I regularly put on a post with odds before the Glasgow Derby of Celtic vs Rangers.
It’s by far the biggest rivalry in Scotland, the UK and certainly one of the most fiercestly contested derby matches in the world.
It’s more than simple rivalry, there’s cultural history involved where most people would presume that all Celtic fans are Catholic with an Irish heritage and all Rangers fans are Protestant with loyalty to the UK.
It’s a generalisation but it’s not as simple as that.
Personally, I’m proud of my Irish heritage, but I have a Scottish heritage too. That makes me British and I’m fine with that, although with this Brexit shenanigans I’m seriously considering applying for an Irish passport.
I’m also lapsed Catholic, well lapsed. Organised religions are out-dated and in the decline.
People are more educated than they were and don’t cling to rules created to control them by fear and a life in eternal damnation if they don’t make a donation.
Contrast the above with my mate Jim, we’ve been best pals since we were kids.
We played football every day in Elder Park, Govan. He was always Davie Cooper and I was Davie Hay. I wasn’t good enough to claim to be Jimmy Johnstone.
Through some accident of birth, I was born into a Catholic family and Jim Protestant, not that his family practiced any religion or ever went to church.
Not that I did much either, not once I wised up aged 10 and spent the plate money donation on sweets and then played football barefoot so as not to mess up the good Sunday shoes.
Heaven forbid. Although that’s more fear of my mother than any man made deity.
In these parts, who you identify and label yourself as is more about the family you were born into rather than any religious basis.
But in my opinion, there’s a critical difference between the majority of Celtic and Rangers fans.
Celtic has many many fans who are non Catholic with no Irish heritage. That includes many Protestants and other cultures.
You don’t get songs of religious hatred at a Celtic game. Fact.
Compare that with Rangers, who although the majority of their support may identify themselves as Protestant, they are not practicing.
Far too many of that support use their religion as a label to associate themselves with other cultural imbeciles with a hatred and fear of all things Catholic and/or Irish.
The line “Up to our knees in Fenian blood” from that charming little ditty The Billy Boys just isn’t acceptable in any modern society.
Swap Fenian for Jewish/Negro/Muslim and there would be an outcry from the media but it seems to be ignored and tacitly accepted when its aimed at Irish Catholics.
But feel sorry for myself? Victimised? Fuck right off.
I have an Irish Catholic heritage and hate that song. But I’m wise enough to know it’s only sang by uneducated morons.
It’s like calling a black guy the “N” word. It is designed to and will usually provoke a reaction. Particularly when it’s sang en-masse by the support or an individual in your face.
Some people think that it’s okay at the football. But a bigot is a bigot and it’s not acceptable at any time.
Some people need a bit of perspective and to realise that there’s more to unite us than divide us.
So how’s this for a reality check …
This poor family are going through the trauma of losing their child. I can’t imagine what their going through.
Like any family losing a child, it just cannot be put in words. It would devastate me if it happened.
The dad Harry has asked both sets of supporters to bring along a blue or green balloons in tribute to young Koa.
If I was going I’d take one along, I hope many of the Celtic support do too.
Football? More serious than life and death? I don’t think so.
Call me naive, but maybe if the haters can stop hating on both sides.
Put that cultural identity shit behind us and start treating people with respect then the world would be a better place.
A wise man once wrote
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one
Celtic are favourites for the game with best odds at 3/4. I.e. £100 quid on returns a meagre 33 quid.
Rangers are 4/1, returning 400 notes for the same 100 quid bet.
That seems too high for me, although I still think Celtic are favourites.
Present form of Celtic has been rubbish, I don’t think we’ve been playing anywhere near as good as we can and our defence is vulnerable.
Hopefully, Brendan has the team fired up for this on Sunday. If we play like we can then Celtic will win.