So I did something I’m ashamed of. Really ashamed of. The video some of you will have seen on social media of the climbing of the Pittodrie floodlights… I clicked the link. I know, terrible and shameful. I clicked on a link that took me into The Daily Record website.
I’d already seen some of the comments, as I would normally just ignore that sort of thing. ‘Shocking, disgraceful, vandals, should be locked up’. But it was the floodlights and they are my favourite part of Pittodrie, maybe my favourite bits of architecture in the whole world.
So I clicked on the link. And then I went from half sneering disapproval to admiring the view, and then praying they would get down safe. Worrying what their Mums thought every time they left the house.
Then I wondered why they did it, and why didn’t they climb a mountain instead? A nice big safe mountain, with a big bouncy castle at the bottom so if they fall off, they’ll be fine. Which is how mountaineering works right? No one falls to their death there…
So why are the floodlights special to me? They are the keeper of the magical midweek atmosphere, piercing the North East sky and everything the North Sea can throw at us. The beacons that call us to the games and light up the stage. Pittodrie, the grass an electric green, the lights picking off the red on Peter Weir’s shirt as he darts between defenders.
The new stadium will have lights, but it won’t have floodlights. They are not needed, so Stewart Milne won’t have them. He won’t be designing the stadium but it will be built in his reflected style. That of his houses. Ruthlessly effective, ruthlessly sound, ruthlessly solid, ruthlessly unimaginative, ruthlessly lacking aesthetics or vision. The Stewart Milne way.
So they get down okay, and you have to admire their bravery and skill. Climbing from the lower deck to the upper deck is a particularly impressive feat, and must have had Dick Donald spinning in his grave. At the thought of them getting in without paying. And lads, stoppit! You will never reach higher than the Dandy Dons blog again, so consider your climbing career, peaked.
The second and final part of Sandy’s photos. Some are obvious, a few legends, a missing tache, some complete unknowns, kipper ties, and three might be from Dundee.
The comments are open at the end of the article, or comment on the link on Facebook.
Sandy sent in some photos from a few years ago. Some of them are obvious, particularly at the beginning, but neither Sandy or I know who a few of them are. We have some guesses, but pretty sure there are a few out there who will know exactly who everyone else is, and maybe have some stories they want to share.
The comments are open at the end of the article, or comment on the link on Facebook.
Part Two to follow.
I’m an Aberdonian, but I didn’t grow up in the city. I moved back into Aberdeen at seventeen, and went to a couple of games that first season. The football kicked in properly the following season, when I began as an art student at Gray’s School of Art. I didn’t know what middle class was, I found out at Gray’s School of Art I wasn’t. This may be part of what drew me to Pittodrie, or maybe I just ‘got the habit’. It would be wrong to say there were a lot of wankers at Gray’s, it would however be correct to say there were a lot of wankers teaching. A lot of wage thieves too. (I’m sure they are great now) One particular nasty piece of work threw me off the course, but I’m not bitter. His name was Ian Cargill. What a cunt he was.
Anyway, the fitba. It was during this time, and the following years that football, art, and the city of Aberdeen all seeped into me. Pittodrie, the team, the city. Effectively the art side of The Dandy Dons, is what I am expressing now, all these years later. When it’s all out of me, then I’m done.
I’m a web designer, I need websites to work with. The name The Dandy Dons came about when I bought the domain name during the McGhee years. Yes, I know. We were as far from Dandy as we’d ever been. It was an expression I hadn’t heard in decades. It was bought knowingly ironic, and with a nod to the team I grew up with. Then along came McInnes with his talent and his work ethic, and the whole irony thing, wiped out at a stroke. Bastard.
The secret of comedy is timing. The time I became a regular at Pittodrie, was the very beginning of the Porterfield years. Now it’s kind of funny in comparison to the years just before that, but watching a team with Miller, McLeish, Leighton, McKimmie, Robertson, Bett, Hewitt, Connor, Grant etc. was nae bad. But the more I watched, the more I focussed in on Willie Miller. To the point that the rest didn’t matter so much. He was a genius, the ball was like a magnet, it just went to him, all the time.
Here’s something silly now, I was at around fifty games at Pittodrie, before I ever saw them lose. And that was the day Willie Miller got sent off against St Mirren for mistiming a tackle by about a week. I can still picture the referee trying to call him over, Wullie innocently looking stage left as if nothing was up.
So that’s why Wullie keeps popping up on the page. Sometimes he’s the profile picture, and I keep doing stupid things with the cup pose at Easter. Because Wullie is God. And it’s okay to wallow in the past, because I also wallow in the present.
Some contradicting opinions about stuff, some not so serious, one is exceptionally delicate though.
I really want to see player x, get a game in midfield. Why haven’t we had a chance to see that?
Really. Really?! Fucking really. So the fact we know the current manager knows what he is doing, and we are pretty damned lucky to have kept hold of him so long, and despite the fact (this bit will blow your mind) the players play football almost every day, and the people who work in football and are good at their job, are watching and analysing and scientifically measuring (the GPS on their backs) their performance, energy levels, hunger, commitment and form, you, you, yes you, want to see such and such player played in a certain position, so you can make the decision as to whether that player is good enough. Really?
So welcome to the Dandy Dons podcast, with me Iain from the Dandy Dons. So Iain, we drew 1-1, what did you think should have been done?
Thanks for having me on Iain, I think we should trust in the manager because that’s his fucking job.
And we’ll be back same time next week, for exactly the same podcast.
Coming soon, The Dandy Dons podcast. No not really.
I’m hearing reports of…
Oh for fucks sake. Stop it. We’ve ALL got Twitter. And if someone was risking their entire career feeding you information direct from Pittodrie they’d be a grade A fucking idiot, and McInnes would have them by the throat within the hour. Stop it.
Aberdeen FC fan pages, posting official Aberdeen FC content, as if it were their own.
They can post exactly the same content via the Share button. This will allow the club to measure the full reach of their own content AND it will send clicks back to the club’s official pages, which in turn sends people to their shop and their ticket office, and possibly gets them signed up to Red TV, or any of the other services the club offers.
So when you see the official Match Day advert appear on half a dozen pages within 15 minutes of each other (none of which have been shared, but posted as if original content), ask yourselves why those pages didn’t just share the content instead.
Criticising Aberdeen players
When the transfer window is closed, when we have no better players, when even a fucking idiot knows if you get on people’s backs, make them feel unwelcome, make them scared of making a mistake, they will in turn become a far worse player, here’s an idea, get off the player’s back and try some positive re-enforcement. I can remember the first time I spotted the exceptionally nasty element in the Pittodrie crowd (all clubs have them) Willie Falconer was a sub, warming up in front of the Merkland Stand, he did a short sprint towards the exit at the Main Stand, some arsehole shouts ‘Keep on runnin’ Falconer’ a cheer from the arsehole element in the crowd. Falconer was nineteen years old. Went on to play for Celtic and Middlesbrough. But no, the pig ignorant element in our support wanted to destroy someone.
Death, serious illness and rounds of applause
I don’t care if you take offence with the above as they really don’t matter. But this is different, this is delicate, no offence is intended. As with everyone, I am very sorry when anyone dies, or faces serious illness or any hardship. I’ve personally lost important people in my life in the last few years, let’s face it if you haven’t, we all know it’s coming at some point. It is going on around people all the time. Bereavement, suffering from a serious illness, taking care of someone with a serious illness. Life can be awful sometimes.
But then there’s football, and the minute’s applause or silence. My concern is with those who are in the middle of hell, and here they are at the football to get away from it for a very short time, and here’s another reminder. Plus there is the random nature of who is getting the honour. I know this is delicate, but we are getting to the point where we need several rounds of applause during a game sometimes. And still there will be people left out, lost and alone.
