A Moment Of Truth
It's all been coming down to this.
As I detailed (and boy do I mean detailed) in a previous piece, I've been going to Scotland games since 2003 (7th of June, Germany at Hampden. The Berti Vogts Era. We Won 1-1).
Since then I've been a near ever present at the National Stadium and have added more than a few away trips to my repertoire. Albania, Brussels, Cyprus, Faro, Slovenia, San Marino, Malta... even that London place.
And whilst we've been close, far, and very far from qualifying in those times gone by, this time, this time, we are one game away. This time, we can see the tournament on the hill, the light just beyond the tunnel.
I can't be there, in Serbia. None of the support can. It's sensible, practical and unavoidable, but it is also really bloody unfair. Alas, that's just the way the mop flops, as is the fact that we cannot gather en masse, in pubs or in homes, to share every tense, nerve-shredding second, every cheer, every groan, every moment, be it glorious or failure (or that peculiarly Scottish mix of the two).
So, c'mon Scotland. Go do it.
Do it for the bampots who should be in Belgrade. Do it for my brother, who can't watch it with me. Do it for my Father, my gateway drug to the game, and his pal Neil, my recruiting Sergeant to the TA. Do it for my best pals, whom I've dragged to many a match, who have come away with me to foreign climbs, but who are watching this apart. Do it for the closed pubs, that should by now be heaving. Do it for yourselves, do it for each other, do it for all the squads who tried and failed, and the ones who never got the chance. Do it for my Airdrie supporting Uncle, who suffers like me with two unsuccessful teams, and do it for the cousins we dragged to one game way back when. Do it for the whole damn country, who need some kind of lift. Do it by hook, or do it by crook. Do it with a wonder strike, or do it with an own goal fluke.
Do it. Just Do It.
All Roads Lead To Now. Stand Up and Win It.