A multiple choice quiz for you today, based on the following hypothetical scenario:
You're the 31-year-old captain of Glasgow Rangers and the Scottish national football team (that's Scottish national, rather than Scottish Nationalist; you don't have to be a chum of Alex Salmond's to play in it or anything). Your team have just been beaten 3-0 in a vital World Cup qualifier in the Netherlands. Do you:
a) Take the defeat on the chin. You have been beaten by one of the world's most famous footballing nations in their own back yard, after all.
b) Give your team-mates a dressing-down in the dressing room after the game. After all, you've just been roundly beaten in a vital World Cup qualifier. "Come on lads, we can do better than that!"
c) Stay up boozing all night with the reserve goalkeeper in the team's hotel bar in full view of all the other guests and stay right there, hard at it, until lunchtime the following day. After all, as team captain it's your responsibility to break the curfew, disrespect the management and drink yourself into oblivion for at least fifteen hours after the day you've had.
If you answered a) or b) to the above question, you're clearly some kind of lily-livered pinko communist, and I wouldn't trust you to captain my football team for all the Buckfast in Bellshill. You're a disgrace, frankly, and I hope you're feeling thoroughly ashamed of yourself. Now go away and read some poetry or press some wild flowers, or something.
If, however, you answered c), then please proceed to the next question.
For some reason your boozing antics in the hotel bar after the Netherlands game didn't go down too well with your management, your national football association or the country in general; and, after originally being sent home in disgrace in advance of the team's next game, you're given a late reprieve and reinstated (along with your goalkeeping drinking buddy) to the substitutes' bench. But no sooner have you sat down on said bench than the bloody paparazzi start photographing you left, right and centre. How do you respond?
a) Keep your head down. You're in enough trouble as it is so you're just going to have to try and ride this one out. The fuss is bound to die down sooner or later anyway.
b) Start to look a bit fed up, but quickly adopt a stoical expression. However annoying and intrusive these photographers may be, you did bring this whole sorry mess on yourself. And it would be foolish to exacerbate the situation unnecessarily by giving them a reaction. How very dare they, though!
c) Agree with your goalkeeping/drinking buddy beforehand to adopt a policy of surreptitiously 'flicking the Vs' in an extremely juvenile and actually quite blatant fashion every so often under the pretence of resting your digits on your face (and thereby literally sticking two fingers up at the Scottish nation), whenever you're feeling particularly hard done by and sorry for yourselves during the course of your enforced exile on the bench. That'll learn 'em!
If you answered c) once again - congratulations! You are now the Scotland captain. Please feel free to be banned from the national team for life, stripped of your club's captaincy, suspended and sent home for a fortnight to think about what you've done, and to apparently seriously contemplate premature retirement from the game in the summer. Still, though, you showed them, eh?
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