A Shot at Glory

Last night I watched a film starring Ally McCoist. It was about a team that could cease to exist at the end of the season due to the plotting of a ruthless owner. It wasn’t the Rangers 2011/12 Season Review DVD it was the Scottish movie masterpiece “A Shot at Glory.”

Robert “Boo Radley” Duvall plays club coach, Gordon McLeod.  If you are unaware of who Boo Radley is then I suggest you check youtube for his hit single “Wake up Boo.” During production he was treated with respect by football fans up and down the country who in no way took the oportunity to make fun of him for his lack of scottish football knowledge. Here he is in a typical fan shot outside celtic park.

Ally “Question of Sport” McCoist is Jackie McQuillan, the team’s striker who used to play for Celtic. He wouldn’t wear any Celtic top during production and they had to be added on digitally afterwards. At one point he punches a Rangers fan whilst wearing the top. This would never happen in real life as he prefers to punch Celtic’s Neil Lennon whilst wearing his Rangers top.

Michael “Batman” Keaton plays the American owner of the team.  The new Batman film wanted to shut down the A9 to film scenes of desolation and poverty. I don’t know why they wanted to close it down as they could have got those same scenes filming the megabus to Inverness.

Brian “Hannibal Lecter” Cox is the the manager of Glasgow Rangers. Its not the first time they have been managed by a man famous for chopping people up. They had Graeme “Chopper” Souness.

If you love awful acting, bad scottish accents and a lead actor who is more famous for his offscreen antics than his on screen then I recommend Charlie Sheen in Postmortem. The worst Scottish movie of all time.

but otherwise check out A Shot at Glory

Next week I’ll cover the best football film ever made although it does have one major issue. Its not about football.


Three twitter users for you to follow

I love Twitter! #scotcomfc

A lot of people hate twitter and the reason they give is usually:

“Why would I wants to know about someone else’s life. Its all updates on what people had for breakfast, what they had for dinner and whatever boring things they did in between”

These people are idiots. Its the equivalent of saying I hate talking because some people use talk to say boring things like what they had for breakfast etc

I love twitter because it puts me in contact with people I never knew even existed and those people read what I write and think “screw him he is an idiot!”. It normally take people years to make that judgement but they conclude it after just a 140 character message.

I wrote this statement on twitter shortly after the world cup selection process.

“Scottish football fans like beer, women and sausages. I bet Scotland qualify for qater. no beer. no women and no pork! #unfair”

within a couple of minutes a women in Qatar  replied

“SCREW YOU! IDIOT! Its Qatar not Qater and we do have women. “

Although she didn’t disagree about the beer and the sausages. Whether my statement was funny is debateable but how fascinating it is to see someone spend their time looking NOT for news on quatar but for news on people who spell quatar wrong!

So this week I am going to nominate three stars of twitter for you all to follow. (I’ve avoided personal favouritism and therefore not mentioned any real people I know.) I hope these aren’t real otherwise we have some very strange football managers

Craig Brown (@CraigBrownAFC)

He describes himself as “Aberdeen FC manager.I like Export,Star bars,Steak and Ale Fray Bentos,jumanji and taking ma tap aff”

I would describe him as the bastard offspring of Bernard Manning and the Dalai Lama. You will feel “braw” and disgusted at the same time.

Sample Tweets

No even 8am and Archies arrived at ma door wae big Vernon and 4 case o export!Archie says he’s in a’Fighting Mood’!He is topless!!!

Braw mornin for a wee walk doon the beach wae ma tap aff.Am wearin ma favourite Mexico86 shorts tae show aff ma big bastardin muscley thighs

Dae Ye see ma auld face in the Tulisa porno or is it just ma big veiny member?

Craig Levein (@CraigLevein)

He describes himself as “Grumpy, grudge-holding Scotland manager. Not really. Obviously.”

I describe as a mixture of Craig Levein and Craig Levein. He is so accurate even Craig Levein’s mum couldn’t tell the difference.

Sample Tweets

A game away to Luxembourg will be the perfect chance to see what Kenny Miller, Barry Robson and Gary Caldwell can do #untriedyoungsters

I want to use this friendly to see if Kenny Miller can play upfront on his own #oneforthefuture

Sir Alex demonstrating, just as I did, that even the best managers sometimes make a mess of easy groups

Sam Allardyce (@TheBig_Sam)

He describes himself as “Breathing fire over the wheat fields of the beautiful game.”

I’d describe him as a mighty virile stallion of a manager. He isn’t known as wee Sam he is known as BIG Sam.

