Off The Bawl - 7 February

By Tam CowanOff the Ball presenter
Tam Cowan and Stuart Cosgrove

Greeeeeetings!!! The zoomers got it wrong, thankfully, but if Armageddon HAD wiped Scottish football off the face of the planet, what sport would you start watching?

That's the question we asked in the company of last Saturday's studio guest - Henry Hepburn, author of The Beautiful Games, Scotland's Hidden Sports - who was joined in a rare media appearance by Stephen Craigan...

On the back of Marie Osmond wowing the Killie fans with her rendition of Paper Roses, we asked for the football songs that always put a smile on the face.

As Hearts prepare a 3D match programme (complete with special glasses) for the forthcoming game against Kilmarnock, we also discussed great Football Firsts.

And our Team of the Week was The Soft Drinks XI.

Here's another selection of the most petty and ill-informed texts and emails on radio...


Nick in Aberdeen: "Handball is played indoors and it's perfect for our climate. Henrik Larsson was a top handball player and so, too, was Peter Schmeichel who brought his distinctive handball style to football with his star-shaped save and launching the ball by hand."

Bill: "Bowls should be our national sport, simply because we are world class at it."

Ross in Glenrothes: "Ice-hockey is the only option. There are four Scottish teams in the top professional league in the UK. I can't skate to save my life, but I just see it as six-a-side football on ice with sticks and a puck. After the St Johnstone game today, I'm off to see the Fife Flyers tonight. Get involved."

Ali Mac in the Cairngorms: "What about Speycasting? It's a form of fly-fishing considered so skilful that its originator corresponded with Einstein on its physical properties (these letters will soon be published). Who wouldn't enjoy a sport that begins with a large dram and a bacon roll?"

Alwee in Duns: "An alternative to football could be Bo-taoshi. It's Japanese for "pole pulldown". Each team has 150 people that are divided into 75 attackers and 75 defenders. The goal? To knock down the other team's pole. Scotland fans tried their own version at Wembley in 1977, so maybe we would be good at it."

Andy Paterson: "When Armageddon comes, the SFA, SPL and SFL chiefs should take up orienteering as right now they couldn't find their a%^e with an atlas."


Martin Bethel from Dumfries: "Inspired by the one and only Stevie Tosh, the QoS fans adopted Neil Diamond's hit Sweet Caroline for our 2008 Scottish Cup run."

Mike in Fife: "The best song for a team running out the tunnel is Into The Valley by The Skids at East End Park. Local band and as for that opening bassline... amazing! Really gets you up for the game."

Jim in Netherlee: "A couple of weeks ago, Conrad Balatoni scored two at Firhill and they played the Balamory theme tune which brought a few smiles. Strangely, though, it wasn't played the following week when he scored again. Perhaps someone decided it was a bit naff."

Bill in Monifieth: "When we've won at Dens Park, they play Happiness by Ken Dodd. Goodness knows how I've managed to remember that!"

Wattie: "To the tune of Pink Floyd's The Wall, I remember hearing the funny chant 'We don't need no Maradona, we don't need no ball control...' but I don't know which set of fans sang it."


David from Moray: "Did you know that the world's first penalty kick was awarded to Airdrieonians?"

Caddy in Aberdeen: "Dug-outs were invented by Donald Coleman when he was the manager at Pittodrie."

Paul Thomson: "As discussed earlier on the show, Archie Gemmill was indeed the first Scottish sub, but did you know the guy who came off the park to let wee Archie on was none other than former St Mirren manager Jim Clunie? Oh, and it was a game against Clyde."

Big C in EK: "Here's a weird coincidence. Archie Gemmill's son Scot holds the record for being on the bench for his country with 372 appearances as a sub!"


The Soft Drinks XI (aka Shotts Bon Accord lorry)

Manager: Pepsi Guardiola

Coach: Shandy Clark

1/ Hamish McAlpine

2/ Darren Barr's Irn Bru

3/ Squash McKinlay

4/ Rafael Sprite

5/ Solripe Campbell

6/ Franz Beckenbauer (aka The Tizer)

7/ Lemonaiden McGeady

8/ Terry Dandelion & Hurlock

9/ Tommy Ring-pull (c)

10/ Sone Alucozade

11/ Britvic Davidson


Midway through Saturday's show (and don't ask why) we suddenly asked for limericks about Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter. And, sure enough, the Off The Ball listeners came up trumps...

There was a young man called Souter,

Whose bus drivers carried a shooter.

But understand please,

It was a shooter for peas,

And they'd fire it right up your hooter!

(Franz fae Falkirk)

There was a young man called Souter,

Who used to drive round on a scooter.

He got slapped in the puss,

Up the back of a bus,

When he asked a young lass for a footer.

(Joe from Wishaw)

There was a young man called Souter,

Who widnae stop tooting his tooter.

So his pal hid his bike,

Which Brian didnae like,

So he got a big bus wi' a hooter.

(Rory in Inverness)

To join in the fun on this Saturday's show, call 0500 929500, text 80295 or email

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