Now and again in life taboos have to be broken – so here we go.
Politics is a subject I almost always shy away from in conjunction with sport, but honestly for those Scottish ‘Yes’ voters still crying into their porridge since last Thursday’s outcome, I have to say the ‘No’ contingent might just have saved you from yourselves.
Sport is shocking when it comes to leaning heavily on stereotypes, so it is not surprising that the European Ryder Cup team have turned up for a team press launch before their Gleneagles showdown against the USA wearing matching tartan jackets.
Now to break a second taboo as I will offer an opinion on fashion – probably hugely inadvisable as since my late teens my entire ‘look’ has been based on an ‘aftermath of being dragged through a hedge backwards’ sort of motif.
While it might be good for team unity to all adopt a uniform, the effect of a team in ‘shades of grey’ tartan jackets essentially evoked how wrong the test card could appear on an old black and white television.
And it is not the first time this year that the ‘Tartan = Scotland’ equation has been utilised in sport.
For the Commonwealth Games a predominantly pink affair, dashed with garish light blue and yellow, was presented as the tartan for the games.
Eye-catching or eyesore remains a debate, but at least the Scottish swimming team saw fit to model it with some bravado, if not irony.
Now this is not to say I am not a fan of tartan, anyone who has watched the scene with Liz Hurley as a teacher in the film Bedazzled will know just what the merits can be, but will there come a point where an international sports event can go ahead in Scotland without resorting to a flurry of eye-searingly and outrageously checked garb being flung in everyone’s faces?
Just as an incidental fashion aside, it was interesting to note that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers this week commented that: “The weight of the jersey here is heavy for most players.”
Now I have to admit that I haven’t studied this seasons Liverpool shirt at close quarters, but what I think might have happened is that they have introduced too heavy a woollen mix into the fabric.
In many ways Mr Rodgers is lucky that it has been such a clement start to the season as had there been torrential rain his team’s shirts would have become much heavier due to waterlogging – with a possibility of sleeves drooping down below the hands.
However, back to the point, and I just hope that the Ryder Cup can be a colourful occasion, but without too much over-powering plaid in evidence.
In terms of tartan and golf, this particular passion should be left to those who can pull-off the look with panache like Europe’s current star Ian Poulter, but particularly the late and great Payne Stewart and his incredible plus-fours.