Big Sam takes his lattes like he takes his women. Frothy, hot and with my meaty hand clasped tightly around it.

And then I see Meatloaf on TV and realise that’s what Big Sam would look like if he let himself go. And it chills me to the chiseled bone.

At times I feel like quitting the stomach crunches & power shakes, grabbing myself a cheeseburger & just accepting the body of a normal man.

Let us know your favorites by tweeting@scotcomfc

Dear Scotland Team…

Dear Scotland Team.

I don’t love you anymore.

I’d like to say “It’s not you, it’s me” but in this case its not me. IT’S DEFINITELY YOU.

I remember back in 1986 when we first met.  You were fun and exciting. You hung out in foreign places like Argentina with cool friends such as Denmark, West Germany and Uruguay. I was aged 9 and you used to thrill me in the bedroom…<That didn’t come out right> Let me clarify – the kick off for the world cup was late at night and I had to watch from my bed.

You used to wear sexy clothes. Remember that racy pink number? WOW. That still give me a thrill now. I know you claimed it was salmon coloured but I know it was pink to make the girls wink. You experimented with yellow. It really brought out the color of your thighs. Now what do you wear? White! White is the color of England. If I wanted to wear the strip of a team that perpetually fails in major tournaments then I’d buy our home top.

I’m seeing someone else! SORRY I just had to blurt it out!

It was just a fling. A wild passionate…sorry I don’t mean to rub it in. It was a fling that meant nothing. I went to a World Cup without you. It was Germany 2006 and you didn’t feel up to it so I sneaked off to a younger model. The US of A.

Why am I telling you now? I feel guilty because I was caught cheating. I was in Berlin and a little bit drunk when I asked a taxi driver to take me to a nightclub. I was wearing my USA top, a USA Stetson, and had my USA flag with me as I was celebrating the end of the world cup campaign.  He drove for what seemed like hours until he was at factory in the middle of nowhere! This was a strange place for a nightclub but a good place for a taxi murder to kill his victims! He pointed towards the factory and said the words “club. dance. good”

I was doubtful but I headed off to the factory. As I got closer I heard music. This must be one of those factory parties Germany was famous for. A place where cool people had impromptu parties. It would be a one off spectacular that I would remember until my dying days. The music got louder and LOUDER. I paid the bouncer 30 Euros. Expensive but I knew it would be worth it for such an amazing experience. I walked in and stopped…The dance floor was empty other than two women dancing. Oh well. At least there were women here. I walked closer. Oh NO. It couldn’t be. These two aren’t women. Those skirts aren’t skirts. It was two members of the Tartan Army dressed in kilts.

“Scottish?” I asked.

“Aye! USA?” – they replied

“Naw” was all I needed to say. They could hear my Scottishness immediately.  They looked at me in my USA top, my Stetson hat and just said

“Get Tae F….!”

I feel better now that I’ve told you. Did I mention you have been looking better lately? How about a fling in Brazil 2014?

Your Faithfully

Iain Todd – ex Tartan Army (supporter number 22374)

BOOM – Shake, shake, shake the Loom

“This building will explode at 14:00 on Wednesday!”

Men’s toilets have graffiti. Normally it’s homophobic, sexist or racist and sometime it’s all three at once. Its not normally a a bomb threat. I looked at it. I reread it,  to make sure it really was a  threat, and also to admire the handwriting. They might be crank bombers but they were crank bombers with lovely calligraphy skills.

I went to the safety officer and asked

“what should we do about the bomb threat?”

She thought for a second and replied

“Have you tried wiping it off. Two parts fairy liquid to one part bleach normally works.”

Now imagine if the real life police took such a laissez faire attitude to threats. The terrorists would phone up and threaten to blow a city sky high. Would they respond by saying “we should really change our telephone to ex-directory? It stops crank calls”

So what has this got to with football? By the time you read this two men will have been found innocent or guilty of sending parcel bombs to the Celtic manager Neil Lennon. What was not so well reported was that another suspicious package sent at the same time that brought a village to a standstill. The following story is true.

Once upon a time someone sent a package to:

Brian Wilson

Celtic director

It arrived at an island tweed mill.

Now it wasn’t unusual to receive mail for Brian at this mill as he was also a director of the company. It was unusual for it to specifically say Celtic Director. Unless Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys worked there then you didn’t have to specify which exact Brian.

The office checked the package and it didn’t feel right. They got concerned. Should they open it? In light of recent events they decided to call the police. The police placed the package in a secure location. A local ditch. Unfortunately it was next to the only road in the village. If you wanted a walk from one part of the village to another part then you now required a police escort to pass the ditch safely.

