Sunday wasn't a pleasant experience for me. Not even taking into account our performance, which is another blog altogether, I just didn't have a good day on Sunday. The first thing was that, as Hibs fans plan their cup final dayjollies with a total care-free perspective, here we were again with another ridiculous early KO, no real time for pre-match festivities (if you can afford them these days) and into a soulless national stadium which is fast becoming the embodiment of all that is wrong in Scottish football.
That wasn't the main reason Sunday wasn't a good day for me thougb as I'm kind of used to being treated like a cash cow. In the ground, to my right and one row behind, there was guy who had two kids with him that I'd estimate were 5 and 7. Now, anyone who takes kids to games knows that at that age, it is a very hard shift for the parent. Anyway, the folk to my right but one row in front of me were standing. There was no need for them to stand as there was only about three rows in front of them standing and everyone else in the section was sitting so simple common sense could have rectified this. The guy with the kids asked the guy standing two rows in front of him if he could sit down. The guy replied "Naw, I want tae fucking stand" So the parent replied "Look mate, I'm asking you nicely, my kids can't see" The guy replies "Take them fucking hame then"
At this point, my mate to my left had the red mist descend and said "Sit the fuck doon". Now this was a stupid response but the reply was beyond the pale "Fuck off or I'll stab you ya cunt, first time in a big city is it?"
The game had not even started yet.
Now, I have to say that throughout my entire life, my normal response to this kind of situation would have been the stupid, violent one. However my kids were there and that impression of their father is something I want them to get as little of as possible.
So I said to the guy "Mate, we are all Tims here, there's kids here, cool it, eh?"
He replied "Fuck you anaw ya scumbag"
I actually sat there stummed that someone, wearing the same colours as all around him, looked like he wanted to kill all around him.
I'll be honest, at this point I wasn't sure what to do other than react to anything this clown did. He had three mates with him and the whole game, they stared, they whispered, they pointed and generally made everyone around them feel uncomfortable to scared.
I've been in this position before and I knew they were going to do something at FT.
As it got to extra time, I started to think about it more, my choice being that I would move in the opposite direction and have my kids in front of me so they remained protected at least.
Then fate dealt her hand.
I bumped into a guy, whom I won't name for obvious reasons, who was returning from the toilet and I caught his eye. I had not seen this guy since I came back from NYC and he came over all hugs etc As we embraced, we went 4-3 up at the time, I told him the score and my plan and he said he would help. Sad to say that the partent with his two kids had made a shapr exit, so sharp that I didn't even notice and if it was in fear, not only do I not blame him, I feel sick at the thought.
The full time whistle went, I got up and my mate got up beside me, as second protector of kids, except turned and knocked the guy in front spark out akin to that scene in the restaurant in Crocodile Dundee.
He didn't tell me he was going to do it but it's not surprising to me that he did.
I know what some of you are thinking here, a total double standard and all that, but I wanted to tell this story for one reason: I don't blame the Celtic support, The Green Brigade or the tea ladies at Celtic Park for one arsehole who managed to get a ticket for Hampden, far from it.
I'll tell you something though, guys like my mate reaffirm my belief that this is the right club to be in.