I THINK I’ve finally figured out why the Championship appeals to me so much.
After years covering Queen of the South and then Dundee and United in that division, I thought it was just something I was used to.
But then this week, realisation came.
You don’t have to put up with nonsense surrounding Rangers and Celtic.
That’s not me having a go at either club, folk can support whichever team they want.
But the media circus around it is tiresome.
That’s exactly what I’d put Kris Boyd’s column on Saturday under.
It was a very personal attack on Leigh Griffiths.
In football terms, it was a two-footer.
It reads like there’s some personal resentment between the two. Fair enough, that’s life.
This, though, was nasty.
Celtic v Rangers, in Dundee
To me, it all came down to ‘I’m Rangers, he’s Celtic’ so the gloves are off.
Boyd heads up his own mental health charity yet is quite happy to hammer another player’s mentality in a national newspaper.
Just a tad hypocritical.
But that doesn’t seem to matter when it’s Rangers and Celtic.
The world these days is so tribal and social media has played a huge part in the problem.
An issue that’s unlikely to get any better any time soon.
The ‘us vs them’ mentality has taken over everything. If you’re not with us, you’re one of them.
So mental health doesn’t count when it’s against ‘one of them’.
I’m certainly not a fan of everything Griffiths has ever done, far from it.
The striker does have a habit of bringing negative attention on himself.
And coming up against Rangers on Saturday was always going to be a pretty unpleasant situation for the on-loan Celtic man.
The timing of Boyd’s comments, though, on the morning of the game would only inflame the hatred from the stands.
To me, it was very unedifying and lacked class.
Griffiths won’t go away
A good bit of rivalry between clubs very much adds to the game and the drama around Scottish football.
But this was taking that a step too far and in a national newspaper to boot.
I just hope that’s not something that catches on here in this city.
Of course there’s rivalry between Dundee and United, some people take that too far.
But, on the whole, it’s fairly friendly, the way it should be.
One thing that won’t be disappearing any time soon, however, is Griffiths himself.
And I don’t imagine the chants that follow him at every stadium now will go away either.
All he can do now is get himself fit and among the goals for Dundee.
The Dark Blues knew there would be baggage coming their way when they signed him on loan.
The club is shouldering a lot for him, I do hope he goes on to repay that.
Good start at Tannadice – it can be even better after massive month to come
Dundee United are in good shape right now, things are so very positive at Tannadice.
Looking at the fixtures coming up, it could remain that way as well.
However, that’s a mindset the Tangerines must avoid.
Saturday sees Ross County come to visit.
Equal bottom, without a win and struggling under Malky Mackay.
That sounds exactly like the type of team you want to face after earning a point at Celtic Park.
However, we see every year in the Premiership how that kind of thinking can see a team come unstuck.
Just look at Sunday’s opponents at Livingston the other week, not many saw that coming.
That’s the task facing Tam Courts over the next few weeks – taking control and taking points from games where they are expected to win.
Because they have a few coming up.
They’ll be underdogs at Hibs in a couple of weeks.
But Ross County at home, Motherwell at home, Livi away and St Johnstone at home next month are all winnable games.
United have got the early Old Firm matches out of the way and earned four points from them.
Now is the time to make the most of those results.
Take three victories out of those five and United will be flying high – it could be a massive month for Courts.
Same old, same old for Man United
I don’t think there are any prizes for guessing who takes Manchester United’s next penalty.
Being a Man U fan, I was beginning to think the Red Devils could finally put a title challenge together.
I mean, Cristiano Ronaldo is back, the attacking talent is there and we’ve added Rafael Varane at the back, an actual world class centre-back.
But back to earth with a thump.
Fair play to Aston Villa – and goalie Emi Martinez’s mindgames – but Saturday was a bad one for Man U and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The players are there but a trophy is essential for Ole.
George Cran’s column is published in the Evening Telegraph every Wednesday.