The above picture appeared as part of a story in the Daily Record a few weeks ago. I bookmarked it at the time because it showed the blatant hypocrisy evident in the rag. It was a story about CSKA Sofia's Ultras, dressing up as stormtroopers and letting off smoke bombs. And what was the DR's reaction to this spectacle? "You've got to hand it to the Bulgarian boys for this one.. gold STAR lads!" No gold stars for the ones setting off smoke bombs at Stranraer, though!
To my mind it's a fucking stupid thing to do at a football ground and it needs to be stamped out. To our football authorities and our media, however, it only seems to be condemned when one team's supporters do it. I remember last season a Motherwell fan phoned the DR Hotline to complain about Celtic supporters letting off one of these devices at Fir Park; apparently his grandson could have choked to death! This was only a short time after Motherwell fans had let off flares and smoke bombs at New Douglas Park. Now Stewart Regan has decided to enter the furore, pointing out that these devices are potentially life-threatening. The only conclusion to be drawn from all this is that the only dangerous, life-threatening smoke bombs are those that belch out green smoke. There must be some special chemical in the green flares and smoke bombs that make them especially dangerous. Why else would our authorities and media only condemn the green ones?
Meanwhile, there were four arrests at the ground for 'anti-social behaviour' and 'sectarian singing'. They've got some brass neck arresting anyone for sectarian singing after last week's shameful display at Ibrox! Isn't it strange how when nigh-on 40,000 Huns are singing about being up to their knees in blood and wanting the descendants of Irish folk sent 'home' all we hear is that Celtic supporters are just as bad and that sectarianism is evident at many grounds in Scotland? Yet, when a few, and it was a few, Celtic supporters chuck smoke bombs, like other teams' supporters regularly do, it's suddenly purely a Celtic problem! The same goes for the so-called 'sectarian' singing. In not one article that brings the subject up is last week's hate-fest mentioned. It was a different story last week, though; then it was an 'Old Firm' problem or a 'West of Scotland' problem. Funny that, eh?
The draw for the fifth round of the Scottish Cup has thrown up some interesting fixtures, the most exciting of which is the Hearts vs Hibs derby. Celtic are going to be away (of course) to a non-league side, either against East Kilbride or Lothian Thistle, which will be a bit of a culture shock. Sevco, predictably, will be playing at Ibrox against Kilmarnock. Last season when these two met it ended in a 3-0 defeat for Killie but, as the Daily Record points out, things are different now. They most certainly are. It's probably not what the DR means, but Kilmarnock's manager on their last meeting was ex-Rangers player, Allan Johnston. Gary Locke has never had anything to do with Ibrox, so there should be a huge difference in attitude. All you need to do is look at how Motherwell fared against Sevco once they got rid of Wrang-Door McCall to see how attitudes can change once the Ibrox connection is severed.
The big problem for Gary Locke, however, is going to be the fact that he now has three ex-Sevco players on his books. Can he trust them to put in a decent shift against their old team? Ex-Ibrox players are notorious for not trying against their old club; I always remember Ally McCoist and Ian Durrant at Kilmarnock. Maybe they lose all their Masonic privileges or something if they dare beat a team from Ibrox. Just in case there's a turn-up for the books and the ex-Sevconians put on a proper show and beat their old team, 'Warbs' has already got his excuses ready. He's going to blame the artificial turf. Yes, I know there's no artificial turf at Ibrox; I'm talking about the artificial turf on Kris Boyd's heid!
It was quite a shock to read of David Bowie's death. I was never a huge fan; when I was at school the Bowie fanatics came from the ranks of the 'Monty Python' boys, the types that used to sit in class reciting the 'Dead Parrot' sketch word-for-word. That put me off Bowie for a long time, though I always liked his stuff from the 1960s, which was ignored by the 'Monty Python' crew. I actually only got round to listening to the Ziggy Stardust album ten years ago, believe it or not, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since then I've listened to his other albums and quite liked them all. No matter what your opinion of his music, though, there's no denying the massive impact and influence he had on modern music. Even when I refused to listen to him or like him I had to admit that he influenced much of the stuff that I did like!
While all the plaudits and tributes are being paid to David Bowie, the filthy Daily Record has to try to make political capital out of his death. Their story regarding so-called 'Cybernats' writing negative comments about Bowie is a disgusting low, even for the DR. Nobody seems to be able to find the Twitter accounts quoted in the article and the suspicion is that they never existed in the first place. Any that did exist are probably about as genuine as the account of the 'Stranraer supporter' that suddenly appeared on Sunday. Like the posts on that account, the DR story is a lot of shite; a whole Lidl bag full!
One of the most surprising, if not shocking, stories to appear over the last few days has been the announcement of the engagement of Jerry Hall to Rupert Murdoch. As my daughter would say, what the actual fuck? It hardly seems a natural progression, does it? Bryan Ferry - Mick Jagger - Rupert Murdoch. It's as if Paula Yates left Michael Hutchence and ended up with Robert Maxwell! The shock value of the story is only eclipsed by one other: the lack of recognition of the achievements of Martyn Waghorn at the Ballon D'Or ceremony!
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