Here I am again, baring my soul for all you lot to see. Yes I watch Love Island. I’m not proud of it but I live for the drama in the villa and I make sure I rush home to watch it every night. Like everyone else I am praying for them to chuck in a wee ugly fat guy from Greenock with incredible patter to represent our fine nation in front of millions. My prayers have not been answered. Instead they have chucked in an Edinburgh born hunk of a man, tattoos covering his chest and arms and teeth whiter than a Donald Trump rally. His first conversation made my blood boil, veins popping out my forehead and left my body more anger laden than an old firm statement about referees.
Scottish Jamie: I’m from Edinburgh
Essex Shaugna: So do you support Celtic or Rangers?
I was already starting to fill with seethe at this gambit from Shaugna but its ok Jamie will put her in her place.
Scottish Jamie: Neither
Good lad Jamie hit her with a Hearts or a Hibs
Scottish Jamie: Scottish football is abysmal (spice boy laugh), I support Newcastle United
The same Newcastle United, ran by shameless Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley, that have been yo-yoing from the depths of the premier league relegation zone to the lofty heights of the English championship for the last decade. They now play a style of football that is as entertaining as an episode of Mrs Brown’s Boys; I probably wouldn’t watch one of their games if it was on in my back garden. Dear Lord, what a sad little life Jamie. You ruined my night so you could have a go at Scottish football, but I hope now you spend it on getting some lessons in grace and decorum because you have all the grace of a reversing dump truck without any tyres on.
On a more serious note, this kind of attitude winds me up. There is a snobby view from those south of the border about the Scottish game. One look at twitter and you’ll see people using the classic, “my gran could play in the Scottish top flight”. A quick glance at this type of individual’s online bio and you’ll usually see a Union Jack, Stoke fan (replace with any bang average English club), and just a general whiff of BREXIT. We should expect this from South of the border, they are living in an echo chamber where they are constantly told by the media that English football is as good is it gets and that everything else is an inferior product.
These wee guys don’t annoy me half as much as the wee guys from Scotland that slate the game up here. The kind of guy that won’t support their local team but is happy enough to travel 6 hours down to Old Trafford, sit in row Z and watch Man United draw 0-0 at home to Burnley. There are even some within our game and media, who slaughter and demean Scottish football. I’ve been guilty myself of making condescending comments for cheap laughs, again I’m not proud of it.
I think we need to talk our game up a bit more because it’s genuinely great entertainment. The quality of football on show isn’t always a fantastic spectacle but everything else that comes with it is just superb. Our game is full of character, we have the old school lower league grounds, Chris Sutton, the old firm statement circus, Morelos, fan shouts and Dick Campbell to name just but a few.
In my not so humble opinion, we now have a more entertaining and superior media product than beneath the border. We have “The View From the Terrace”, supplying incredible patter across our four leagues from a fans perspective; intertwined by brilliant videos celebrating the beauty, the weirdness, the wacky and the realness of our game. The English premier league has Arsenal fan TV where the presenter interviews an incredulous plastic fan who is crying about Arsenal’s place in mid table mediocrity.
We have the Open Goal podcast which is consistently producing material which has me cackling at the downright silliness and gives an insight from a former players’ point of view. They have the Peter Crouch podcast, which is simply just a bit “meh”.
We have “Off the Ball” with Stuart Cosgrove and Tam Cowan, a fine institution in Scotland. Poking fun at elements of our game but their passion comes through in every show. They have Adrian Durham’s Talksport show, the Piers Morgan of radio, where he dangles a controversial opinion out looking to start an argument. He’s that wee guy in the WhatsApp group that everyone hates who uses the wee fishing rod emoji when he’s on the back foot.
We have Sportscene and they have Match of the Day… Ok I’ll take the loss on this one. This is the exception that proves my rule. In a world full of Jamies from love island, be a Si Ferry, a Craig Telfer, a Tam Cowan or even be that really good host on the Lower League Ramblings podcast (he sounds like a cracking fella). Let’s get passionate about our superb game.