The Scots guide to rugby, Rangers and golf

The Scots guide to rugby, Rangers and golf

Jon Swift

It is often difficult to quantify what it is in the essence of sporting endeavours that motivates different folks to insist on different strokes.

And so it proved as in the midst of a throng resplendent in the various colours of their favoured Currie Cup semifinal fancies that the Incomprehensible Scot had made up his mind to swim against an overwhelmingly strong tide.

There were clearly, much more important things on the mind of the Incomprehensible One than whether the Lions stood any chance against Western Province in Cape Town or to speculate on whether the Cheetahs could beard to Sharks in their King’s Park stronghold.

“Thas twae loves in my life,” he said, the strains of his native Falkirk as strong as the products from their fabled foundries. “Tha gowlf and tha Rangers.”

On as important a rugby days as this, it was a statement of intent that did not particularly bode well for the members of the gathering hoping to focus their intentions on what the Incomprehensible One refers to as “the roogbay”.

For while the man is habitually of a generous nature which runs directly against the old saw that the Scots are notoriously tightfisted, when he has something of import to pass on, he wants quite rightly to be heard.

“It’s no reet wha they’ve done ta the Rangers,” he said, politely ignoring the distance both actual and mental, between Ibrox in Glasgow and Newlands in the Cape. Or the unassailble fact that the majority of interest around him was centred on how the Lions would fare against Province, a game that was already in progress.

But the Incomprehensible One, with all the dogged determination of Sir William Wallace, pressed boldly on. “Aye,” he said, employing the universally recognised Scots phrase for grabbing the attention, “Tha Rangers. Tha Scots FA musta bin blootered outa tha minds ta have scooted them down ta tha bottom division.

“But tha Gers ha showed them. Tha havna lost a game all season. Tha’ll soon be back in ta Premiership.” This outburst was greeted with sage, but largely uncomprehending, nods from the motley collection of Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and West Ham supporters who make up the usual assembly and had scant interest in the decision to demote Rangers to the lowest league for financial fights with the British taxman.

But the Incomprehensible One had got in his say on the matter and moved onto the next with all the subtlety of a Billy Bremner tackle. “Ahm goin outa ma heid with the gowlf,” he continued. “Tis a game ah love, but ahm havin fearful problems.”

Here, despite a hiatus in the attention of the audience as Demitri Catrakilis neatly wrong-footed the Lions defence to score the try which was to spark a Province triumph at Newlands, was something that all present who had touched a golf club could sympathise with.

“Ahm fine fra the tee,” continued the Scot against a background of cheers from the supporters in blue and white hoops as Province racked up more points. “Ahm also greet upta that fringe, but I canna for the lifa me get in tha hole with a puttah in hand on the green.”

It was at this juncture that Dave the Silent weighed in. “Perhaps,” he suggested mildly, “you should think about getting a guide dog who can putt”. To his credit, the Incomprehensible One took this from whence it had come and his beaming grin spoke volumes for his appreciation of a barbed crack.




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