Date: 19th November 2021
The latest blog from our resident writer Donald Stewart.
Mr. Patterson COPS it all…
“The world’s press is waiting, lined up with flashes and eager cameras…
Every police force in the country is patrolling the streets awaiting trouble…
A slim young figure emerges from the delegate’s conference arena and wanders over to the interviewer. His stride is steady, his gait gathering no momentum as he meanders more than purposefully approaches his microphone. After all he has assisted, at least twice, in the negotiations in centrally important ways and rescued the package which got it over the line.
It may be second place for some but for Mr. Paterson it is “a joy.”
Picture the scene…
COP 26 has just finished. The world’s leaders have chosen youth to represent them. After a long and arduous battle with some falls and stumbles alongside some soaring performances, the final hurdle and delivery for the world is still to come but Mr. Paterson, the darling of the Govan Faithful, reeling after the loss of a certain Messiah just hours before, has a new icon: Mr. Paterson.
Mr. Paterson looks out and nods as he gets to the microphone. He is ready for all questions, all comers, all the world’s his stage.
Well nearly. There is still work to be done.
All watching expect a piece of paper, a prepared statement, this after all is momentous. But all he has done is just to nod.
The first question comes in, hesitantly, you can feel the tension, the good will and the wonderment that any success has been achieved. It has been such a long time since anything has been done on a world level. European level they seemed to have conquered a year ago but now, we are looking at world honours.
There is a sense of awe.
Mr. Paterson listens to the gist of the first question and simply nods again. He answers in a measured tone. “That’s just environmentalism,” he says.
People scribble and cameras click to capture the measured but concise response as another voice from the reporters tries to pick up on the rapid pace of events. Mr. Paterson once again smiles and replies, “Things happen week by week.”
A third voice from the back of the media throng decides to try and throw a curve ball in, an awkward question – one which would throw many a seasoned pro.
Mr. Paterson simply nods again and replies, “You just need to take things in your stride and I’ve done that my whole career and it’s paid off.”
And with that he takes himself off with his stride. A measured turn which sees him glide towards the exit. Thoughts of a near disaster when he penalised his own side with a degree of naivete towards the end was forgotten- jokingly, given the footballing mania with Glasgow one delegate called it nearly an own goal – nobody laughed. Memories of a combination of Mr. Gordon and Mr. Tierney having to intervene to keep everything on a positive trajectory are now distant in the telling of the tale.
Spontaneously the hacks, the cynical media, those who have seen it all before rise as one to applaud. Mr. Paterson is unaffected by this show as he achieves the door and disappears through it. People hug each other and celebrate with song, look forward to the next battle with confidence as a momentum has been achieved. Some even ask their colleagues from Scotland the words to one song about boogieing as they do not want to miss out on the celebrations, and we all love a disco classic, don’t we?
There is no going back to the dark days… Surely not…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that Nathan Paterson has ever been at COP26, unless you know differently, therefore this is clearly a work of fiction, though most of his words have been used.
The fact is that during the week, Scotland managed to get the coveted second place in their world cup qualifying group. It was a remarkable achievement and sent out to talk to Sky Sports after a goal, two assists and being responsible for the penalty against them and having had his manager at his club leave to join the English Premiership, Nathan Paterson replied in answers to questions with “That’s just football.” “Things happen week by week. “You just need to take things in your stride and I’ve done that my whole career and it’s paid off.”
Whilst there is an obvious attempt at some humour here, the achievement of Steve Clarke and his squad is not a laughing matter as he has turned the joke of our failure to qualify for major events into a very serious sense of anticipation and achievement. It shows the value of the sport to the nation and the value of his contribution to our game. That’s nae joking matter…”
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