Saturday, 23 July 2011

Blue Saturday

Journalists commonly have it that 18 January is the most depressing day in the year.  Apparently it is when the euphoria of Christmas wanes, January salary day is far away and things are pretty grey.

Back too soon
- fan attacking Neil Lennon
Fantasy Bob has never found 18 January particularly lowering of the spirits.  Perhaps he has not been euphoric enough at Christmas time.  But 18 January is a happy day indeed compared with 23 July 2011.  For 23 July truly is the most depressing day of the year.  It marks the start of the Scottish football season.  When the bile of the blue side and the green side of Glasgow spreads itself across our national consciousness once again.  When the national media obsession with the mediocre comes back from its holidays.

Every year football seems to come back earlier and the early start has not even been welcomed by many in the game this year.  There is some cock eyed thought that it will make Scottish clubs more competitive in Europe. Perhaps they should try better players. 
Now it sounds as though FB is on a high horse - he might well be.  But he also feels a sense of loss.  He used to enjoy football matches.  For many years he attended the majority of Aberdeen's home matches and from Edinburgh used to take in a few of their games in the central belt.  But nothing would persuade him to go to a football match these days.  For the behaviour and attitude of the crowd has changed.  The torrents of abuse against players and other fans that now define the afternoon are not what FB recalls from the south terracing at Pittodrie.  What is it that makes the fans so angry (apart from the fact that generally they are watching inferior rubbish for which they have paid through the nose).  Do Scottish people really hate everything and themselves so much?  How many times is it possible to say the f-word in a single sentence?  Where has this rage come from?

FB has no idea.  But he remembers many years ago being the crowd for an Aberdeen Hearts match - never the most friendly of rivals, but there was a vocal fan a couple of rows behind who kept up a wail of critcism of the Hearts players.  However there was not an f-word to be heard.  Instead the players were lambasted for being chocolates. ''re useless, ye're a chocolate.'  'That's a foul - ya big Malteser.' 'Smith, ye're a chocolate - ye're a Mars Bar.'

Now that's abuse.

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