Almost everyone reading this will understand what I mean when I say that there’s little point in throwing a punch unless you’re prepared for a fight.
If you’ve ever been in a position where the choice was between striking out and walking away you’ve already done part of the mental calculation necessary.
Once you hit somebody you’re all in.
There are people that will go down if you hit them.
There are people who will step back in shock and fright.
There are people who might appear to be hard who simply talk an aggressive game but when put to the test can’t meet it.
But the thing is, you’re not going to know if you’re dealing with one of those people until after you do it.
Everyone else will respond in kind.
Some will do it out of self-preservation.
Once that threshold is crossed, they’ll assume they’re on a pummelling unless they resist as hard as they can, and then it becomes about putting the other person down first.
Others will do it because they enjoy fighting.
Some will have the ability to make you pay a sorry price for striking the first blow.
Almost all will make you wonder if it was worth it.
Last week The Daily Record threw a punch with its story on the Ibrox podcasters and media partners who had shamed their club and disgraced themselves on social media.
On the side-lines, a bunch of people cheered.
If they had been hoping to see a knock-out blow delivered they didn’t get one.
Two of the three named individuals held their hands up and walked.
The other dug in his heels and swung back. And he’s been swinging ever since.
So The Record is in a fight. And it’s a dirty fight.
Nobody is going to observe the Marquis of Queensbury rules in this one.
It’s a backstreet brawl, with weapons, and if The Record wasn’t aware of what it was getting into then all involved are as dumb as a box of rocks because anyone who has looked at Sevco social media over the years would have seen the reaction to this coming a mile away.
The question now becomes, how committed is the paper to getting its win?
And what exactly does a win look like in this case at the end of it all?
Crucial to that question is the answer to another; what is this fight really all about?
Has The Daily Record, for years utterly silent on what the Ibrox fan-base gets up to, finally decided like the rest of us that enough is enough?
Or is this pique, a reaction to the Ibrox policy of charging outlets £25,000 a pop for access?
In short, is the motivation petty or is it substantial enough that defeat is unthinkable?
A man will fight harder for something he believes in or cares about than he will over pride or ego.
So does The Record believe in what it’s doing, or did they lash out because they believed they could and now that the costs are clear are they wondering if it was worth it?
See, there’s no point in being brave and bold enough to hit first if you aren’t prepared for some kind of response.
This doesn’t require big talk or bravado; when the fight starts those things no longer matter and will no longer suffice.
What’s required then is courage under fire … if you aren’t possessed of that then I’d say you had no business throwing a punch in the first place.
The ineptness of what The Record has done here is obvious.
They’ve gotten into a pissing contest over social media postings when they didn’t even do basic checks on what those inside their own house have put up over the years, a special kind of stupidity which they are now scrambling to overcome, but much too late in the game for it to matter since the screenshots are already in circulation and the full measure of them is now plain for all to see.
I personally think most of them are relatively harmless.
Others cross the line, and for those who have it is imperative that they consider their own positions and make restitution and publicly apologise at the very least.
The rest, I’d advise to get aggressive because they are going to be pummelled one way or another and you can cower on your knees or start swinging back.
Whilst The Record started this, it’s clear that Ibrox’s deranged fans aren’t stopping with a mere act of retaliation.
They get this, anyway. They understand what the stakes are.
They’re looking into fan media on our side, believing that their own repulsive tendancies are rampant on this side of the fence.
I’m not sure what they hope to achieve by this either way, but they are doing it.
Hey, if our fan media had racists, homophobes and bigots in our ranks there is no doubt we’d all know by now and we wouldn’t have needed to wait for the media to tell us about it because you’d have read about it here, first, and on other blogs like this because we unequivocally despise this stuff.
We wouldn’t have wanted it near Celtic.
So Celtic fan media won’t be cowed.
We know that The Record, and everyone else who’s willing to stand up, requires our support and they’ll get it.
Some in the press have a choice to make about who’s side they are on, and they needn’t think not taking one gets them off the hook.
For those in charge of our media, the choice couldn’t be clearer.
They need to come together, and see this thing through to the end.
So what does the end look like?
The fault for this lies with the club itself.
If the club was serious about banning those who bring it into disrepute then Heart In Hand, a podcast named for a Loyalist song, with not the remotest connection to the club, would be gone. Follow Follow, who’s repulsive editor Mark Dingwall has posted stuff viler even than they have, would be follow following them out the door of the Ibrox press room never to return at the same time.
If the club reacts aggressively, throws these people out and makes it clear that they are no longer welcome, I believe that this will result in a sea-change over there like nothing else has since the UEFA bans on certain songs.
I think it could be a turning point.
At the very least, it will give the moderates and decent supporters over there something to build on.
To fail now, well that throws those people to the wolves because some are already speaking up.
If the objective is to clean up the club, the press has to keep going until it succeeds, or until the club so patently lets itself down that the scorn of the world is turned on it in a way that makes resistance impossible.
This is the moment.
I can assure the press corps that if it is allowed to pass and these people are given free reign and the club continues to treat them as “partners” then their views are legitimised by Ibrox unchallenged and then it’s game over for the foreseeable future.
Whether the media likes it or not, they are in a fight.
The Record threw a punch and now the Ibrox gutter element is punching back.
There can only be one winner; in case they haven’t noticed, nobody on the other side is retreating back into the corner.
They are battering the press – the whole of the press – with unrestrained glee.
Sitting on the side-lines and waiting for the shooting to stop is a gutless, fraudulent strategy which will only guarantee that these people emerge from this stronger, with a greater voice amongst the support and more power inside the club, than ever before.
So, really, this is a fight to the death and if the Daily Record didn’t know that at the start then they better know it now because if they back away from this, leaving the job half done, they will never be able to tackle this problem head-on again.
And Scotland needs the media and its civic organisations speaking with one voice on this.
It needs a win, otherwise we’re doomed to this shit for years to come.