“Oh this is how it feels to be Celtic … Champions again and you know ….”
Earlier today, before the game, I read a wonderful line from Gordon Parks, where he talked about how the mood around Celtic – Sevco games is “apathetic.”
He was speaking as someone who was already hurting and not looking forward to more pain.
These games do not inspire the feelings that once accompanied Rangers matches – the knots in the stomach, the combination of anticipation and nervousness, or the great delirium if you get a result – but they certainly don’t make Celtic fans feel apathetic. In fact, they are eagerly anticipated.
If watching a Celtic – Rangers game used to sometimes feel like you were sitting down in front of a horror movie – the good kind as well as the bad – then watching a Celtic – Sevco match is more like watching a film by Paul Verhoeven. I love that guy and would watch a film of his if it was literally called Paint Drying. Because he is nuts. Because yes it would be about drying paint but I’d bet that there would be plenty of blood spilled along the way.
The violence in Verhoeven’s films is so exaggerated that it’s cartoonish and watching us toy with Sevco today gave me the same sadistic thrill which is weaved into the moment in RoboCop where Murphy is being tortured to death by Boddicker’s gang and the brilliant Jesse Goin’s character, Joe Cox, taunts him by blasting him and then mockingly asking, “Awww … does it hurt? Does it hurt?”
Does it, Sevco fans? Does it hurt?
Let’s not even sugar coat it; in Verhoeven terms no away side has taken such a battering since the First Battle of Klendathu, the seminal moment in his magnificent satire on war and militarism, Starship Troopers, when the Federation Army gets well and truly pumped.
It is a measure of where we are now, and where Sevco is, that I am genuinely disappointed, as I write this, that we did not impose our superiority even further and break all the records that were in front of us when we made it 5-0 with a half hour to go.
But in all honesty, that was magnificent.
That was everything we’d been hoping for and a lot more besides. That was a title winner, stuffing the pretenders, sickening their fans, shutting up the media and demonstrating our utter supremacy with a cherry on top. Every player rose to the moment. Every player played superbly. It was glorious.
My generation had never seen us beat an Ibrox team by more than four goals until today.
In the last two years I’ve seen three such matches, and this one. I will remember all of them fondly, for the rest of my life, but this one most of all because it was even more comprehensive than the rest, because it secured our seventh league flag, because it was so, so, so easy.
And I know this game has inflicted permanent scars on the psyche of their support and it has broken the spirit of their club. They will sack Murty tonight – they pretty much have to – if he doesn’t resign and that will give them a temporary shot in the arm but even McInnes’ pitiful record against them should be improved upon because they are finished.
“I need a corporal,” Michael Ironside’s loony commander Rasczak tells Rico in Starship Troopers. “You’re it, until you’re dead or I find someone better.”
And that’s how Sevco picks its managers now.
Tonight the Player and Manager of the Year awards are held, and Brendan should take one and Scott Brown the other, or what are these ceremonies for? It could be years before anyone at Sevco attends one of those as anything other than a passive observer.
It will certainly be years before they challenge us for a major honour.
I will talk about our players and the challenges facing us next season later on. But the only hope Sevco fans have of seeing a brighter future is if Recall opens a local branch and they are doing a bulk implant that erases all this and in which Dave King is a billionaire with an open cheque book instead of a skulking crook with a record of tax convictions.
“Let me suggest that you take a vacation from yourself,” McClane tells Quaid when he goes for his own implant. “I know it sounds wild. It is the latest thing in travel. We call it the Ego Trip.”
For Sevco fans, the Ego Trip is well and truly over.
Their entire “journey” has been a run away from truth and fact as the rest of us know it.
And for a certain Liverpool coach, today was his introduction to that life, to that world, to the cold hard truth of it all, and the last warning he is going to get. I hope he was watching because whatever bill of goods they’ve tried to sell him thus far, whatever bullshit they’re trying to fill his head with … this is the job. This is the reality.
Or, to parse McClane’s famous head-screwing scene;
“It won’t make the slightest difference to me … but the consequences to you will be devastating. In your mind, and with no one to guide you, you’ll be stuck here in permanent psychosis. The walls of reality will come crashing down around you. One minute, you’re the savior … but in the end, back on Earth, you’ll be lobotomized!”
If he has any sense at all, he will not walk away from it, he’ll run.
Enjoy yourselves friends, enjoy Beautiful Sunday II.
Stay safe, and we’ll talk again soon.
In the meantime, sing along folks ….