The police called in a bomb disposal robot that looked like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit. If I was creating a bomb checking robot then I’d get inspired by one who’s catch phrase was a proclamation of success “Number Five is ALIVE!”

The robot checked the package and declared it safe. What was the cause of the scare? What had taken up valuable police time and brought a village to a standstill. It was a rolled up magazine. One which had been folded back over itself. It contained a post it note saying. “Brian. Check this page out. I think you will enjoy it!”

Its not the first time a magazine brought a village to standstill. The boys only village of wankovia once lost a whole weekend after delivery of FHM featuring a semi-nude Kylie Minogue.

A storm in an island teacup

Episode 5 of the Podcast asked whether any Scottish island had produced a professional football player. I grew up in the Western Isles and the only player I’m aware of is shamed ex-Sky Sports pundit Andy  Gray. His Mum lives near my Gran and according to his wikipedia entry “he plans to return to live in Back, Outer Hebrides on the Isle of Lewis in the near future.” The Western Isles is home to the “wee” Free church. The wee’s attitude to women make the Taliban’s look like feminists. Andy  “Just tuck it in, luv” should fit right in.

The island has two football leagues. One is for the areas in the community (Back, Lochs and Ness). The other is a welfare league for works teams (mostly pubs). The island has a lot of pubs which explains why we have the highest level of alcoholism in the UK. We also have the highest level of teetotallers so if we aren’t drinking then we are hung-over and vowing never to drink again.

Up until a couple of years ago the island was completely closed on a Sunday. No shops/pubs/restaurants were open, no transport was available and no one hung out their washing. People on the mainland can find this surprising especially if they came across on the ferry on a Saturday and then found themselves trapped until Monday.

In my household TV was banned on a Sunday which was great as it meant we had one day a week off from the constant barrage of reality shows such as “don’t tell my bride its a gypsy wedding: uncovered (extreme edition)”. It’s not so great when all the best football happened on a Sunday. God only rested on the 7th day as he knew the World Cup final was on.

Luckily my mum would go to church the same time as Scotsport so whilst she was away I would sneak on the TV and get my fix of Archie MacPherson. The only issue with this was the TV was one of those old CRT televisions that heated up the longer they were on. When my Mum came home she would feel the back of the television and if it was warm I’d be sent to bed without any supper for breaching the Lord’s day. I had a cunning plan and after my fix of Archie would get a packet of peas from the freezer and place it on the back of the TV to cool it down. It was a fine line between cooling it down enough to fool my Mum and not warming up the peas enough to cause unfrozen water to short circuit the TV.

The island has produced many great players but unfortunately the lack of Sunday travel meant there wasn’t any scouts willing to stay all weekend to see them. That’s my excuse for not being discovered and I’m sticking to it.  In recent years the island’s soccer scene has been infamous for one incident were two teams recreated the famed Scotland v Estonia debacle when only one Scotland turned up.

It was near the end of the season and Back where due to play league leaders Lochs. Back needed a win to give them a chance of catching up but unfortunately their star player was unable to play due to a prior mainland commitment. Back tried to postpone the fixture. They claimed that the sports hall next to the centre was going to be busy with women setting a tea party for the local Free Church minister. A football crowd and a church crowd should not mix. Lochs offered to play the game elsewhere. Back refused as they believed they had done everything correctly to get a postponement. The league ordered the game to go ahead. Lochs turned up for the game. Back did not. Loch was forced to start the game so that it could be abandoned. See the video here

Here is the car park just before kickoff that Back claimed would be full of Church goers:

Only in Scotland could a church ministers tea party cause a football scandal.

Glasgow Rangers’ new owner.

May you live in interesting times” – ancient chinese blessing

Glasgow Rangers Football Club is currently living in those times but unfortunately the next part of this proverb is ”May you come to the attention of those in authority”

We may never know the full story of the takeover of Rangers Football Club plc (in Administration) but I can offer the current owner Craig Whyte some advice

  1. Wonga.com is not a valid way to run a football club
    1. When photographed  try to look like a suave businessman and not a man left alone with an electrified safe marked ‘Do Not Touch’.
    2. If you’re looking to take a holiday in the near future, somewhere which doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the UK, then I would suggest the Vatican. They might give you a hero’s welcome.
    3. Liquidate the club and let someone else form and run the “New Rangers Football Club”

    I admit point 4 could be controversial but hear me out as I now put forward my case for being the boss of the “New Rangers Football Club”. I promise to do a better job than previous regimes. I’ve prepared a FAQ for the Fans.

    What league will we play in?

