Poets Corner: Don’t Believe the Truth


Autobots assemble!

I didn’t think that would have been one of the firsts things I thought about when I arrived at Hampden for the League Cup final but it was. I have a son and nephew who are into Transformers so I do have knowledge of the Michael Bay chaotic CGI green screen mince-fests that are the films. There is actually a new one coming out where they have animals as machines or machines as animals whatever is your religious preference. No wonder our kids are vacuum heads but I’m sure the film will be great fun if you have the attention span of a worm on methamphetamine.

Which, I do.

As we were standing enjoying the sunshine at the end of the road before you walk up to the south stand waiting on the turnstiles to open , we got there early to allow those who wished to partake in pre-match festivities in The International or Asda car park to do so – I had no wish to do so, so I indulge in some people watching and blethering nonsense to my daughter who rightly ignores me and calls me an embarrassment – we heard a shout of “Ok let’s go” and a policeman jogged passed us dressed in part riot gear (no helmet or drawn batons, which would have been full riot gear), his baggy gore tex trousers rustling like a forest in a gale, his baton knocking his thighs, CS Spray canister hanging on to his belt for all it was worth and his IKEA water bottle clanking off a set of handcuffs (you need to keep hydrated on the job, kids).

Those who he barked his instructions to followed in twos, like Noah requested them to come onto his ark, all dressed the same. I heard one of them say “Green Brigade” as they went by.

The thing that jumped out to me was that they all looked like dwarves dressing as transformers for halloween. Like a rare Lego-Minifigures range that never got past the idea stage. I can hear a CEO going “The kids will lap up these dwarf transformers – we shall call them autoshorts!”. They looked like something a rich tory MP would order for a S&M party in his private dungeon. They looked anything but intimidating.

Being a nosey sod we followed them. Well, it was early. All they basically did was line up over the road from The Montford pub blocking the pavement and growling like scrapyard dogs at passing cars. We stood there for twenty minutes. Nothing happened apart from them causing congestion on the pavement. They were standing there all pathetic because of perceptions.

And this is where I’m going.

Perception. They had the perception that trouble was going to happen. It didn’t and they looked stupid. I had a perception that Rangers were going to trouble us in a cup final. They didn’t and I felt stupid and elated.

You see in my mind the name Rangers (The) are the entitled favorites. This is years of media bias, which is akin to being waterboarded for decades with the dreams and hopes of those with aprons, crayons and a first name that could be a surname. I have a perception of the name Rangers and at times it doesn’t match the reality.

I go into these games with the perception of decent sides in their history. That’s because in my most important formative years when everything sinks into your head and lives with you forever, that age between 12 and 20, that age where the music / art / culture we embraced during that time – The Stone Roses are still the greatest band in the history of music, the Celtic centenary team will always by my team and I will always have time for Andy Walker- focus your life choices.

We were utter crap during this period. They weren’t. That nostalgia stings like falling into a wasps nest. It’s hard to shake because it is how I’m wired.

It’s that perception that made me think that Maeda, Mooy and Hatate were rotten during the first half and that we didn’t play well overall. The sight lines at Hampden could have had something to do with that as well but a guy behind me going into the toilets at half time said we were playing well. After the game numerous people said we played well.

During the game I couldn’t accept what my eyes were seeing. I wasn’t believing the truth. If I was to write a match report straight after that game that focused on my perceptions, emotions and thoughts at that time it wouldn’t have been a true reflection of the game but it would have been a true reflection of my memory.

Does this mean that my memory is a lie? Are other memories a lie? No, for me it’s just your memory and it’s your truth though others will have a different truth even though we have watched the exact same thing at the same time (unless you have a dodgy stream and you are 30 seconds to a minute behind).

Perceptions and memories are personal. That’s why we all have different opinions.

Just sometimes you can’t believe the truth because it’s not yours but we are League Cup Champions (Winners) and that is fact no matter what you believe.

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