Know Thy Enemy: Scotland

Posted: May 16, 2012 in KTE Report
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On November 30, 1872, Scotland made history by participating in the first-ever international soccer match, a 0-0 draw against England.  It would be the last time Scotland would ever make history in the world of soccer, at least for doing something good.

Since that fateful day in 1872, England has gone on to become an international soccer powerhouse, performing well in European tournaments, hosting the world’s top soccer league, and even winning the World Cup.  Meanwhile, Scotland has plummeted into international insignificance by failing to qualify for the last three World Cups, and never making it past the group stage even when they have qualified.  Talk about not living up to expectations.

Scotland's Hopes

Scotland’s hopes for beating the USA, let alone qualifying for Brazil 2014, are about as deflated as this really ugly soccer ball.

On May 26, the USA will meet Scotland for a World Cup Qualifying tune-up  in Jacksonville, FL.  For the USA, it will be a chance for the squad to gel ahead of crucial matches against CONCACAF competition, not to mention getting a confidence boost from beating (what barely qualifies as) a European team.  For Scotland’s players, it will be a rare chance to experience weather in excess of 50 degrees.  Everybody wins – except Scotland, who will of course undoubtedly lose.

Here’s the breakdown:

Statistics sez: FIFA’s head-to-head search reveals the USA has a 1-2-2 record against Scotland.  To be fair, Scotland’s first victory against the USA came in 1952, hardly a recent result.  In 1992, Scotland improved their record against the USA to 2-0, sending floods of Scots into the streets to celebrate what must be their national team’s longest win streak against a particular opponent.  Since then, the USA has regained the upper hand, posting a victory and two draws in the last three meetings between the sides.  Plus, in 1995, America made the movie Braveheart, which FIFA clearly forgot to include in their “statistics”.  I’m pretty sure that counts as a win for the USA, since it forever associated Scotland with Mel Gibson.  Joke’s on you, Scotland!

Braveheart Face Paint

The national hero of Scotland, Mel Gibson.

What I’m eating: If having the grossest national food helped you win soccer games, Scotland would have this one in the bag.  America has delicious national foods like hamburgers, apple pie, and freedom.  The Scots?  Haggis, that vile concoction of sheep’s liver, heart and lungs, mixed with spices and wrapped in sheep’s stomach.  Since my goal is to eat the crappier American version of every opponent’s national cuisine, I’m guessing my only option is canned dog food?  Yum.


Scotland’s gift to the world – haggis. Too bad it didn’t come with a return receipt.

What I’m drinking: Nothing pisses off a Scotsman like being mistaken for an Irishman (or a Brit, for that matter).  To disparage our opponent, I will therefore be washing down my canned dog food with Jameson whiskey, loudly proclaiming the entire time that I’m drinking Scotch.  “Man, I’m really tasting the peat in this Jameson Scotch whiskey!”  For those seeking a less alcoholic alternative, drinking a Guinness (“Scottish beer is so delicious!”) will have the same effect.

What I’m singing: “Mel Gibson” (sung to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”).

When the World Cup comes around, how fares Olde Great Britain?
England goes most every time, but Scotland’s always missing
When they make it in they’re out
In group-stage competition
Scotland needs a miracle, they better call Mel Gibson

What to say to the Scottish fan next to you if, God forbid, they score: “Man, I am SO glad you guys invented St. Patrick’s day.  It’s my favorite holiday!”

Until next time…


  1. […] For a more humorous and frankly awesome preview, check out Know Thy Enemies. […]

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