I broke with personal tradition yesterday - more due to advancing years than a change of belief. The benefits of the local supporters bus over my own transport had been well argued with an old colleague I bumped into at Gayfield the week before.
If I'm honest my increasing propensity for falling asleep at will had made the solitary drive north post match something of a health and safety issue.
Having made the necessary arrangements with the Monifieth Loyal bus, come Saturday morning I made my way early to the designated pick up point. Much too early in fact. For those who don't know Dundee the Kingsway is the main arterial route through the city for those heading north or south.
My early attendance at my rendezvous point on a freezing cold day would have normally made for a long cold stand. But not this day. I was literally glowing inside and it was nothing to do with having my daily dose of Ready Break. For bus after bus after bus, packed full of fellow bears, passed as I awaited my transport.
All over our country ladies and gents had risen early from their beds, left families and loved ones at home not out of defiance but out of love for and devotion to a football club. It reinforced the understanding within me that no matter the injustice, malevolence, disdain and hatred towards our club - we will never ever be beaten or downtrodden. It's not a single-minded determination but a collective one. It's not "I am the person - it's "We are the people".
But for someone who spends too much time on the net and various Rangers forums trying to apprise himself of the issues of concern to the Rangers support, the issues of the real world Rangers fans provided a refreshing respite from the sometimes near madness of Rangers forums. Whilst internet issues reflect real life issues they do not dominate them in the same way. There is something mystical as well about talking to the more senior members of the bus who can recount stories of Caldow, Baxter, Brand etc.
And then of course there is the "crack". From memory quizzes about Crossroads characters to the merits of Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs - which led to some serious role play. The sight of two guys fuelled by a few shandies dancing the re-enactment of Travolta's and Thurman's Pulp Fiction dance in the corridor of a coach doing over 60 mph was one of those "had to be there" moments. "The back of the bus they canny sing". Perhaps not but by gum they can't half dance. You know who you are.
So a big thank you to the men and women of the Monifieth Loyal and hundreds of other buses like them from all over Scotland and the UK who, week in week out, not for fame or glory but out of love for a football club, add to the collective assertion...
We are the people.