Comparing comparisons and stuff

10 10 2012

In the last few months I’ve been to watch Celtic and Rangers therefore I can make a pretty accurate comparison of the two clubs. Here’s my scientific survey about which club is the best.

The Clubs

Both clubs are historic clubs and have famous names. Both clubs have statues.

Celtic 1 Rangers 1

The Merchandise

Both clubs sell merchandise that refers to ideas beyond football.

In short it’s Che Guevara v Ian Paisley (Let’s not mention the “Pope’s Eleven” scarves). If I’m going to decide which club has better merchandise I need to look at more than this, so let’s look at the flags on offer.

From one perspective the merchandise hawkers are lining their pockets by selling divisive goods, you know with Celtic and Rangers being Scottish clubs and all. From another perspective the respective flags are an intrinsic part of the culture of the clubs; Celtic has roots in the Irish community of Glasgow Rangers has connections to Unionism.

Flags are not simple pieces of coloured cloth, they represent ideas. If we analyse those ideas we can begin to find out which club is better. The Irish Tricolour is a graphical representation of a noble idea; the coming together of different groups (Green = catholics, orange = protestants & white = the peace between them) in a place that’s not run by a medieval monarchy. The union flag is a graphical representation of royalty acting like cunts. No contest. Celtic 2 Rangers 1

The Fans

When I went to watch Celtic the hotel receptionist was really glad that I was going to Paradise, he was happy to see me. When I chatted with Celtic fans it was all about punk music and how much we hated Thatcher, one or two even called me Big Man and invited me for a pint, they were happy to see me. When I went to watch Rangers people walked into me and looked at me like I was a bad smell. Celtic 3 Rangers 1

The Songs

A half-filled Celtic Park still made a hell of an atmosphere. “The Fields of Athenry” may be a bit cheesy but the verbal tennis match between the stands was entertaining and “…If you know your history” definitely has something to it. Rangers fans sang a couple of ordinary football songs and “Penny Arcade” seems pleasant enough. “Rule Britannia”, God Save the Queen” and the very distasteful “We Are The People” aren’t pleasant. The last song only has two purposes; either making a connection with the reactionary side of Northern’s Irish politics…….;

“Whether it is written on the walls of Belfast, spoken by the Apprentice Boys of Derry, or sung at Windsor Park, the phrase ‘We are the People’ is a clear and unequivocal statement of loyalty and devotion to and from the Protestant people of Ulster. Throughout and before the conflict this aphorism has been an emotive rallying call as well as a familiar part of everyday language in Northern Ireland.”

….or denigrating Celtic fans i.e. “We are the proper people, you aren’t even people.” Celtic 4 Rangers 1

The Fanzines

Both fanzines use gallows humour to have a go at the other side but that’s one of the points of fanzines. The Celtic fanzine (The Thunder) contained articles about new bands, methods to encourage a fan-friendly version Scottish football and the idea that it may be better to sell players at their peak. It also contained articles that offered support to Stilian Petrov, showcased a trip to a St. Pauli derby and told of a Palestinian footballer on hunger strike. The paranoid Rangers fanzine had forgotten that Rangers have won a world record number of league titles and contained an article that contained the term “Paedo- Free Division Three” (a disgusting misuse of a scandal from Celtic’s past). Celtic 5 Rangers 1

The Artwork

In Celtic Park I saw a beautifully painted mural

In Ibrox I saw this.

Celtic 6 Rangers 1

Fans living near me

The Celtic fans are originally from Scotland and they asked me how I liked my trip and whether I’d go again. The Rangers fans from rural north Wales wrote tweets using second hand slogans they’ve learnt from message boards; FTP! (Fuck The Pope) and WATP! (We Are The People). Celtic 7 Rangers 1

There we have it, Celtic are clearly better and it’s on a scientific basis.

*Disclaimer –  I already had certain ideas about the Old Firm before I went. However, as a member of the Guild of  Freelance Sociologists  I am able to drop preconceptions in a nanosecond, I wouldn’t be much of a freelance sociologist if I couldn’t!!! For example I once went to watch England as a freelance sociologist.  I fully expected to be surrounded by Stone Island-clad  xenophobes from the midlands, I was ready to be offended. The fact I was actually surrounded drunk office workers and arriviste poshos changed my perception. Sadly in the case of Rangers I actually found what I was anticipating. Don’t hate because I’m beautiful.




3 responses

11 10 2012

Flip knows, they’re from Llandyrnog.

11 10 2012
Jac o' the North (@JacotheNorth)

I’m intrigued by your reference to “Rangers fans from rural north Wales”. Are these really Rangers fans, even football fans, or are they just WDL / EDL and BNP types for whom Rangers is just another outlet for their bigotry?

10 10 2012

I have no idea who the Rangers player in the top right-hand corner of that painting is, but the sun is literally shining out of his arse.

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