Remembrance Sunday is a solemn occasion in the United Kingdom.
Roughly analogous to Memorial Day in the US, it's observed on the Sunday closest to November 11, the day we over here observe as Veterans Day, which was originally Armistice Day, marking the end of the insane carnage that was WWI.
Most British teams wear an embroidered poppy on their shirts that day, representative of the line from the famous poem (written by a Canadian, actually, a Major who had just buried his best friend on the battlefield) that says "On Flanders fields where poppies blow"*, with the little red flowers representing the over one million UK men who brainless, incompetent and idiotic British Generals callously fed into German machine guns in the First World War.
All across the nation, people observe a full minute of silence, in this case including the players on the pitch.
Little Scottish second division club Airdrie United always proudly participates and this year, seeing as how the match day was sponsored by a railroading firm, they dispatched some flunkie to come up with a photo of soldiers on a train to grace the cover of the match programme. This was dutifully done.
So when the patrons of United arrived at The Diamonds for the match, they were handed this:
Apparently cable TV outfits over there don't offer what my bride dismissively refers to as "The Hitler Channel", else he surely would have noticed the somewhat unusual uniforms those Tommies were wearing.
And they also urgently need to rush a showing of Victory onto the air, where they'll notice that the really nasty ferret-faced stadium announcer (and all the other bad guys too) who sneers as the absolutely wooden Sylvester Stallone does possibly the worst goalkeeper impression in history, is wearing a surprisingly similar outfit.
Club Chairman Jim Ballantyne has since issued possibly the most ABJECT APOLOGY of recent memory.
Which brings me to a confession:
Unlike a lot of guys around this corner of the Interwebs, I don't begin to understand what the deal is with Celtic and Rangers.
The various religious, cultural, national, regional and God-only-knows-what-else influences which cause the fans of both clubs to behave like loathsome clods are beyond my poor power to comprehend. And frankly, I'm pretty sure I am happy about that.
Nevertheless, Celtic fans have decided to take particular umbrage at Remebrance Sunday. Last year, for example, they decided that singing a Republican song during the moment of silence was a good way to demonstrate what classless anal openings they truly are:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5y2-U6Ll1Q"]YouTube - Celtic's Remembrance Day Shame 8.11.09[/ame]
This year, they brought art:
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugN03pPOXxQ"]YouTube - Celtic Remembrance Day Poppy Banner Protest[/ame]
I know that many of you won't be happy until every single solitary facet of a true European footballing experience isn't slavishly duplicated at every MLS match, and while I understand the sentiment there are times when I'm happy that our fans, and our sport, aren't being publicly shamed by this kind of crap.
* You may have heard it as "grow" and you're not necessarily wrong. The writer himself doesn't seem to have been at all clear about it himself, but the original handwritten piece, penned while sitting by a ditch looking at the poppies interspersed amongst the fresh graves, clearly says "blow".