I swear it is true…

Date: 24th June 2022

The first weekly blog provided to you by our Donald Stewart.

I swear it is true…

For many journalists we have entered the silly season. It is that point we can get memes suggesting that Sadio Mane has been spotted buying a bridie in Forfar or Jose Mourinho spotted taking in an under 16’s ladies’ game in Stranraer.

It is also the time of reflection and an opportunity for companies seeking publicity to publish some kind of survey into the previous season. It’s that kind of time when we all devour nonsense and insensitivity at the possibility of signings. Expect some wit online with their disappointment that Ronaldo does not see himself playing out the rest of his career at McDiarmid or that the various players at Soccer Aid look lot better prospects than the guy who has made the step up from the Juniors does between the sticks for their new campaign.

It’s a funny season, the non-season part of the year…

And so, when I read that bettingexpert had published a survey into which Premiership fans were the most foul-mouthed I was eager to read it and find out who topped that league.

In a disappointing, to say the least, season, Dons fans came top. Who would have thunk it!?

They may have ended up, just above the relegation zone, but in this league, they were clear winners! And who can blame them? In a season where the Glass ceiling was never broken and the Goodwin factor did not manifest itself as a good enough feeling for all, it was a tough year all round. That it would lead to several rants and expletives can hardly have come as any form of surprise to anyone ever.

Close behind though were Hibernian. They too had a pretty tough year as a similar thing happened with their search for a new head coach, though it could be argued, and it certainly has been, that removing Jack Ross was a bit of a mistake. That he is in the running for the Dundee United job and his successor at Hibs, Shaun Maloney had looked the most likely to go to Dundee would have been a fantastic narrative had they both landed jobs up in the Dee.

And talking of United, they came third. Given the fact they have, in the close season, lost their head coach, Mr. Courts who is off to the racial hotbed, Hungary, to manage Honved, they may have plenty more to vent in the new season. That shall, of course, be dependent upon who is the replacement and how they get on, with them being back in Europe.

It is rather surprising that Dundee was not more prominent themselves as it was far from a stellar season. Perhaps fans have been hastened by years of lesser expectations and are more serene than the club supporters from across the road? After all they got relegated, went through two managers, in similar fashion to Hibs and Aberdeen, but they appear to have managed to keep some cool for their new campaign in the Championship.

In this league at least, it appears that Auld Firm fans can keep their potty mouths at bay, though they did not come bottom of the poll. That honour is to be found all the way up in Dingwall, as Ross County fans keep it together better than most. Not a bad year then, for the Staggies, as the fans kept themselves respectful when ranting away.

The survey only looked at Instagram posts so those of us of a certain age who do not use Instagram have been spared naming and shaming…

I have to admit a certain ambivalence towards swearing that has altered as I have got older. Whereas I would not have blinked at its use before, I often find myself balking at the overuse of swearing amongst parts of the population. When I say, parts of the population, I mean those who seek to draw attention to themselves and those who carelessly, in the company of others swear. I have been that person in the past and used words I have regretted in certain company so am not immune to my own rules! I have, however regretted it. It is a dichotomy that sees me caught between the rock of me and the hard place of public opinion. In a footballing sense the use of swear words within the terraces is so hardened that trying to tut at its use is as ridiculous as being a modern day, King Canute. I tend not to use it online or in articles, unless it has a hardy effect which I am after. Used properly swearing provides context and provokes reaction. I once wrote a play filled with swear words to which my boss at time, objected. She demanded they be taken out. They were for one performance, and it flopped. The words were a rhythmic device as well as an attempt to underline things which were happening onstage. My point was that if you can use them, use them, but use them with an effect in mind. I have spent many a game struggling not to spit out my pie as some wit has explained his theory with the correct punctuation of a judicious swear word! Long may that continue, and my old man grumpiness diminish!

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