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Amongst The Anti-Celtic Hacks, Keevins Stands Tallest: The King Of Wishful Thinking.

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Back in 1990, Go West released their biggest hit record, The King of Wishful Thinking.

I think that’s a good timeframe to work with here, because at the time Hugh Keevins was in the full flush of his career working for a national title and “starring” on a famous sports show at the same time, albiet one that was on local radio.

He was “an important man.”

But he was also part of an important profession, because back then, he and his colleagues in the sports world seemed to have it by the balls. They were the voices that rang out loudest in the sport.

They could make and break managerial careers.

They could influence the direction of football policy.

They could set the agenda for clubs by writing stuff that would get the fans behind their teams or, in some cases, put them on the wrong side of the fans.

You don’t need to be an expert in the events of those years to know what I mean.

When it suited them they took the side of the rebels trying to bring down the Celtic board.

The minute those guys replaced them the same media turned the guns on them.

Fergus McCann learned it all too well. It was Keevins own paper which compared him to Saddam Hussein.

It was the timeframe in which “succulent lamb journalism” became a thing in Scottish football, as the hacks lined up for the scraps from Murray’s table.

He had been in charge at Ibrox for two years at that point, and he was well on the way to taming the media landscape and turning it into his personal pet. For all they thought they were powerful, they all bowed and kissed the ring.

Keevins was no exception.

He was at the start of his slippery slope, the one which led to his banishment from Celtic Park for a long time.

Even then you always got the impression that this was a guy who thought far more of himself than was ever justified. He was arrogant without reason to be. He was smug even when hopelessly, shockingly, embarrassingly wrong.

And he lied a lot.

Now I know it’s impolite to say that, but it is true and we all know that it’s true and there are numerous examples of him getting caught doing it. He fell out with umpteen people in the sport during that time for stating his own frequently ridiculous opinions as if they were facts, and was pulled up for it many times.

When Dalglish ended up as interim manager of the club in 2000, it was Keevins as much as anyone in the media, stirring controversy, misquoting him, taking his comments out of context and making mischief just because he could which led to the coach snapping and deciding that the only way Celtic fans could accurately gauge what he was saying was if he did it in front of them.

He took the press conferences on a tour of the Celtic pubs of Glasgow.

Read back at those articles if you can find them; even the language used in them is mind-bendingly crass, as if the patrons of those pubs were redneck trailer trash.

That led to what Keevins himself – tellingly – regards as his journalistic highlight; being physically ejected from The Celtic Club in London Road by a bouncer who recognised that by then he had become a spiteful little man and a poisonous element always stabbing at us from the safety of the press box. Keevins still talks about it to this day, bizarrely with apparent pride.

Which tells you plenty about this guy right away.

In the years since then, his entire profession has lost every shred of influence and power it ever had, due to the rise of new media, and every scintilla of moral authority it ever possessed due to its unfailing cosying up to power.

It has become complacent, stupefyingly ignorant of the business it’s meant to cover, when in fact the information and facts are easier to come by than ever before, and corrupted by its tendency to spread disinformation and even falsehood.

A couple of years back, amidst much fanfare, The Sunday Mail announced that it was bringing Keevins out of retirement and even at the time I couldn’t believe how ridiculous that decision was. I was aghast that anyone in the modern industry could ever think a clapped out relic who has never been particularly good at the job was the answer to falling readership.

I have no idea what it did to the readership; tanked it I would suspect.

But I do know that his columns are deranged, ignorant, stupid and arrogant without the least cause.

Because almost everything he write is garbage. Almost every prediction and forecast he publishes is wrong. Almost everything that he claims to know turns out to be false.

In the last week he has made a backtrack a Tory Prime Minister would have been ashamed by.

Since his sterling prediction that The Great Gio would lead his glorious team through the league campaign unbeaten was obliterated in midweek, he is now singing the praises of Celtic and the manager as though it had been us he was bigging up and sucking up to all along.

The whiff of Orwellian doublethink is all over this …

“Oceania is at war with Eurasia. Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia” is what I thought of when I heard him dishing out the praise with his big ladle the other day, and ever since.

Keevins doesn’t think intelligently before he puts pen to paper.

He is a discredited joker who writes what he wants to believe, no matter how far-fetched or absurd it might be, and all too often that has a pronounced anti-Celtic bent.

Because he tipped the NewCo for the title and can’t bear to be seen to change his mind, he has spent every day since trying to prop up that hypothesis, and smiling all the while like a clown with a painted on grin.

Whatever The Record and The Sunday Mail thought they were getting, this is what they got instead and they deserve it, it’s a marriage made in heaven.

Keevins has long since become a joke figure, like the dead-wood in a double act, the guy who is on stage to be mocked and laughed at and ridiculed. But the joke is really on the handful of readers that paper has left, and the handful of listeners on his radio show. Because other than the comedy, what does this guy actually do?