    • I’m assuming that The liquidation of Rangers and the formation of a new club means that we start in the 3rd division.
    Why the 3rd division?
    • We wish to continue playing a side based in glasgow who have hoops on their strips. Hello to our new Rivals –   Queens Park.
    • What would happen to the old firm?
      • I’d go to Sky and propose a new competition ”the GIRUY Cup” a four match series against Celtic played midweek. The TV money could be split between the two sides and probably amount to more than the SPL deal.

      What about europe? (UEFA impose a three year european ban on new companies competing in europe)

      • A couple of glamour friendlies played midweek would bring in the fans. A Run in the lower league Ramsdens cup would bring in additional home games and revenue from the resulting ticket sales.
      • What about the players?
        • Use the players groomed at Murray Park. Give them 1st team experience and buy in some senior professionals who have the experience to get through the leagues.
        What about the fans?
        • Bring down ticket prices. Increase family zones. Use the opportunity to get new fans on board with the project so that by the time we are back in the SPL we have a dedicated new fan-base as well as the loyal fans of the past.
        What about money?
        • All debts would be cancelled. Running costs would be lower but we would still have 50k at home games.
        What about Celtic?
        • The novelty of a non rangers SPL would soon wear off but speaking as a Celtic fan the games I enjoyed in recent seasons have been against Hearts, Hibs, Dundee United etc. The club can concentrate on bringing through young players and look forward to the “GIRUY” cup.
        What about the non Old Firm teams in the SPL?
        • They might lose out in the short run but a run in europe and the increased likelihood of getting a Champions League place might bring more fans back to the game.

        What about the non old firm teams outside  the SPL?

        • The average crowd in the third vision is 500-700. Think of the financial benefit to each of these clubs when Rangers visit.

        So all I ask is that every fan puts their hand in their pocket and we raise the money to buy out Craig Whyte. I’d suggest our taget should be to raise the same amount he did when purchasing the club. One pound!

Stateside Soccer Shocker

I had never received a post 5 aside game match-report until recently. It troubled me so much that I repeats it in full here. As will become clear, it’s from a 5 aside work game that took place in the United States. (We publish it here in full. Any typos not our own!):

We finally made our break through win tonight against “Sorta United” in convincing fashion (5-1 for the good guys/gals). At the end of the game “Sorta United” changed their team name to “Sorta Broken UP”.

All the heartaches we went thru together from previous loses were put to rest tonite. It wasn’t easy…at times in the previous games we were frustrated, disappointed, and yelled at each other, but in a constructive way, because we cared and wanted our teammates to play the right way…to stop making bone-headed passes, to moving into open space, to getting back on defense, to passing to the open man on the wing, to picking up the ball instead of kicking it away to kingdom come, to being loyal to the team. Through the conflict we figured out how to play together and it all came together tonite like a perfect symphony. I hope it was as rewarding for everyone as it was for me to take this journey together as a team and come out victorious. Lets keep the momentum going by taking down last season’s champs next week!

There are so many highlights in this game but three really stood out.

The first, Steven scored his first goal of the season to put us in the lead 1-0 in the first half. To me, it was the most exciting goal we made so far. He received a pass from Captain Connor while streaking down the right wing with only the keeper to beat just a few yards ahead, then stopped on a dime a few feet in front of the keeper, and quickly turned left evading the keeper for a left-footed chip towards the goal. But the keeper was able to recover just in time for a diving save and knocked the ball away from the goal. Then a scramble between Steven and the keeper ensued; I saw ten arms, legs and feet flying in the air and somehow Steven was able to knock in the goal. I nearly jumped out of the pitch in celebration.

The second was a well-constructed goal by Mark. He probably drew it up on the dashboard of his car while driving to the game. I can see him thinking…hmmm…what if I hustled really hard after a loose ball and kick it as hard as I can off the leg of an opponent and have the ball fly twenty feet in the air toward the opponent’s goal and lob inches over the out-stretched hands of a six-foot-three-inch keeper for a goal??? That might just work. It did! And that goal let us know it was our nite to win.

The third was not a goal but a great defensive play which exemplifies our team spirit. Shannon while dribbling the ball down the left side of our pitch was knocked off the ball with a shoulder bump by a big six-foot-bully to take control of the ball. In retaliation, Shannon chased him down and knocked him to the ground like a steer wrestler at the rodeo. He got up off the ground and complained to the ref like someone just stole his milk money…poor baby! Shannon is one of our vocal leaders on the pitch and the heart of our team. Keep up your intensity Shannon…don’t change.

The scottish version of this would go: