On Saturday, I visited Tynecastle to watch Hearts face off against Ross County. It was a brilliant game, ending in a 2-2 draw, with Hearts equalising in the last minute (it was a weekend for last minute disappointments), and County had a man sent off to boot.
I have a fondness for Hearts (ever the diplomat, I also have a fondness for Hibs: since arriving in this fair city I’ve felt it a bit improper to choose between them as an outsider. Why I ended up supporting a team that’s probably the furthest away from Edinburgh is a story for another time). The first football match I went to in Scotland was a 3-0 win for Hearts, coincidentally over Ross County (then of Division 1), in a 2002 League Cup game, and I’ve been back many times since. This goal for Bordeaux is probably the finest I’ve seen in the flesh (if a better quality clip exists on the internet, please point me towards it):
So it makes me more than a bit sad that there’s a very real threat that the club might not be around much longer, and that I may have made my last visit to Tynecastle (at least, to see the club in its current guise). I personally think that this would be really bad news for Scottish football as a whole (never mind just in Edinburgh: I have a sneaking suspicion the Leithers might just miss the rivalry a teensy wee bit), even if it is a good advert against financial mismanagement. I’ve always thought of Hearts as being one of the sides that have the potential to challenge the Old Firm if they could get their act together (indeed, they are the only team to split them since I’ve been interested in football), and any time I’ve watched them, it’s always been entertaining- the victory in the derby in the League Cup quarter final was the stuff of legend. And like football or not, it’s hard to deny Hearts is part of the lifeblood of the city.
So let’s hope they survive. And if they don’t, you can always work out the odds of the rebooted team winning the cup before Hibs do.