One of the crucial moments in the movie Catch Me If You Can comes when Frank Abignale’s father tells him the secret of the New York Yankees. “It’s cause the other teams can’t stop staring at those damn pinstripes.” And that’s a lesson the kid takes with him for the rest of his life, learning early what it takes some con artists years to work out.
The uniform conveys authority and inspire fears.
That’s why so many scammers rely on disguises, and if those are cops or airline pilots or even simple waiters and porters they get away with it because it presents you with something you expect, and your sense of expectation does the rest.
Of course you’ll let someone in an apron take your coat, and if it turns out that the girl who had it on lifted it off a rack at the door when she came in at your back … how were you to know? We instinctively react to the outfit in ways we don’t properly comprehend.
I knew that St Mirren would offer nothing at Ibrox today for the same reason teams as diverse as PSV and Hearts offered nothing at Ibrox. There is a hype around that ground and the team who play there and people go there believing it. Even Napoli laboured under the delusion that the ground and that blue jersey had special powers of some sort.
One team in the last year has gone to Ibrox and refused to change its playing style and that was us. And we won. We’re not in the least bit intimidated by either the place or the uniform the home team wears. We are not intimidated by the myth.
That’s why little more than three weeks after they beat Celtic, St Mirren meekly lay down at Ibrox. Hey, it was either they got spooked by the place and the occasion or their manager didn’t put as much into motivating them as he did into playing against us.
Too many teams in this league go there – and come to Celtic Park by the way – looking to do damage limitation. It cheats their fans and robs them of any ambition beyond being what they are; also rans in a league full of them.
Robinson laments the score-line by saying that it was never a 4-0 game; but let’s be honest, if he’s suggesting it was closer he’s only talking about one or two goals out. A team which has just lost by that margin should have been locked in the dressing room by a furious manager and not allowed out until some home truths were expressed.
Instead, he seems to suggest he’d have been perfectly fine with a narrow loss. That, right there, is the problem. The Ibrox myth will remain until someone steps up and has a go there, and I didn’t think before the game that Robinson would and his comments in the aftermath clearly demonstrate his lack of intent to even try.