I went into the Five Guys burger barn around the corner from the office today, with the express goal of hardening my arteries. (So far, so good!) I was sporting my Scotland rugby woolly hat because it’s chilly (24 F, -4C) and I’m bald.
The young man behind the counter asked if I was Scottish – because he’s from Morocco and wanted to know if I remembered the Scotland – Morocco game from the 98 World Cup. All I could say was,”yeah, Morocco won that didn’t they?” Not because I remembered the game specifically, but I do remember the usual lose-three-and-go-home set of tactics being deployed with the usual results. Unreliable memory suggests that Scotland gave a decent account of themselves in the opening game against Brazil* but only after conceding an own goal (because Brazil really needed the help), and then going arse-over-elkie against Morocco.
Point being, you never know when you’re going to run into someone who supports a team that Scotland’s lost to – but the odds are pretty good, so you might as well be gracious about it…*Tangentially related story: a good friend of my aunt’s had lost her bidey-in of many years to cancer about a month before the 98 World Cup and was taking it badly, as you might expect. My aunt was making sympathetic noises but nearly slipped when her friend said,”And he’d just got his tickets to the Brazil game; they’re sitting on the mantle, what the hell am I going to do with those?” – if my aunt had followed her first instinct and offered to take the tickets, I suppose that would have cost her a friendship… and ruined a trip to Paris, but that’s a separate issue.