under the aegis of “standing up for your own.”
They hid behind Hibs shirts yesterday in the way a sociopath who killed a Celtic fan after the Scottish cup semi-final hid behind a Sevco one.
They aren’t football supporters, not really; how could they be?
Assaulting a rival team’s player on the day your club has broken a 114 year hoodoo?
A day your club should have been recalling, in years to come, with triumph and pride?
To call their actions disgraceful is to understate it.
They need to be found, caught and punished.
They need to be jailed, for the good of society.
But whilst there’s no question whatsoever about that the stench permeating Scottish football today is overwhelming that of hysteria and over-reaction to the scandalous behaviour of a few goons. Their “contribution” to the event aside, what happened yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary up until the moment Sevco supporters decided to join their Hibs counterparts on the pitch. We’ve all seen fans invade the field at the final whistle; Celtic fans famously did it in Lisbon.
I’m willing to bet more than a few of them were dancing in front of the Inter contingent.
In a winner takes all game, it’s as old as competition itself.
You do give it tight to the opposition when your team has taken home the prize. It happens at every match, in the stands. Only when it happens out on the pitch is it somehow turned into something else, as some kind of gross provocation.
To read the papers today is to read reports of a riot; those who remember the Battle of Hampden know what one of those looks like.
Yesterday wasn’t it. Thank God.
But this is what the media does, of course; they overblow everything.
I expect that. It’s normal for them, and we’ve all seen it before.
They were the ones who turned the so-called Shame Game into World War III and provoked the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.
My own eyes and ears were able to process what happened yesterday without their hyperbole.
As bad as the media reaction was, what came out of the numerous Sevco fan sites last night – as well as what The Daily Record “fan blogger” on their site was allowed to publish; a disgraceful, inflammatory screed written by someone who sounded half mad – was far worse, and far more dangerous and twisted.
They reeked of paranoia, hysteria and the deep, deep delusions of the mental institute.
These half-baked fruitcakes wrote, in sentences dribbling with bitterness and spite, about how the pitch invasion yesterday was motivated by “anti-Rangers hate.”
They tied it to the Motherwell fans who ran onto the park last season.
They dredged up that old horseshit about how one of them “assaulted” Lee McCulloch with an umbrella, all of which would be pitiful stuff if it was simply being used for deflection purposes to divert attention from an abject display.
But it’s altogether more sinister when you realise they actually believe this.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick to death of this never-ending self-pitying, whiny, bitchy commentary on how the world hates them.
It might be slightly more tolerable if it wasn’t grounded in their sense of superiority, but it’s always framed that way, as “jealousy” of how strong they are, how wonderful they are, how glorious is the “great Glasgow Rangers” a club who’s early years were built on a sectarian signing policy and who’s later successes were the result of financial doping to a fare-thee-well and which vanished from the world on the back of not paying its taxes. Their Newco was born of shame, and is now run by a tax crook.
Victims? Give me a break, okay?
I am sick to death of their dodging responsibility. I am sick to death of being called a bigot because the section of their support that can’t fit in with the rest of humanity makes my skin crawl with their own vile wallowing in hatred.
The notion that they are some kind of hated minority offends me because for years their club represented the supremacist majority which for which years held entire parts of this country in thrall and which maintained its power with the old “what school did you go to?” question which was so famous here on the West coast.
But this country moved past that and as someone who’s deeply proud of the land of his birth and the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and mostly tolerant one that it’s become, and the more just, socially responsible one it very much wants to be I am offended on an even deeper level because this sorry self-regard and its claims of victimhood are a slur on Scotland itself, making us seem like some sort of backward banana republic populated by loonies.
The club’s own statement was equally unhinged, and inexcusable in the way it sought to paint their fans as whiter than white.
A lunatic section of their own support were incapable of enduring a little joshing and invaded the pitch for a fight. That’s the truth that dare not speak its name inside Ibrox, although I was pleased to see that no-one in the press ignored it. I’ve seen some of the footage of the way those “innocent fans” behaved (see a particularly worrying example here) and whilst a tumescent Bill Leckie appears, based on his column today, to have enjoyed certain aspects of the spectacle (whilst he pontificates on how bad it all was; a typically immoral piece of pious bullshit from him) I personally found it repulsive.
I found their “community singing” much the same for the duration of the match.
This club never admits its own culpability in anything, which is, perhaps, one reason so many people in Scotland do view it with deep dislike.
The Victim Myth, the one that says the rest of Scottish football treated them with vindictiveness and hate, has blossomed, as it was always going to, into an all-encompassing mind-set which threatens to do irreparable harm to the bigger game here. It is perverse and deeply disturbing and has already been used to justify all manner of deplorable behaviour for a section of its support that doesn’t need any excuse to behave like thugs and aggressors.
The events of Manchester and other places are still fresh in the mind.
That their players received their medals in a dressing room yesterday is, of course, a great shame, even if it offered an alibi to their manager so he wouldn’t have to explain his abject failings to the media, but history records that it’s not the first time an Ibrox club has been presented with a gong in such a fashion; Rangers’ own European final success was marred by far worse scenes that yesterday and it was their own supporters who turned the Nou Camp into a sewer.
So I really don’t want to hear or read statements of outrage from people whose apology to Scottish football for their own litany of offences is shamefully overdue.
And for those who are already asking what all this has to do with us, if you need me to explain that there’s simply no way I’ll be able to get through to you. These people will be bringing that mentality to Celtic Park and the surrounding area next season, and we’re going to have to take at least one trip to their own house. I’d rather we didn’t do that with the stench of this hanging in the air, but at the very least it’s something we should be wary about.
There was a time when their fans used to sing “no-one likes us we don’t care.”
Now they wail about it constantly, like a bride ditched at the alter and who spends the rest of her life telling the world what a swine her ex was.
For years they were the establishment club, the biggest in the land, the superpower, even if it was all a mirage, built on shifting sand.
The real truth is that club was liquidated and the newco is a pale imitation of the one that came before it and what hurts most isn’t that no-one likes them it’s that no-one fears them, no-one respects them and, in fact, many of us are laughing at them.
They better get used to it, because this is what they are now and the longer they cling to these pretensions of superiority the stupider they look and the louder our laughter will get.
Their self-pitying is pathetic.
If only they could see themselves as others do, even they might finally look in the mirror and get a grip.