The face we show the world is important. You do not need a doctorate in psychology from Robert Burns to understand how well he hit the mark when he wrote, "Oh, some power the gift of presents has given us to see how we see it. "

Well, on Sunday, those responsible for the welfare of Scottish football – from the most distant administrator to the fan who provides everything in support of his team – have good reason to think about the brilliance of this Burns line.

And if we all try to throw ourselves out, some hard self-analysis must inevitably follow.

Neil Lennon was hit by a coin on Wednesday night's Hibs' draw with Hearts rival Hearts

Neil Lennon was hit by a coin on Wednesday night's Hibs' draw with Hearts rival Hearts

Neil Lennon was hit by a coin on Wednesday night's Hib draw against rival Hearts Hearts

After two games on four days led to a coach, two match officials and two players who had only one end to the attacks, this was only a highlight in a creeping violence trend, and the hard questions can not be avoided.

Are we really like that? It is more important who we want to be?

Will modern, welcoming, cosmopolitan Scotland really step back and endure a 70-year-old woman who has landed in the emergency room because some madmen hit the "wrong" target when they pushed a bottle into the supporters of the opposition?

Certainly, the healthy majority does not stand for a situation where referee assistants can be tossed coins, and managers with years of experience testify to everything from spitting to golf balls – and some see it as part of the game. & # 39;

At a time when Scottish football should celebrate a truly exciting start to the season, an upswing in excitement reflected in the imminent arrival of a new TV deal. The idea of ​​our national game is slipping back into the bad old tracks of the bad old days have to fill everyone with terror. And the determination to take even drastic measures to curb the madness.

The first step is to accept that these attacks are part of a broader trend, a darker seam formed at the foot of the game.

It is evident in the self-assured groups who call themselves Ultras without knowing it. What a joke.

They wear a uniform that is even different from the replica kits and official warm-up tops worn by a normal, logo-loving player who enjoys being "on the sidelines" – as they see it – and they get that Kick off if they insult you all.

Then they go back to school and boast to the police and the stewards who want to spoil their fun.

When challenged for their behavior, sick songs, or determination, their favorite defense is screaming loudly that football is "nothing without fans." Yes, fair point. But it would work without you guys.

After eliminating your fathers and grandfathers before, history tells us that it would turn out well. Then you could focus on your obsession with firecrackers, such a stereotypical pastime for socially disabled youths who mistakenly believe that being in a group makes them less vulnerable.

In addition to self-identifying, even important, backsliding into casuals, there is a broader behavioral problem.

Undercover mampots, absolute mentalists who dress up as decent people, are harder to spot. More difficult to identify when sweeping suspects.

The thought of our national game slipping into bad old tracks must frighten everyone

The thought of our national game slipping into bad old tracks must frighten everyone

The thought of our national game slipping into bad old tracks must frighten everyone

And all this is accidentally covered and salvaged by another group, best described as "it's just a tiny minority" brigade.

Each time someone is hit, beaten, or otherwise abused by a rocket, these hand-wrecking apologists reject the attack on the grounds that one or two – or five or a dozen offenders out of a ten-thousand figure – consider all represented things Reason more congratulations than condemnation.

Incidentally, mere reference to a small number of arrests means nothing.

Not at a time when the police are only picking up obvious offenders while they are collecting video footage to make more extensive falls in the coming weeks.

Raw data proving a decline in violent crime is unlikely to provide much comfort to the victims. Reducing the severity of any attack to a minimum does not indicate the determination to eradicate the case of this evil.

If you still think this is an overstatement or an overreaction, then maybe a quick overview of the most serious incidents this season – which is only a few months old – will convince.

Referee assistant Callum Spence was hit by a shot-and-missile rocket fired at Livingston in September against the Rangers, with the officer in need of treatment in mind. Ah, that's just Fitba.

Just over a week ago, a Hearts player who wanted to hit a bus full of Celtic fans with a bottle missed his mark and left a retiree – the mother of a Hearts employee – with a split head, visiting A & M. E needed.

It followed the madness of the Edinburgh derby last Wednesday evening in Tynecastle, scene of a double disgrace.

Heart Keeper Zdenek Zlamal is down when he tries to get the ball in front of Hibs supporters on the track. Before the Easter Road boss Neil Lennon is laid out with a coin thrown from the main booth.

Only six or seven days to complete Alfredo Morelos will be hit by a coin after hitting St Mirren in Paisley.

What an advertisement for our game, our country, our national pastime.

And to think, these are just the most obvious incidents. Those where perpetrators really hit the bullseye – any brand – with what was easiest to get.

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos was hit by a coin after beating St. Mirren in Paisley

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos was hit by a coin after beating St. Mirren in Paisley

Rangers' Alfredo Morelos was hit by a coin after beating St. Mirren in Paisley

Undoubtedly, many supporters can cite dozens of other incidents. Of course, most of them are "the other lot".

There is a serious point to say about the whitabootery that always prevails when this problem occurs.

The fact that some fans of the Rangers spent Thursday and Friday arguing that Lennon is taking everything and then being turned 180 degrees when Morelos was punished for the "crime" of the target of the ceremony is just a testament to the flexible settings that exist here.

Maybe there is no will to tackle this problem. Maybe there is no hope.

If Lennon's racism is swept under the carpet by so many, this indicates a lack of enthusiasm for serious change.

Just read the words of St Mirren Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick, who said following the Morelos incident: "It is unacceptable and we will find out who did it.

"The floor is full of CCTV. He is forbidden. We do not want such people to be like that at the games.

# 39; But what can we do? We can impose a ban, but we can not stop it, that's not the club's responsibility. "Sorry, Tony. But football has to take responsibility. This applies to supporters as well as executives.

On Saturday night, on a train outside Cardiff, I saw a group of Leicester fans still feeling touched by the warmth of the embrace they had received on their trip to Wales.

Touched by how the followers of Cardiff had played a full and willing role in the honors of the late Vice President of Leicester, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, these regulars of everyday life never wanted to get rid of the rivalry. But they appreciated the decency that so many showed.

These guys did not talk much about Scottish football, mainly because they just do not care.

If they had turned boring north, they would have heard headlines about attacks and language that hinted at some sort of collective insanity.

No, we should never seek a direct comparison with our neighbors. But we can learn from them just as we can take lessons from many other sports that seem to create a spectacle without endangering public order.

The annoying thing that's really annoying is that this should be a fantastic time for the Scottish game.

The upper class is more exciting than at any point in the last decade, as big clubs are playing their status and bringing some great football performance.

Everywhere in the country there are great stories, players increase their game, coaches support the latest tactics to inspire the crowds.

With a new and lucrative TV deal on the horizon, we may be at the beginning of a real boom. A sustainable increase after years of austerity.

Some, however, are still anxious to bring the game back to the misery of the 70s and 80s.

You can not win. Whatever it takes, Scottish football has to fix its own house.

Or these police and politicians, just waiting to hammer our national game, a convenient gathering place for the diseases of society, will throw everything at the problem. And if they do, we have no reason to complain.


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