The other day we almost had one of those dramatic broken clock moments, one of those rarities like seeing a total eclipse or something. Charlie Nicholas, writing in his inane column, actually said a couple of things that made sense when he called Ibrox’s board “spoiled brats”, a characterisation that is absolutely on the nose.
And then he committed the classic idiot error, the one that is so common to people in the media when they write about that club, when he suggested that at the centre of all this is a sense of injustice to which they are entitled.
Which is where the problem lies, because this relies on the big lie; that the club which plays out of Ibrox is the post-2012 one and that so what happened to them in being “relegated” was one of the greatest crimes in the history of sport.
There are a lot of our fans who don’t want to involve themselves any longer in this debate, including some Celtic fan media outlets who call the Ibrox club Rangers and discount any attempt to challenge that as a waste of time. I’ve always found this to be a short-sighted and even craven stand on a subject which is amongst the most important in our sport.
I think of this as being as fundamental to the Scottish game as the events of the Trump Presidency and the character of that man are to politics in the US.
Those on the Republican side who act as if the last election was stolen, that the insurrection at the Capitol was no big thing, who claim Trump offers something other than chaos and hatred and ignore his racism are leading the whole country down a dangerous path.
Imagine if the American media simply accepted their version of events and didn’t challenge it day in day out? Can you imagine what that would do to the political discourse over there? It would forever be toxified, forever be damaged and the consequences would be permanent.
The Republican party refuses to face up to those fictions and so it will more and more be defined by them in the same way Scottish football is still defined by the Survival and Victim Lies, with the second flowing from the first like water going downstream.
The current attitudes of the Ibrox club are steeped in grievances which all involved understand full well are groundless. Yet the media continues to promote them as if they had an iota of truth to them instead of challenging them as they should.
All Nicholas has done is legitimise lies and in an article in which he was challenging their behaviour he has actually given them an excuse for it.
Ibrox’s actions right now are, as Nicholas said, utterly pathetic and childish and that needed to be said, but it is more important than ever to highlight how fantastical and fictitious is the whole psychological underpinning on which their spite and fury is based.
That’s what was wrong with his article; he accepted the lie.
Until he and others challenge it, properly, it will continue to poison our national game.