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Letter From America: Celtic-Rangers As Seen From The USA

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Great scenes following Celtic’s 5-1 win at Ibrox in April
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Our American Correspondent Andrew Doran continues his ‘Letter From America’ column with a look at the upcoming game against Rangers on Saturday from a US perspective.

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics.

Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders.

These three sports rivals above in America mean a lot. But they pale in comparison to:

Celtic vs Rangers.

Celtic v Rangers - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
The joy of scoring against Rangers
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

There is simply nothing like the Old Firm. It’s intense, loud, competitive, and a true sports spectacle. We hype up rivalries here in America, lots of talk on ESPN or in the local paper, but American will never understand the anticipation of an Old Firm match day. The key thing that you need to remember about American sports is that we just don’t have rivalries that go back that far. Arguably, the most famous sports rivalry in America is in Major League Baseball, and of course it’s between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. They started to really heat up and go at each other starting in 1904. That’s historic for us here in the United States, but it’s a full 16 years after Celtic and Rangers played the first time (which the Bhoys won 5-2).

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Scott Sinclair celebrates scoring his winning goal at Ibrox last season
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Watching the game in the present day is tough. I live on the West Coast of the United States, which means that with the noon kickoff in Glasgow, I will be up at 4am in order to watch the game. It’s a tough consolation, but at least in the last year, it’s been worth it to get up and watch the Bhoys dominate. Even though there will be little to no press around the United States about the game, I know deep down that the best soccer reporters around America, know that Celtic v Rangers is the best game around. The passion, the agony, and sheer noise is something that we will never understand here in the United States.

Rangers v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
The Celtic supporters in our last visit to Ibrox
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

The Hoops have done a great job at keeping Rangers at bay in recent meetings. I’m always convinced that, even though we joke that Rangers drop points to Partick Thistle, they will always show up in order to play Celtic. We are close to finally beating them out for the most number of wins, a mark we should be able to pass by next season. With Roberts, Griffiths, Tierney, and Dembélé, we should be able to play them hard, never letting our foot off the gas. Glasgow will continue to be green and white; final score for Saturday, 4-1 Celtic.

Hail Hail!

You can follow Andrew on Twitter here.