Certainly not journalism, not even back in the heyday, back in the 90’s when they had influence and authority, before they were fully eating out of David Murray’s hand. Before the bloggers showed them how it was done. Before the wreckage and ruination of their entire industry. Even then Keevins was a ridiculous character without credibility of any kind.

What that makes him now, only his employers can say.

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19 comments

  • Roonsa says:

    For a guy you concede is a joke like figure, you don’t half waste a lot of energy writing about him.

  • James Meehan says:

    You have given him too much attention which suits him down to a tee.He is a non entity and should be treated as such.

  • Scouse bhoy says:

    If they are not telling what they know to be true then the bloggers have every right to call them out. These imposters get paid for not telling the truth that is the shameful state of the media in this country.

  • Frankiebhoy says:

    I can assure you he is not anti Celtic he is a Celtic supporter as is his whole family including his brother who is a priest I think he likes to be controversial together publicity hh

  • Garry Cowan says:

    It’s his job to prevoke a response ..if you just don’t listen to anything he says he becomes irrelevant which he ultimately is any way. Literally haven’t bought a newspaper in decades the newer generations who get their information from screens rather than paper will make the guy completely obsolete.very very soon

    • Damian says:

      Exactly. SSB has him on three times a week because ratings go up when he’s on. His gimmick is – say something outlandish and you’ll either be proven right or wrong. In the meantime the lines will be jam-packed. It’s a neat routine. It works. Over and over again. If enough people didn’t like it, they wouldn’t listen. SSB and the Mail would stop employing him. Simple. He’s in the entertainment industry. He’s got his wee niche. That’s all.

      But some things are not worth getting bothered about. He tipped Sevco to win the league this season? A massively sensible and banal prediction as they go. 25 point deficits have rarely been overturned in a single season (I can’t think of a single example – only one or two in the same ballpark l).

      For Rangers to go undefeated was just a click bait prediction. And it worked a treat.

      • Droopy McCool says:

        And yet you know how many times a week he’s on and what his predictions are!

        • Damian says:

          I don’t follow your point?

          I listen to him on SSB from time to time. He doesn’t bother me. I understand what he’s up to. It’s showbiz. He’s not Sinatra but he’s got his platform and his routine and he does it well enough.

          My message/advice was to anyone who’s that bothered about it.

  • Kyogos Dream Team says:

    You want Auld Spew tae back the FILTH coz he’s NEVER HAD A PREDICTION RIGHT IN HIS FUKIN PUFF LOL!!

  • Damian says:

    Any examples of his lies?

  • Justshatered says:

    He’s like Boyd: an empty vessel.
    If either one of them had an original idea it would die of loneliness.

  • TC says:

    He tipped them to win by a bigger margin than last season. He’s just a pathetic old man with a hatred for our club.

  • Paul Aurige says:

    Ah, the blessed Hugh. How does he manage to live rent free in the collective consciousness of the Celtic support? Over twenty years ago he managed to get three things wrong in two words when he described Lubo Moravcik as a ‘dud Czech”. Lubo wasn’t a dud and he wasn’t a Czech and he certainly wasn’t a dud check (a play on words by the almighty Hugh to underline his total command of the English language).
    In fact Celtic had purchased a player who at the age of 32 had played over 70 times for effectively two different countries (Czechoslovakia and Slovakia) for the sum of less than 200,000 pounds. Our Hugh of course failed to mention that a team playing out of Govan at the same time had also bought a player aged 33 with over 70 international caps – Colin
    Hendry – for a fee of more than 3,000,000 pounds. We all know where that ended up.

  • vincent mcsherry says:

    Sorry James, keevins has been ripping the piss and you are swallowing it big time! Leave the man alone he is just toing the party line! Result: Keevins 1 James 0 Come on James his comments are not worth a response.

    • James Forrest says:

      If you think the dickhead who volte-faced during the week after his idiotic opinions came crashing down around his head has won something you are the one who is ripping the piss.

      • Damian says:

        But you’re assuming that Keevins actually thought or cared whether Rangers went undefeated for the remainder of the season or was just doing his little routine of saying something to jam up the SSB phone lines, which always works and certainly worked this time. He said it to get people to react to it and you’re reacting to it way more than most.

        The only other possibility is that he actually did think Rangers would go the rest of the season undefeated, which was not a ridiculous prediction given that they didn’t lose a single game last season and had only lost one, narrowly, this season.

    • Gordon Ashley says:

      Keevins is actually a Celtic fan.. James is being wound up the garden path as usual, he annoys sevconia just as much as he annoys us, I actually think his sevco unbeaten prediction was reverse physiology and he was trying to put pressure on them, he annoys me sometimes but I also think he is entertaining some times and regularly noises up sevconians on the radio. At the end of the day he’s an old man who likes to wind fans up so what.. leave him saline, ps old Shug has forgotten more about sports journalism than James will learn in his lifetime

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