Scotland’s Rangers and Celtic as a Zombie Flick

17 Feb

Saw this piece on The Header, a new online soccer magazine.

As Scotland’s biggest football club, Glasgow Rangers, falls into bankruptcy, imagine the story as a completely unrealistic, crap horror film. Apologies to both Rangers and Celtic fans for the suspension of disbelief.



NOW SHOWING – THE OLD FIRM starring Celtic and Rangers

At the dying heart of Scottish football are two zombies, Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic, known as the Old Firm. They have terrorized their soccer politic for well over a century. Together, they ate the life out of Scottish football. Their zombie flesh transfused by a foreign host, in this case, cousin Ireland. Descendants of Irish immigrant Catholics in Glasgow, many loyal to their ancestral roots, are the Celtic choir for the Irish tricolor in Scotland. Inside Celtic’s stadium some, (director’s note) but not all, once sang for the brigades fighting to unite Ireland.

Cue the conflict scenes with the British Union Jack-loving Rangers, the neighbor across town, holding the line against this encroachment of Irish popery in Celtic uniforms, a clear and present danger to British civilization if you are somewhat Protestant and have consumed enough lager and bigotry on a Saturday afternoon in Glasgow. Naturally, both zombies become bloated with vanity and money from the divide-and-rule arrangement. Politicians, religious institutions and corporate sponsors plunge their teeth into the necks of the zombies while many in other parts of Scotland wish they would die, or go to Ireland to fight it out.

It is the football version of Groundhog Day. The Scottish football season awakens every year to the same script. Who will win the League? Celtic or Rangers? Rangers or Celtic? Perhaps next season it will be Rangers or Celtic? The dark winter continues for decades. Suddenly, the host in Ireland gives up supplying flesh. The proxy zombies break out in wounds, the old bruises don’t heal, sectarian boils suppurate openly on the skin of Scotland, some call it Scotland’s shame, and the veins begin to rot, the Old Firm zombies slash and lash at each other in a terrible frenzy, staggering through the death throes of yesterday, hungering for the sash and the ribbon of their abandoned host. But it is not to be found. The Irish are at peace.

The Rangers zombie, the muscular one that refused to play any Catholics in its team until 1989, finds itself desperate. The zombie’s business arm has grabbed other people’s money and commits to painful surgery, transplanting its decaying organs with modernity – to be new, to be a modern soccer club, to compete at the heights of European glory. But the body rejects the transplant. The zombie begins to die. The vultures move in. They sell the silverware. They dismantle the red bricks of Rangers’ hallowed ground, Ibrox. Tributaries of Protestant tears flow into Glasgow’s River Clyde, turning it blue. Across the city, the Celtic zombie is alone, lost without its other half, and soccer, being a game of two halves, loses its most famous act.

Roll the credits.

Reviews for this film –

“Can we get our money back? That was total rubbish. Complete, unrealistic crap.”
“Totally one-sided and biased nonsense. Obviously, a Rangers hater.”
“Totally one-sided and biased nonsense. Obviously, a Celtic hater.”
“As a zombie, I am insulted by the stereotypical depictions in this insulting film.”
“Is there a sequel in the works?”
“Casting Mel Gibson as the Pope was an inspired move, well done!”

Next week at this cinema – a new Scottish independent film starring…


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