Media, Scottish Football, SPFL

The ‘Black and White Minstrels’ Five-A-Side League

Good Evening.

Committed Clumpaneers will have seen today’s earlier blog about Michael Gannon’s latest piece in the Daily Record:

Up To Our Knees In Caveats

[Incidentally it should be noted that I nearly always enjoy ‘Mr’ Gannon’s articles and he is a gent on Twitter who is often up for a bit of banter.] 

The stand-out section of Michael’s article came at the very beginning.

“GET it up ye, ya wee Fenian so’n’so. Get in tae these Orange b******s. It sounds like something coming from the stands of Ibrox or Parkhead. Or some packed away end around the country when either of the Old Firm come calling.

But it’s not. It’s a five-a-side pitch on a Monday night. And it’s 10 guys who are all mates.

That’s the thing about this sectarian singing debate that has flared up again this week. With some folk it’s a black and white issue but for most it’s part of the colourful backdrop of bonkers West of Scotland culture. Very few actual real people get upset by this stuff.”

Like a number of you, I wondered exactly where such fine ‘banter’ befitting of 21st Century Scotland could be found within a five-a-side context.

Because the league in question sounds like an absolute retro-tastic delight!

I subsequently set the Clumpany radar to work, and I found an answer! It turns out that the above-mentioned five-a-side lads play in ‘The Black and White Minstrels’ Tuesday Night League

The league is named after the legendarily ‘awkward’ and long-running TV show, and several of the teams actually ‘black up’ for the games. 

There’s also a team who dress up as the cast of 1970s TV nightmare ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ [For those that don’t remember, the premise of this ‘comedy’ ‘classic’ was that a bigoted white guy’s new neighbour turned out to be black. With ‘hilarious’ consequences… It was utter sh*t of the first order].

The league has a number of sides on its books, including one made up of five Bernard Manning look-a- likes, and an ‘Offensively Cliched Pretend Jewish Five’.

The deliberately-‘token’ all-Irish side (who are all called ‘Mick’) are strongly fancied to win the Alf Garnett Trophy this year, but they may face stiff competition from the Welsh lads who are all (remarkably) called Taffy.

Apparently the team that finishes last in the league has to spend the following season recreating the horrific stereotype-fest ‘Mind Your Language’ in a stage show which will tour Scotland. So the stakes are high!

I must admit that this league sounds absolutely brilliant. I hear the players are all lively sorts and are not afraid to throw verbal ‘banter’ at their opponents regarding nationality and ethnicity.  

I hope ‘The Black and White Minstrels’ Tuesday Night League gets the TV coverage it deserves. It must be a sure-fire ratings winner! And no one watching or involved with the games could possibly be offended or have their right to a prejudice-free life impinged upon. Because any discrimination on display would just be at the ‘banter’ end of the spectrum, rather than being the serious sort of discrimination undertaken by a small minority.

And that’s an important difference isn’t it?

Isn’t it?

NB Memo to the hard-of-thinking. The above may be rubbish, but it is written as a p*ss-taking satire of how everyday discrimination and inappropriate behaviour doesn’t get recognised for what it actually is.