As a fellow ‘Well fan and I were waxing lyrical about last week's thriller at our weekly five-a-side game, a Rangers fan overheard us and, laughing, said to a Celtic fan, ‘these provincial clubs eh'.
His glib comment made me wonder – could it be that years of domination have numbed Rangers and Celtic fans to the highs and lows of the Scottish game?
Whilst many in Scotland find the overtures of the old firm too tempting there are always going to be those of us who follow the “provincial” clubs and will savour nights like last Tuesday for the rest of our lives, (one fan told me it was the best game of his life).
You couldn’t have predicted Tuesday night’s game with any degree of certainty. However, the same could not be said of the other semi where the result, if not the score-line was predictable. Rangers will also be expected to win the final. For the old firm such games have become the norm. They go into the season sure of at least one appearance at Hampden and much like a child who knows what he’s getting for Christmas, the unwrapping isn’t as much of a surprise.
Ask your average fan and they’ll tell you that Europe’s where it’s at and that they would rather see their side strive for European glory. While that’s all well and good, on the pitch the old firm remain miles behind Europe’s elite and it is surely the case that the ‘Well have a greater chance of winning the odd domestic trophy than Rangers or Celtic have achieving success in Europe, where they seem destined to remain entrenched in mediocrity.
It has to be said that old firm fans yearn for a glory which, for the foreseeable future is unattainable, our glory is there for the taking, and that is why they will never understand the unbridled joy fans of a club like ours experience in reaching a cup final. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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