End Evil

11/12/03 - Football

For a wee change from politics this rant is going to be about football (for all the Americans who may read this please note I mean real football not padded rugby). The world of football is usually like a great refuge from the depressions of the world, you can become completely immersed in something that doesn't involve politics. I'm not sure I'd go as far as the whole, stadium equals cathedral, religion analogy but you can take it as seriously as you like in Scotland.

Recently football has let me down, just as the evil cold of winter curls its fingers around me and it feels like 24 hour darkness the extra nightmare of watching Scotland get humped 6-0 from Holland, Rangers and Hearts get dumped so easily from European competition and Celtic lose to a dodgy penalty is too much to take. As a Scotland fan you get used to defeat and yet somehow you are conned each time around into thinking that maybe the team might just get somewhere this time. After beating Holland at home I fell into that mistake again, and when we get beat we can't just get beat, it has to be epic, cue the Dutch onslaught.

I suppose the exploits of Scottish teams in Europe the last few seasons have been a major improvement, the best I've seen but it always goes wrong. Celtic have been really unlucky, losing the Uefa Cup final to Porto and now getting knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon when they came so close. Rangers seem to be more a product of the current cash crisis, they've sold their best players and they have an incredibly spooky knack of hunting out really good players who are about to get career threatening injuries. The performance against Panathinaikos was terrible though, they just didn't seem to have a midfield at all. I hear they've got huge debts, reportedly 68 million worth. Dundee earlier in the season tried to sign a bunch of good players and they went bust, straight into administration like Motherwell last season. Scottish football is obviously not very well off, player's wages and low attendances are making it an unprofitable business. I think that's part of the problem it shouldn't really be viewed as a business, why does everything have to pander to the capitalist system? (that's rhetorical btw).

The nightmare of Scottish football is made worse by the fact that Scotland is one of the few countries in the world which has to be constantly subjected to another country's opinion. I'm so sick of English commentators on Scottish matches, especially that brain-dead wailing idiot on channel 5, why oh why did he get a football commentating job? (I'd really like an answer to that one). It can be doubly depressing to watch the news in Britain and get a fifteen minute back patting bore-fest about the English rugby win before a cursory mention of the piss poor Scots. I seriously don't want to hear another thing about the England rugby win but judging by 1966 they'll go on about it for years.

I really can't bear to see anymore brave defeats. I just hope our youngsters come good and we get to the next world cup because it's a long time to wait between tournaments. I know many Scots will be supporting whoever England play against in Portugal but I wouldn't be against supporting them as long as I didn't have to hear their triumphalist bullshit. They have such an in your face way of celebrating that you can't help hoping they lose.

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