These are the two great passions in my life now that my family are grown up and gone and these now take up most of my time.
I have noticed some startling similarities in these two Scottish phenomenons both have devoted followers, both are Scottish, both are nominally British too.
They both attract virulent attacks from their opponents and admirable loyalty from their followers.
They both have opponents that are obsessed about them and opponents who step beyond what is acceptable and slide into to open hatred against them.
Should you ever be reading an article solely about Rangers FC in a newspaper that still allows comments, when you start to read those comments you will find more non Rangers fans with an opinion than Rangers fans with one.
The same paper might be running a huge story about another Glasgow club and it will have one or no comments irrespective of the magnitude of the story.
The Rangers story however is awash with comments many take the same format, Sevco, no money, face painters, your clubs dead, strip the titles it doesn’t matter what the actual story is about signing a new player, an injury, a pre season tournament it will be the same bile in the obsessed comment.
If it wasn’t so sad it would be quite pathetic, people who hate another club more than they love their own club, go figure!
Even in closed forums Rangers fanzines or Transfer Rumour pages you will see a nom de guerre like “Williamboyne1690” maybe even with a nice butcher’s apron in his avatar.
Then you read his comments and can quickly see he is no more a ‘Rangers man’ than Neil Lennon.
Before you know it he/she is causing uproar with all the usual bile and old worn out nonsense.
They are easy to spot and they cannot help themselves by even attempting to be subtle.
They sometimes operate in pairs where another fanatic rushes to his defense when the Bears start to question his veracity, assuring all on the board that he has known Billy all his life , indeed they have been in the same lodge since May 25th 1967, Lodge Lisbon, err no I meant Lodge Lisburn.
They are always eventually rumbled however the internet being the internet they quickly reappear, a different email and different handle, however the same Jackie Baillie.
The saddest thing in all this is there are people preying on this obsession with all things Rangers, people writing blogs that purport to be on the verge of the latest scandal about those cheating ‘Huns’ that will lead to the stripping of those ill gotten titles, if they will only donate just a little bit more cash to keep the blog going and for sure Justice will be done.
Sadly a lot of these sad troubled folk do donate to the lifestyles of these snake oil salesman especially if they have a strong sounding Irish type name.
They so hate Rangers that they want to believe that these shysters are telling the truth and they are not just the conmen others suggest.
The same scenarios play out every day with regards to the SNP, I don’t ever go to the Scotsman , Mail, or Express but read a story about the SNP and the BTL is polluted with vile unionist ???? posing as readers comments.
The same happens on Twitter and Facebook people with great Avatars showing The Saltire, SNP Badges the famous 45 their bio states they are a Yesser to the core.
Like the Rangers Hater, the SNP Hater can’t stay in character for long before they start making comments like “I have always voted SNP ….I voted SNP last time…..I voted Yes…..then comes the BUT…..because of Nicola’s obsession on Indy Ref2……because Independence in EU is not real Independence……… because you just posted something anti Union I think you will cost us independence by upsetting Unionists………. I worry because you cannot run an economy on just oil……we won’t get independence now because Alex Salmond is using RT…………we will become just like Ulster because Nicola once sat beside an SF elected representative ……we will not be allowed into EU by Spain…… we have such a large deficit……… we won’t get using the £…..”
All the unionist project fear but done with a Saltire Avatar and some folk do get taken in and start to try and soothe what they think are genuine concerns by a fellow Independinista.
The troll wants to divide, to disrupt to sow doubt and encourage division.
When rumbled their first line of defence is to play the victim, how could you possibly think I am a unionist they try to invoke support from others in the thread and they hope against hope they get one, then they can divide and disrupt lay seeds of doubt that is their sole aim, lie for Britannia, if caught out and blocked they quickly move on get themselves a new Avatar,a new handle same Jackie Baillie.
Some of these are paid trolls, paid for by your taxes, others are just ordinary Unionists that truly believe they are smarter than any Yes Voter and their superior intelligence will outwit these deluded Nationalists.
Always be on your guard, the Unionists are in meltdown they are like wounded animals they know their Union is on borrowed time.
They cannot give a positive case for that Union, not one of them can answer the famous,
‘Three Things Question’,so they are more and more resorting to underhand dishonest disruptive ways, beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The closer we get to the Referendum the more these fake accounts will appear ,the more shrill will be their musings so always be vigilant.