The coronavirus pandemic has hit society with a hammer blow but there is a silver lining to be gleaned from any dark cloud.
Life as we knew it has completely changed.
My life currently revolves around sitting in my flat coming up with stories to keep football fans entertained during these miserable times, walking my dog and avoiding my wife when she tries to get me to do the odd jobs I’ve been putting off for years.
I’m sure people reading this will be in a similar boat – day after day, it’s tough to keep going with good cheer.
What the situation has given me is a chance to look back and think about all the good times I’ve had since moving to Dundee six years ago.
Don’t worry, I’ll not bore you with all the soppy personal stuff but, on the football pitch, there have been some great moments to be witness to.
Scottish football is rich with crazy stories on the field – I’m thinking of Wato Kuate totally losing the rag at Tannadice and a rampaging Sofien Moussa picking up two yellow cards in 15 minutes after coming on as a sub.
As much as they were funny looking back, there are a few big wins I covered for both city clubs that stand out to me.
Dark Blues might be surprised at my choice for the best performance I’ve seen in recent years.
It was February 2017 at Motherwell.
Paul Hartley’s team were struggling after losing Greg Stewart, Kane Hemmings and Gary Harkins and that’s why it stands out so much.
This was a team without creativity but, a week after beating Rangers, they smashed ’Well 5-1 and I can’t remember a better attacking performance I was witness to from a Dundee side.
By half-time, a Zak Jules own goal had been added to by two from Marcus Haber and singles from Craig Wighton and Mark O’Hara.
Before that game, Dundee’s top scorers in the XI were Haber and Paul McGowan on four which tells you how astonishing it was to see them rip Mark McGhee’s Motherwell to shreds.
They would lose the next seven matches and Hartley his job. Looking back, that only makes the win all the more remarkable.
For United, it was a far grander venue and harks back to the good old days (before I turned up) of regularly competing for big trophies.
The 2015 League Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen was my first experience of covering a big club game at Hampden. It was a great day with a huge Tangerine following rewarded with an amazing comeback victory thanks to Callum Morris and Nadir Ciftci headers.
Everyone has their own favourites and this stoppage is a great time to reminisce – hopefully, we won’t have to do that for too long.
Uefa are due to meet via video conference today to thrash out some sort of plan for sorting how the current season ends.
I’m glad to hear that’s because it’s pretty much certain their initial hopes to get club football completed by the end of June won’t be coming to fruition.
August seems to be the consensus and it sounds fair enough.
What I expect to come out of this virtual get-together is some sort of rational plan to sort out player contracts and technical issues like that.
That’s what Uefa is there for. What I don’t expect them to do is grant the SPFL’s wishes by making tough decisions on how to end this season.
I can’t help but think Neil Doncaster (above) and SFA chief Ian Maxwell (inset) are desperate for Uefa to make a sweeping decision so they can avoid any sort of responsibility when people moan.
My gut feeling is the European chiefs will have a plan to get the campaign finished in the autumn and roll straight into the new one. I would dearly love our set-up to be restructured to bigger leagues, however.
After watching the 1991 Scottish Cup Final on Sunday it made me think ‘where have all the cup finals gone’?
It’s been five long years since Dundee United were last in a major cup final and 17 for Dundee. The end of my first season at the Tele saw the Tangerines in the Scottish Cup Final and then the League Cup showpiece a year later.
It just shows how quickly things can fall apart – thankfully, both seem to be putting the pieces back together.
To keep me amused I’ve been watching the Leeds United documentary on Amazon. I love these shows but think they are missing a trick not doing Scottish football – imagine all the bonkers stories they’d get up here!