There was something that David mentioned on the Patreon post-match pod after the away win at Dundee United in December that really stayed with me:
“See the way that [Tav’s mesmerizing free-kick] went in, Hoggy – and you’ll know what I’m talking about there – don’t you think it’ll be perfect on an end of season championship video when the music’s going at the start? And then sliding across the screen comes ‘Rangers: That Championship Season 20/21’.”
Despite Rangers sitting 13 points clear at the top of the table after that game at Tannadice (or 7 points if you were of the persuasion that the league table was “fake news”), I’m sure I wasn’t alone is not allowing myself to fully join David’s daydream of a title-winning season just yet. The scar tissue from previous false dawns wouldn’t allow me to get ahead of myself.
Fast forward roughly eight weeks however to a time when Rangers are now 18 points clear in the league – a lead the club have not held over Celtic in a league season for a quarter of a century – and it feels like it’s only a matter of time until the league championship is reacquainted with her preferred living quarters; the Ibrox trophy room. It’s difficult not to get carried away.
After the decade we’ve all endured, the first league title back was always going to be one of the sweetest, but to win it this season in particular, and in such relentless fashion, potentially propels it straight to the top of the list of greatest title wins in our famous club’s proud history.
There is still work to be done of course, and Steven Gerrard of all people will not allow the side to become complacent when the prize is within touching distance.
As supporters, however, we have understandably started to stockpile the bunting and booze in anticipation of the impending celebrations.
Welcome to the party.
Now I can see it; the montage filled with blue shirts gliding, goal nets bulging, clenched fists pumping and shiny things soaring.
‘Rangers: That Championship Season 20/21’.
Younger bears might not fully appreciate or understand the joy that accompanies the thought of an end of season video coming this summer. We live in an age where football is ubiquitous and within moments of something taking place on the pitch, there will be replays, memes and arguments on social media. It’s difficult to comprehend that back in the 80s and 90s the annual VHS releases were often the only chance we had to relive the magic moments from trophy-laden seasons and, as such, they quickly became cornerstones of our lives as Rangers fans. Many of us will still have cupboards full of them…
Indeed, so entrenched were they in the life of a Rangers supporter at that time that I dare say many of us can still recite large swathes of commentary or narration from these end of season videos as if we were quoting Hamlet. The ‘John Williams Production’ synth ident was as regular a sound in a Rangers supporting household as champagne bottles opening.
We all have our own favourites. For me, it was ‘5-In-A-Row! There’s No Limit’. It was the first Rangers video I’d ever owned, and it came at the end of my first season supporting Rangers. It still gives me goosebumps seeing Pieter Huistra walk out at Ibrox in the opening montage just as 2 Unlimited’s ‘No Limit’ fades up…
Durrant wheeling away after equalising in the Vélodrome. Andy Goram’s sizeable backside somehow keeping a clean sheet at Pittodrie. Scott Nisbet scoring “the biggest fluke in Europe this season, but who cares? Rangers are back in front!”. I know it back to front, word for word.
But each season had their own style and brilliant moments.
The one that started it all – ‘Rangers FC 1986/87: That Championship Season’ – opens with what is patently the greatest opening song and montage in the history of mankind.
‘Rangers: Seventh Heaven‘ went for the slightly more salubrious sound of ‘Dies Irae’ from Verdi’s Requiem to kick off proceedings, whereas ‘Eight At The Double’ went for the timeless classic music/happy hardcore pairing which is so bonkers that it actually works perfectly.
To this day, whenever something untoward happens to Rangers on the pitch, my mates and I will still send each other a text which simply says, “**sad Bluebells Are Blue plays***”, in reference to the sequence of Rangers’ Champions League qualifying exit from season 93/94.
Of course, it wasn’t just end of season reviews that were made – there were other avenues that the club explored on video. Specific games, like the ‘Battle of Britain‘, would get their own releases as would certain players, like Paul Gascoigne, Jorg Albertz and Ally McCoist. If you’ve never seen Keith Chegwin wrecking Super Ally’s kitchen then you’ve really missed out…
‘Rangers Gold‘ actually has a quite remarkable moment in it, where the key interviewee, to reminisce about Kai Johansen’s spectacular winning goal in the 1966 Scottish Cup Final, is none other than the referee of that match – Tiny Wharton.
Far be it from me to tell the current Rangers media team how to do their jobs, but maybe this could be something they wish to bring back for this season’s highlights video? I can’t think of any reason why John Beaton or Bobby Madden couldn’t be asked for their thoughts on a memorable Rangers goal from this campaign…
No matter what creative decisions they choose to make, an end of season video will mean our club has, at long last, returned to its proper place atop of Scottish football. Perhaps it can even herald in a brand new era of Rangers productions. Quite frankly, it’s damn time someone made ‘Rangers Gold(son)’, ‘Candid Kamara’ and ‘Captain America: The First Tavenger’…