Thursday, September 29, 2016

The perfect game of football

My match build up yesterday consisted of me sitting on the couch, wrapped in a big duvet with a New York Taxi adorning it, feeling sorry for myself with man flu. There was an hour or so during the day where I considered not going but the consequences of that, ghastly enough at the best of times, were even worse because I had a ticket for a friend and no real way of getting it to her should I not go.

My mate Ally had said he would pick me up in Edinburgh which helped me immensely as I fancied stoating about Waverley and Queen Street about as much as Brad fancies Angelina these days. I still had to jump on two buses to get to the pick up point but wee tatties really. We did the usual crawl along the M8 (baffles me that Scotland's busiest road only has two lanes) but Ally had the Rebs on in the car so I croaked along to them.

We got to Celtic Park at 6.45pm from a 4.45pm departure and still considered that good going. The place was teeming with people in keeping with the sky teeming with rain as supporters tried to find shelter outside (not easy and I'm sure I saw a few folk smirking at us from the heat and comfort of the Walfrid Restaurant)
I met my friend we hurried round to our seats. Not because it was raining but because she had decided to buy and wear a Poncho and I was hoping no one saw me with her.

You can set these type of games to your watch. We got in about 7.15pm and the place was emptier than the wallet of a Rangers (IL) Bond holder. You can see the looks on the faces of people visiting Paradise for the first time thinking they had been given a bum steer regarding the atmosphere not realising that Celtic has a support largely made up of people who have the thirst of someone staggering through the Sahara Desert.


Before you can finish your pie (as it takes that long to cool down), You'll Never Walk Alone starts and you remember again that you are home. This is the holy ground and you are surrounded by angels (Ok, maybe a bit romantic) before the big starry ball starts waving up and down in the centre circle and the music plays.

The lion that sleeps in Paradise then roars.

I was pretty confident last night (Check my prediction on HomeBhoys "A fighting 2-2 draw") and, of course, enjoyed the game immensely.  That was Celtic Park at it's best, a tornado swarming round the players, blown there by The Green Brigade and then caught by the rest of our supporters. When that happens and the team responds, you can tell your kids and grand kids that you know what heaven is like.

Brown, Tierney, Dembele, Toure were the four faces on our Mount Rushmore last night but many were chiselling away their own on there too.

Me? I forgot about my man flu for 90 minutes (which will have women nodding no doubt)  and I remembered how lucky I am to be a Tim.

On the journey home, I heard Mark Chapman say on Five Live he had just watched "The perfect game of football"

I'm too sick to argue.

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