Jump to content

 

 

Recommended Posts

American football remains a minority sport in the UK, and especially in Scotland, where the urban English fascination with US culture, especially those of minorities, is less firmly felt. Even so, some of you may have read about the 'inflategate' scandal which erupted after last week's semi-finals, in which Boston's New England Patriots were, apparently, found to have deliberately under inflated the footballs used, presumably giving them an advantage. Quite how it did so I can't explain: perhaps their players are more used to handling squishy balls than the firm-tested team they beat. But the comeback against the most successful side in recent years in the NFL has been swift and bitter.

 

Patriots' owner, Robert Kraft (presumably of the atomic-orange 'Cheesey Pasta' and suspiciously mushy, not-very-cheesy Dairylea Triangles family) has angrily stepped up to the plate, to mix our American sports, and lashed out at the coverage his side has received. Get this:

 

“I’m disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon,” Kraft said, pointing directly to reports citing anonymous sources. “We expect hard facts rather than circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.”

 

Sounds mighty familiar. I doubt many folk in the Greater Boston area would be thrilled at a comparison with Rangers, the bastion not only of quintessential Britishness but the Protestant Ascendancy, Conservative Values, Stout Monarchism etc etc. Just the same, it does sound familiar to the bluenose ear (now there's an image), does it not?

 

“I am confident that this investigation will uncover whatever the facts were that took place last Sunday and the science of how game balls react to changes in the environment,” Kraft added. “This would be in direct contrast to the public discourse, which has been driven by media leaks as opposed to actual data and facts. Because of this, many jumped to conclusions and made scarring accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff questioning the integrity of all involved.”

 

At least throughout all Rangers' travails no-one accused them of under inflating their footballs. Balls of a different sort will be needed on Sunday, when probably the least anticipated Rangers - Celtic game of all time rolls around. The air has certainly gone from this fixture, and it would be appropriate if Rangers turned up on a series of old Raleigh bikes with flat tyres. Clown horns would not be amiss either, given the standard of play we've seen. I daresay Celtic fans can't wait for it. If I was in their shoes I'd be hoping for double figures. All very defeatist and in line with the mood of gloom which not only surrounds but suffocates anything and everything to do with the Ibrox side, but I don't apologise for that. On the pitch, in the boardroom, on the stands, can anyone see any light?

 

As a long established handwringer, I'm split 3 ways between worrying about a total doing, the off field ramblings of various boards, and the potential for embarrassment from the stands. My wishy-washy attitude to this last has never been about being personally offended: as someone of no religion I shed few tears for sensitive clerical types of whatever stripe. It's always been about what hurts Rangers; but there's no sign of anyone else giving much of a toss. An afternoon long Sash Bash awaits, say some. Oh, the joy. I just felt it would show more balls, inflated to maximum, to call for decorum before the game, rather than wading in afterward. Who knows? Maybe it will all pass off in a manner which doesn't damage the club's image, what's left of it. Can't see it, though.

 

And it's all such a waste of energy, anyway, shouting meaningless insults which don't insult the other side and bring harm to your own. I suppose everyone - and certainly, every club's fans - is guilty, from time to time, of saying things they don't mean. Only last night on the radio, Soviet Jim Spence, the Tayside Trotsky, suggested that the 80% of football fans who don't follow Rangers are bored with the saga. He might be more convincing if he didn't spend quite so much time talking about it, mostly in the manner chastised by Robert Kraft above. I doubt the US capitalist rotter, who seems more than a little aggrieved at being questioned at all - a sense of entitlement is rarely attractive - had the Couthy Commissar in his mind when he complained about 'circumstantial leaked evidence' but if the caps fits...and if 80% of fans don't care about Rangers, they've a funny way of showing it!

 

Certainly, football worldwide is often the refuge of the unreconstructed, simple minded soul, and a sense of social awareness has never been a qualification for media work at all, let alone in sport. Last week's superb game in the FA Cup between Arsenal and Brighton, for example, was marred only by Robbie Savage's shrieked commentary, in which he not only encouraged Brighton players to put opponents into Row Z, play long balls into the channel and hoof it clear from defence, but persistently referred to co-host Ian Darke as 'darkey'. Even allowing for 'PC gone mad' considerations, this was brutal, throwback behaviour, as if the last 30 years on and off the field had never happened. I was ready for him to suggest Albion start the second half in flares before going on strike. But the game doesn't have to be so stupid: who in their right mind wants to use Robbie Savage as an exemplar? Maybe we can set an example for whatever future awaits our club by ignoring the existence of opposing fans and trying to lift the team.

 

Well, there you have it, the depressing thoughts of a depressed handwringer on a depressingly wintry morning. We wait to see what happens on the pitch. I am sure the ground staff at Hampden will have the balls at the right pressure. I wonder what pressure mine will be come kick off.

Edited by andy steel
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.