So Italy square up to England tonight in the Euro final, and it would be remiss of us at Ibrox Noise to ignore the most significant international match for a British team pretty much since 66.
Most of us are Scottish on this site, a few ex-pats, most of us based in Scotland, but Ibrox Noise has a large English audience given the number of Bears down south.
We have 50,000 Bears on our social media platforms and there are many thousand English among them.
Rangers are a Scottish team and a British team, and while we’re supposed to be 100% Scotland fans, we also want to be fair to the home nations.
Tonight’s match up is massive – the two most consistent teams overall in the tournament, neither of them particularly spectacular but both got the job done and they’ll fight it out to be kings of Europe for at least four years.
Whose side are we on?
Both teams used gamesmanship at best and downright cheated at worst to get this far – Italy’s conduct v Belgium was pretty embarrassing and Chiellini’s bear hug of Alba was frankly not much better while England’s win over Denmark benefited from an OG, a non-penalty and a miss. It’s hardly the most honourable final between two teams who got there the right way.
But you do what you have to to win, and they both did.
The fear most Scots have isn’t the English team winning, it’s the English media going ape. Sam Matterface’s commentary v Denmark was probably the most vulgar display of tribalism we’ve ever heard in the media in our lifetime, and the man deeply embarrassed his country with the ridiculous soundbites he came out with.
And that’s the kind of media performance that will be pretty intolerable. Don’t get us wrong, the country would have every right to enjoy and embrace the moment, but the media won’t stop there, and will milk it for years.
That’s the biggest axe Scots usually have to grind with the England team doing well.
Did Sterling dive? Probably. Would it have been a foul outside the box? Probably a wave to get up from the ref. VAR decided it was a pen and that was that.
But all teams do it now and then, embellish things to gain an advantage – Italy just as guilty.
So we either get 30 years and more of the southern media going on about this, or Italy take football home to Rome.
End of the day, hopefully we get a half decent and honest match from the pair of them, whoever wins. Too much to ask?