The best way to start a day around here is with a little Ibrox post-match pain.
My daily dosage has been provided by The Daily Record, which has one of its hopeful articles for their fans up this morning as Alex Rae points out that all they need to do in order to show they are title contenders is win every match from now until Christmas.
He makes it sound so simple too … the article calls it The Helicopter Sunday spirit.
Jesus, they don’t half like to bang on about that.
You’d think they were the only club ever to win a title on the last day.
When we did it at St Mirren in 1985 it was a far more iconic moment. Were there no helicopters then, or did the bus carrying the league trophy have to turn at the nearest junction outside of Dundee and head for Paisley instead?
We call it Albert Kidd Sunday … but it doesn’t come up 100 times a year.
On top of Rae’s comforting assertion, he (or Gavin Berry, the writer) also thinks the game came down to a mistake in their defence which we took advantage of for the first goal, a long period of turtling after we got it, and a sneaky counter attack late in the game for the second.
In other words, in whatever parallel universe exists for these Peepul, we got lucky in a game that they dominated. I really don’t know what match they were watching, but it wasn’t the same one as gave me a sore throat and a minor hangover.
But none of that is what I find interesting; it’s Rae’s use of that oft-deployed phrase “bragging rights” that intrigues me, and it’s that phrase I want to talk about.
We’ve won three domestic trebles on the bounce.
This is the most successful team in the recent history of Scottish football; not even the Lions won more than one treble, and no team has ever won two in a row let alone three. This team has a claim to being one of the all-time great Scottish top flight sides.
People can grumble about poor quality all they like; the record is phenomenal and deserves to be considered alongside the greatest achievements in our game.
If any team is entitled to “bragging rights” it is this one.
The thing is, this team never brags.
Bragging is the tool of fools.
We may have the “right” to brag but this team simply does not do it. We’d rather do our talking on the pitch.
Bragging is so unprofessional.
We can brag, the fans, and we do.
We’ve rubbed the faces of the Ibrox fans right in it since the weekend, but have you heard a single member of the team do it?
Even when Lennon was sitting in front of the press after the game there was no bragging. He settled some scores but there was no “look how good we are …” and we certainly weren’t talking down our opponents or the other clubs in the league.
“Everyone has written us off. We’ve had a difficult couple of weeks where myself, the board, the players have been written off so early. We don’t believe the noise, we don’t believe the hype,” he said. No bragging there at all.
Brown walked out of Ibrox calmly at the weekend, he didn’t stop to gloat.
He wouldn’t have stopped at all except for being subjected to the most awful abuse.
He spoke after the game, and it was all about three points, all about how the club shut out all the white noise over the summer and early part of the campaign.
Where was the bragging? Nowhere.
And Bolingoli has spoken since the game, and if anybody was entitled to have a dig at all and sundry it was him.
There was none. Instead he praised the team, the fans … and Scott Brown.
No bragging at all.
Professionalism. A bit of quality. Class, on and off the park, instead.
More than anything else … why brag over a single game, and a single result? You win nothing at this point in the season … bragging rights don’t get your name engraved on a trophy.
We don’t linger on the last game … we think about the next one.
And in the meantime, the team wins with dignity.
We’ve gotten good at it.
But they do say practice makes perfect, don’t they?
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