Today is the draw for the Scottish Cup quarter finals, and I can say honestly that I have not a care in the world how it goes.
I’ll take anyone, anywhere.
There are two games being played before it, one I will watch with enormous interest and one I’ll keep an eye on without being terribly animated by what happens in it. The draw will be made after that one, at Ibrox, where Sevco will take on Morton.
Will there be a shock? What would constitute one?
If you’re asking is the crisis club going to rise to the occasion and sneak a victory “against the odds” then yeah, probably. That would be a shock in some quarters, but even my intense dislike of the Ibrox regime and a hard-core of their fans can’t muster in me will enough to care what happens one way or the other.
The drama has been removed from that tie.
No harm to Morton, but if you win today the media will forever say it was a result of the turmoil at the club, in spite of the fact many of us would have fancied you to pull it off regardless. The match will also no longer decide the future of Mark Warburton, which was generating much of the interest surrounding it.
From the point of view of being a Celtic supporter, I can’t even find the enthusiasm to want to see more misery piled on misery.
Dave King will just make a statement at the end of the game rallying everyone (including the media) and that’ll be alright. Misery ended. It seems to work for everything else. Maybe the Tories should use him to sell Brexit to us.
No, the freak show will be interesting in the way certain reality TV shows are; the auditions on X Factor, for example. Watching deluded fools having their dreams snatched away has a peculiar attraction. But past that point they couldn’t make me watch it at gunpoint.
Today’s real game is the one between Hearts and Hibs.
It promises to be a cracker.
I can honestly say that behind our own game yesterday this is the game of the weekend, the one I’ve been eagerly awaiting. I could not for the life of me pick a winner, although I do have a preference which I hope some of my Hearts supporting friends will understand!
There are many reasons why I’d like to see the Hibs do it; I’ve long had a wee soft spot for them that’s partly to do with having lived with two die-hard supporters at University. During that time I even worked at Hampden, Tynecastle and Easter Road during games between the two teams and got on great with the Hibs supporters there, in spite of the Hampden result (where our own Paul Hartley scored a famous hat-trick).
I’ve always loved these games, as a result.
Then there’s the fact Big Alan had the manager’s job and the fact Our Neil does now.
It was especially pleasing that it was our on-loan players who put Sevco to the sword last year in the cup final and started Warburton on the downward slide.
So I’ll be cheering on Hibs today although it’s hard not to like Ian Cathro and the way he wants to play football.
It’ll be a very even contest, and I hope it’s a classic.
Following the Sevco game eight balls will go into the hat.
They can get who they like to make the draw, and use hot balls, cold balls or square balls … I care not. Draw us anywhere, against anyone, and make it as tough as you dare. One hack yesterday even suggested that making us come to Ibrox might constitute a test.
I suppose it depends on exactly what sort of test you are referring to. Multiple choice, on the Battle of the Boyne? We might not do terribly well in that one, although I suspect guys like Rob Kiernan would flunk it as well.
If you blindfold all of our players and make them walk there from Charing Cross that would certainly constitute a test. If you handicapped us by letting Sevco play their first team and their next best eleven they could probably hold us to the odd goal.
But in straight football terms … no, not so much.
Yesterday we rampaged past Inverness, a team who have a nasty habit of beating us in these kind of competitions. This team is rolling like a ten ton tank and on our day, when our players are buzzing, there’s nobody who can touch us, home or away.
So after today’s games, make it as difficult as possible.
If we eliminate one of the best teams in the quarters (Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen) or one of the challenging ones (Partick, Hamilton, Morton) that might leave us one of the lower rated teams (Dunfermline, St Mirren, Ayr United, Clyde, Sevco) for the semi-final, setting us up nicely for a treble at Hampden.
We’re getting towards it now, eah?