Date: 22nd September 2017 at 7:35pm
Written by:

I’ve been doing this long enough now that I shouldn’t get upset by gutter rats sending me abuse. I’ve had it all. Usually I slap them back with a reply in similar tone to what I get sent; just the other day, for example, I was called a sad case who spends too long “obsessing” on Ibrox; the sender posed a general inquiry about the last time I was with a woman. I said it was just the other day and his girlfriend sneaked out without leaving the money.

That’s the best way to respond to those kind of emails.

The more abusive ones get far darker responses.

I never make a big deal about them. I usually laugh them off and forget them five minutes after they’ve been sent.

It takes something really obscene to get me to respond like this.

You may assume that something of that nature dropped into my inbox just now, which it did, following the publication of my article on the need for an SFA inquiry. The sender suggested that other issues require an inquiry; he was good enough to share some of his observations about those, complete with a ton of shameful invective and some pretty slanderous allegations against a slew of people both alive and dead.

Naturally, I’m not going to share the fine details of that particular missive with you or my feelings about the writer generally; I sent him a pretty venomous response and blocked him to make sure I never hear from him again.

Let’s just say that I’m going to enjoy tomorrow all the more knowing he is out there and probably suffering in direct proportion to my own pleasure.

That on its own might almost be sufficient.

But of course, there’s more than one of these scumbags out there as we’re all painfully and horribly aware; this isn’t the first time one of them has decided to respond to an article on the need for an inquiry in such a sewer-swimming fashion and I don’t expect that it’ll be the last.

The guy in the picture atop this article is the alpha and omega of Scottish football accomplishment; he’s the starting point for praising accomplishment and the end point, because what he did remains above and beyond what anyone else will ever do.

Those trophies which are laid out on the table are not just his legacy to Celtic, they are the legacy of Scottish football’s finest achievement. He was one of the most decent men in the history of the sport here, and he understood and he loved the fans, of all clubs.

He helped the sick and the wounded on the night of Ibrox most horrible disaster and he abhorred sectarianism and hate in any of its forms. Indeed, it was the bile-inducing hate of parts of the community from which he came which made him embrace the ethos of Celtic instead.

That man would not have understood how anyone could harbour the kind of detestation for him that was contained in that email tonight, but he would have recognised it and the soil that grew it. He would have wanted to rip it out at the root, as any decent person of character would, yet oddly he would probably have sympathised with the person who wrote it for having such narrow, warped views in the modern world, and he would have considered that person like someone who had been born terribly scarred, bereft of compassion or conscience.

He would have been the better man, the bigger man, and I couldn’t do what he would have done, which is forgive and forget; I wanted the writer where I could get my hands around his neck … I settled for sending him back a load of abuse.

In the end I couldn’t live up to Jock’s standards … but then no-one really does.

So Sevconuts with the hate in your hearts, who are convinced that this good man, this Great Man, somehow justifies all this venom, the litres of it which pour out online every single day, you take a good look at that picture. You convince yourselves that the reason you despise him so is to be found in some kind of altruism; you are only kidding yourselves.

Look at that picture. Feast your eyes on it. On those trophies and what they mean. On a fundamentally decent human being who just so happened to be a genius at that football management lark … you take it all in, the reason for your loathing right there, captured for eternity in a single, incredible, photograph.

Look at it. Accept it. Hate it and choke on it.