While I have always felt that the song ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ embodied what it means to be a Tim, we are not immune to dark days and feelings of despair. Wednesday was such a night and part of following this harsh mistress called ‘Celtic’ is that we do on such occasion, have to drink up the pain and endure some trauma before recovering our equilibrium and tapping into a more positive emotional vein.
I thought that the podcast this week was exactly what it said on the label – Cathartic. Having forced myself to listen despite the gloom, I found it reassuring to hear two Celtic fans getting the anger out of their system and then regaining a sense of composure and acceptance in the knowledge that to do otherwise is not to be a Tim.
Rage has its home in the dark world of Follow Follow, we are made of a different metal. At times it was actually amusing to listen to Eddie and Harry and when it was finished I found myself in a more sanguine and forgiving mood than was the case a few hours earlier.
I was still disappointed, and when chatting to fellow Tims about the game returned to our frustrations that our players did not seem to grasp what we and indeed our manager already understood, that every point was literally going to have to be fought for. No one was going to make our task easy – no one was going to – in the immortal words of the great Chris Sutton – ‘lie down’.
Certainly not in this league. In an environment where we have players and managers of teams whose efforts might be crucial in the destiny of the title, expressing a hope that our rivals will be successful, one might have hoped that our own players would have sensed the struggle ahead and have been more up for the sort of challenge they faced in Inverness last midweek.
In this however nothing has changed. For every Scott McDonald there are a dozen Jimmy Calderwoods, Stuart McCalls and David Goodwillies. I know you will say dear reader, that Jimmy C was in charge at Aberdeen on the night of our last triumph, but Aberdeen are a freak in Scottish terms and even the influence of a Hun at the helm cannot change the club’s mindset that ‘we hate Rangers more than you’.
If the title was to be secured it had to be done by virtue of our own efforts and in this our Bhoys have at this point in time come up short.
I write this a couple of hours before we are due to play Kilmarnock, and by the time you read it, the die may already be cast, but despite what Nietzsche may have believed I am not yet ready to give up hope. Nietzsche’s world view was essentially rather gloomy, and not really in keeping with what I believe being a Tim is all about.
Indeed I think I will remain true to a thought expressed by Christopher Reeve, a man who knew more than most about real physical and emotional pain. His view – his belief is as follows:
Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.
So let us continue to hope for better times and greater joy – if not this season then in seasons to come. After all ‘We are Celtic Supporters’, what other choice do we have?