I need your advice. I’m about to set off to Philly to see the famous Glasgow Celtic show Real Madrid how it’s done. But I’ve a few concerns I’d appreciate pre-gaming with you.
Questions. You know I’m gonna get them. Although 300 million-plus Americans have acquired a bit of a reputation for parochialism despite representing the most diverse range of identities, ethnicities and politics there’s ever been in one place, let me I assure you, tomorrow morning I’ll be fielding questions from Eagles fans on the Celts and our infamous rivalry.
1. The rivalry. Naturally, you can understand that right from the get-go these days, there’s a danger of one becoming unsaddled; caught between the pull of the facts and the desire to respect sensitivities. I wanna be accurate and generous here so please advise me on the best approach. Do Celtic still have a rivalry with Rangers or is that past? When I’m describing my Rangers friends should I now just call them friends? Have Celtic been replaced with “Old Rangers” as Servco Rangers’ greatest rivals? How do I explain the Old vs. New Rangers rivalry, I can’t quite keep up: New Rangers have no responsibilities for or association with the 40million pound doping operation, yet they also claim all trophys won during this racket as their own; as part of their history? The yanks will never understand that one lads, help me out!
2. The history. Like most fans I could rhyme off too many stats on cups won and cups nicked; indeed, one wonders what state the world would be in if energies invested in one-way loyalties to these bizarre corporations were invested instead into questions of social policy and history. But I digress. The thing is, how to I describe Celtic’s trophy haul? Should boasts about Big Jock’s famous 9-in-a-row be updated to “…pending an additional 15-in-a-row run of late; announcement to follow“?
3. The future. Picture the scene tomorrow: 40,000-50-000 fans crowding in to watch Paddy McCourt show Ronaldo a few moves. We’re coming off the back of a great start to a Champions League campaign, enjoying a quick intermission with Real Madrid, then resuming pursuit of every trophy in Scotland and a shot at European football nights in Paradise. How do I square this with Rangers big game away to Peterhead tomorrow? People are gonna ask…
Anyways, you’ll have to reply ASAP because we’ve a tradition stateside called tailgating so I’ll be unavailable all morning. Tailgating is a strange business: everyone gathers before a ball has been kicked and parties as though the result is a given and the celebrations need not wait. It’s hard to explain but ask Sir David Murray, he’ll instantly get the concept.