I am English, I support a Scottish football team. Not the Scottish football team. I am not that much of a masochist. My poison is Hibernian.
For English football fans, the mildly amusing sideshow of an England v Scotland friendly comes at the most enjoyable stage of the season, when everything is ripe with possibility and we have not even had the first racism scandal yet (at the time of writing).
For Hibs fans, our season is already over.
No kidding: no points from two games, we have lost a derby to comedy-crisis-club Hearts, we will soon surely be sacking our 294th manager in 10 years before beginning the search for somebody who will work for a modest salary and a 10 per cent discount in selected Leith chip shops (team results permitting).
We have already been ejected from one competition in the most unceremonious way imaginable.
A 2-0 Europa League qualifier defeat in the first leg in Malmo was not ideal, but there were genuine hopes of getting them back to our place and having a good go.
This was an especially upsetting scoreline, in that it tarnishes the memory of the 7-0 victory over Hearts on New Year’s Day 1973, the club’s most beloved result.
Oh, and the Malmo match took place in front of a packed Easter Road, with 16,000 in to support and pay tribute to the recently departed Lawrie Reilly, arguably Hibernian’s greatest-ever player. It was very much not a fitting send-off.
In addition, our best player last season, in fact the best player to wear our jersey in a dozen years, has returned from his loan spell to the third tier of English football. I suppose you cannot begrudge Leigh Griffiths his move back to the big time.
Did I say our season is already over? We wish. We have still got 10 months of this to get through.
Scottish football is, of course, held up as a joke in England, and it is not hard to see why.
However, I would say to those who deride the Scottish Premier League as being a one-horse (née two-horse) race: are Hibs or Hearts really any less likely to win their league title than, say, Everton or Aston Villa?
And while the disparity in standard between the English and Scottish leagues needs no restating, I genuinely cannot see that any fan of the England national team has much to shout about in terms of the talent being produced for it by The Best League In The World.
It is not so much that the English Premier League’s best footballers are foreign, it is that the English ones who are any use are generally such thoroughly unlovely players to watch.
The EPL model produces a parade of Englishmen who are built like light-heavyweight boxers and can run the hundred in 10.3sec but cannot, y’know, actually play football.
With the genetic material available and the national attitude to refuelling, supreme physical conditioning has not really been an option for Scottish sides, thus our teams have been populated with unhealthy-looking, whey-faced local lads with a life expectancy of about 42 who are actually quite good with the ball but sadly too puny and/or dissolute for the hyper-fit demands of the EPL.
In the past 20 years at Hibs we have had a legion of highly watchable talents who would have puked themselves to death during the first pre-season beep test at an EPL club.
Take, for instance, Russell Latapy, a small, superbly gifted midfielder who was unfortunately best friends with Dwight Yorke, with all the off-field shenanigans that implies; and Derek Riordan, a left-sided forward with wonderful vision, unless it was blurry.
They, and several others, have been a delight to watch but could never have cut it in England.
If your idea of a good time is watching the likes of Theo Walcott charge around like a very fast, very fit racehorse that happens to have the footballing brain and guile of, well, a racehorse, then good luck to you.
Scottish football is quite obviously not up to much but, if watching football was just about excellence, I respectfully suggest we would not be watching the English version all that much either.