I’ve also a problem with the minute’s silence and black armbands when a player has died. Graham Leggat is a prime example. There was a fantastic banner, lots of information about him, black armbands… why didn’t we do this when he was alive? (without the armbands obviously). Celebrate the man, and let him see it. Which I know isn’t an Aberdeen, or even a football problem, it’s a human being problem. We need to let people see how important they were/are. Why do people have to die before we celebrate them…
Yeah I probably need the football to start.
With the team playing great and winning regularly, the home crowds haven’t quite reached what most people would have expected. Times are hard for quite a few in the North East and that has to be a factor, but there may be other contributing factors.
Based purely on a couple of people I know, a few long term season ticket holders got ‘broken’ during the Craig Brown years. Not specifically the fault of Brown or the Brown era, it was the cumulative eras of sheer awfulness from late Calderwood to McGhee to Brown. It was also the first time I’ve ever seen crowds down to 5000. Perhaps there are more that just had enough. While Hearts support is very solid, they had years of financial doping with a relatively successful team most of the last decade. While Hibs are proving the Glasgow media myth of Scottish football needing the Old Firm to be bullshit, by showing how a support behaves when it’s top of the league. Any league.
So what possible things could be done to entice supporters along?
I can’t help thinking the club would benefit from having the ticket office and shop on Union Street. Which would be even more important if the club moves to Westhill. Having a presence on Union Street would be good for the club and city. Effectively a giant advertisement in the centre of the city with an enormous amount of people in close proximity. No cash gates has destroyed the impulse element of football, and there are quite a few people that are not happy paying online. A shop on Union Street (please not that fucking awful building in front of Marischal College) would add the possibility of supporters impulse buying in advance. I can’t possibly know but it might be enough to get a thousand on the gate, and presumably double what they sell in merchandise. Location, location, location. At the very least it would pay for itself. If they get a big enough retail space, their relationship with Adidas could make it a combined Afc/Adidas retail outlet and ticket office.
They could also use Angus the Bull far more from within the shop. Angus the Bull is a brilliantly created character. Those mascots just work or they don’t. Sorry kids, spoiler alert, whoever designed him did a sensational job. (Whoever came up with the seagull needs to stop smoking that shit!)
So what else could be done? How do we get 5000 more to every home game?
The ancient town of Westhill have requested stopping Aberdeen FC’s new stadium after artefacts from the original Westhill settlement were found during an archeological dig.
This major discovery has enticed The Time Team hippies and Baldrick out of retirement to continue investigations. The first settlement at Westhill dates all the way back to 1968 and a Coke bottle in this condition could be worth buttons. Such details of the early Westhillians, and their strange occult religion NIMBY are closely guarded as largely people avoid the town at all costs. For obvious reasons.
The NIMBY religion oddly doesn’t allow them to foresee the future whereby if it’s not the football stadium, their view will ultimately be ugly fucking houses, identical to their own.
In case you missed it, the Ladbrokes trophy tour arrived in Aberdeen. Every bit as amateur as pretty much all the marketing and presentation concerning Scottish football.
The SPFL have renamed the leagues to have exactly the same names as the English equivalent. There is absolutely no reason historically or from a marketing perspective for this. It just makes the Scottish leagues into an automatic poor quality wannabe copy. They could just as well have called it Scottish La Liga, or Scottish Serie A inviting the same automatic comparisons.
Watching Maribor v Aberdeen a few weeks ago on TV, interesting to note the game had at least twice as many TV cameras covering it as the first tie at Pittodrie, or any league game at Pittodrie. TV companies do not invest in Scottish football making the product appear far poorer than it actually is. Just like the sponsors frankly laughable trophy tour, and the shockingly tacky player of the month, manager of the month trophy the sponsors dish out.
There’s nothing wrong with Scottish football that getting rid of the highly paid rank amateurs in charge wouldn’t fix.
The beautiful Granite City. If only the councillors, planners and developers had an ounce of civic pride between them.
You know you want one!