Like any person of puffed-up self-importance - Chris Eubank, Wallace Mercer, Duff Man - the Chief Grouser refers to himself in the third person. It's probably easier when you're schizophrenic and definitely so when, like the Chief Grouser, you don't actually exist as a single entity. Like a pair of smoking shoes just after spontaneous combustion, that's all there is. The Chief Grouser has an angle, a take, a way of looking at things in the hope that others may engage their brains into gear before depressing the clutch (and the rest of us) by opening their mouths.
All this website does is present the facts. Every one and any one can take those facts and interpret them as they will. (Especially Hibs fans. ahahahaha!) It would be tiresome for Kickback's correspondents to be consistently reminded that having a quick scoot at this site will inform the debate, and answer a lot of questions so much so that the questions need not be asked in the first place. Someone even asked What Was The Best Hearts Team Ever? and gave a few options. Not one of them was 1958:
Played 34, Wins 29, Draws 4, Lost 1, Goals For 132, Goals Against 29, Total 62 points
If you don't know that then perhaps you shouldn't be allowed beyond Level 2 because if you don't know about the history of Heart of Midlothian you'll be unable to put it the current season into context. It'll be bothering you far more than it should, and you're going to be bothered quite a lot over the next few seasons. No-one's pretending the standard's any good, but you can enjoy it more (or hate it less) if you regard yourseIf as a spectator viewing the great sweep of Hearts' history. If nothing else, history (especially Hibernian's, tee hee) is a soothing balm to be applied at bad moments. This website hopes to pay tribute to that history, to the not-so-greats as well as the greats. And the other thing that history does is to show that this is not a bad moment in Hearts' history. No-where near it. Every six months on Kickback someone says Is This The Worst Ever? What, finishing fifth? Excuse me? Don't get Ver Grouser wrong, people are entitled to know nothing, but ranting and raving about how utterly terrible this current side is a bit much. Had anyone said that Hearts would definitely finish in the top six after the first game (read defeat) of the season or after we'd come home from Kilmarnock and Motherwell with C-all in October, and especially during the demo after Livvy had demolished us in early November, the doctor would have signed the papers and had them put away.
(Cue Woody Allen joke.
Man goes to the doctors. "Doctor, my brother thinks he's a chicken."
"So why don't you put him in an asylum?" "I thought of that, but we need the eggs.")
There has been some valuable correspondence about football on Kickback, discussing how good and bad things are. While some of the good stuff has been very, very good, Should Levein Be Sacked was a risible thread, especially as Kickback has a population of about 44 people and even more especially as everyone knew Levein was never going to be sacked. However, the best single thought all season was from an enthusiast and a realist - he knows who he is, but he has a famous brother called Joseph if you're looking for clues - saying he'd had just about enough of too many people making noises like Wacky Races's own Blubber Bear hiding at the back of the Arkansas Chugabug and he asserted that Hearts would beat Hibs at Easter Road. Some Hearts fans, he said, now seem to think that Hibs are going to score every time they get the ball, in defiance of the facts - namely, Hibs are crap and Hearts should win. And he was proved utterly right, top man. We need much more of that attitude generally.
But those Hearts fans who hold their worry beads every time Hibs get the ball aren't playing the percentages. They still can't forget the 6-2 game, they still think it's going to happen to them again. Bollocks to that. There are two ways of looking at life: the chance of being hit on the head by a coconut and killed is either One in a Billion - ie, highly unlikely - or One in Two - either you will or you won't. When Hearts and Hibs drew in December, The Chief Grouser cursed his lack of fatalism after the last-minute equaliser. He walked out of Tynecastle, got into a car and drove 300 miles away just simply because he didn't think Hibs were going to score.
So the 6-2 game was a freak, a one-off, a never-to-be-repeated show. Yet for far too many Hearts fans the 6-2 defeat was a weeping wound they refused to let heal. The other results that season were 0-0, 1-1 and 0-0, so that puts it into its proper context. This is what I mean by looking at history. The MORI pollsters would eliminate the rogue result from their market research. In 1929, Hearts played Hibs four times within the space of a month. They finished 8-2, 1-1. 5-1, 5-1. (I wonder which result the pollsters would disregard on this occasion?) So Hearts look at the bigger picture, whereas all Hibs fans talk about is 7-0 and 6-2. They even write the scorelines on their funny little hats. But you can tell the Hearts fans from the Hibs fans - Hearts fans would be the ones wearing Very Big Hats, which would say 10-2, 8-2, 7-1, 6-0, 6-0, 8-3, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, 5-0. But we choose not to. We choose not to clutch at the straw of a good result here and there - Why, anyone might think that a 6-2 victory heralded the start of Something Good! Too many Hearts fans remember losing the second half 4-1 but no-one remembers it should never have been 2-1 to Hibs at half-time, and had only Colgan not saved Niemi-style from Gordon Durie in the 40th minute, then recent derby history would have been different. Too many Hearts fans carried around that bunch of bananas in their collective backpack simply to attract monkeys. Hopefully after the victory at Easter Road that particular chimp is as dead as the one hanged by the populace of Hartlepool in 1807.
The Chief Grouser will be online between 2 and 3.30 today to answer your questions.