Lesley Riddoch -
give her a knighthood
FB finds himself in the strange position of praising the Scotsman newspaper columnist Lesley Riddoch to the rafters. In her article yesterday the feisty columnist takes issue with the overwhelming tendency in Scotland to define sport as football and vice versa. Our so called national broadcaster is among the most guilty of this tendency - as in Sportscene - a programme which never in FB's lifetime has contained anything other than film of pisspoor Scottish football matches. In olden days this was quaintly amusing, now as the grammatical coherence of the commentators has declined in step with the quality of Scottish football, it is frighteningly embarrassing.
Ms Riddoch starts her piece with a mild concern that the UK news media's reporting of the Ashes success may have been a bit over the top, but then comments:
I'm ready to watch that final ball in Sydney over and over again if it puts clear blue water between myself and Scotland's footballing chauvinists who believe no other sport should command any attention.YES!!!! She then considers a piece on Good Morning Scotland last week by well known intellectual powerhouse Chick Young which, by her report, attempted to belittle the thought that anyone in Scotland might be interested in the Ashes or cricket. FB is glad that he gave up listening to GMS at about the time he started shaving, for if the piece is half what Ms Riddoch reports, the radio set might well have been dispatched through the window. According to Young, 'non-traditional sports' are robbing football of its talent and resources eg a cricket pitch is being built in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park which encroaches on once sacred football pitches. And so on, and so on.
Ms Riddoch skilfully condemns this small minded attitude and puts it in its place pointing out that 'cricket is played by 30,000 kids and adults in Scotland................the vast majority involved in cricket today are active players not passive spectators, almost the reverse of Scottish football.' She notes the sublime waste of young athletic talent within football dominated as it is by the greedy short-termism of the bigger clubs. Oh, and the cricket pitch is being built on a pitch and put course.........
Finally she concludes:
Scotland contains many different social worlds. The dominance of football denies that reality.Fantasy Bob invites his readers to write to the Queen recommending that Ms Riddoch is appropriately recognised in the next honours round. God Bless Her.
But despite her heroics, he does not advise anyone to hold their breath waiting for a diversity of sport on Sportscene.
FB also notes that the trend in the Barmy Army to wrap themselves with the flag of St George plays into the hands of these philistines. At one time the Union Jack would have been the flag of choice. Until such times as Scotland, and Ireland, gain Test status that should remain the case.