A familiar old Mass Hibsteria fanzine phrase and one that is very apt at this time. I’ve spent the afternoon following The Hibees progress at Ibrox against a Rangers team who scored an excellent 3-0 victory in Europe during the past week. I use methods like Radio Scotland on the net and/or the Sporting Life text coverage along with the Hibs messageboards – anything in fact that keeps me in contact with Hibs’ fortunes down here in Nottingham.
I have to say that yet again tonight, this is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in forty-odd years of following the Hibs man and boy. What’s more I keep getting that feeling – it’s becoming more regular. We all know the feeling when the Hibs are hanging on for a win in a big game like this, it can be heart-stopping and gut-wrenching at the same time. The adrenaline flows and one kicks every ball for the team , whether we’re in the seats watching the game or stuck in front of the Internet or a radio. These are the moments when you know how much your team means to you. In my case I have no problem in admitting that’s a very great deal.
Ironically it seems as though our team were not even ‘hanging on’. From reports for those of us who weren’t there it appears that our football was showing through and that there were spells – one in particular, of an incredible passing sequence keeping Rangers away from the ball for a long period of time. Everything about this club feels good at the moment. The good news is spread in so many different ways. Typically, early reports give out that Ross Chisholm was given the man-of-the-match award and that seems to say so much about our team right now. Young players step into the breach continually and show great maturity for those so young and inexperienced. Wherever we look there’s positivity.
It’s not so long ago that a visit to Ibrox or Parhead was looked upon with some gloom and trepidation. That feeling seems to have withered and died and there is a new confidence about Hibernian from both the players and the fans. Finally those mental shackles seem to have been shed. Conversely it apparent that neither of the Old Firm feel necessarily that comfortable about facing Hibs – nor should they. Tonight as I write, Hibernian sit proudly atop the SPL, unbeaten after ten games and growing in stature and confidence under our young manager, John Collins. Perhaps, just perhaps he is embedding some of the undoubted self-confidence he had as a player himself. I’m happy to say that those young players could barely have a better role model at the helm.
This is how it feels then. I think about Hibs an awful lot, probably more than is healthy for me! I think of them and the great people I know through supporting this team at odd and various times. When I’m driving somewhere, when I’m walking home after a pint or two at night, when I’m in the company of others and particularly when I pontificate about why I feel so eternally tied to this club, when I’m alone. The sense of belonging to this thing connects me with my family history and means so very much to me in so many different ways. I find myself this evening looking forward to the next occasion I can visit Easter Road to watch the men in green shirts with white sleeves weave those pretty patterns and entertain us, those of who love this club. I am a very proud fan this Saturday evening.
Erin Go Bragh