Fox Soccer Channel‘s recent announcement that they would start broadcasting Scottish Premier League games led me to start looking at the crests of that country’s game. They have lots of really nice, interesting badges, with plenty of eagles, lions, roses, harps, and ships. There was even a shamrock or two. But what I really noticed were the thistles.
The thistle, it turns out, is a symbol of Scotland, found on the royal coat of arms, on down. Legend has it that thistle kept an invading Norse army from sneaking up on Scottish forces, as the (apparently barefoot) Norse soldiers cried out in pain when they stepped on the prickly plant. From there, the thistle, and the Latin motto Nemo me impune lacessit (“No one attacks me with impunity”) became symbols of the Scots.
And several of their football teams.
Scottish football has been going through a rough time lately, with serious financial troubles looming over longtime powerhouse Rangers FC. Hopefully this TV deal will help build some support for the historic, top-flight league as it works through the turmoil.
You can watch Scottish soccer this weekend: Aberdeen vs. Inverness (one of the thistle crests above) is on tape-delay on Fox Soccer Plus this afternoon at 3:00, and the Old Firm match, Rangers vs Celtic, is on Fox Soccer tomorrow morning at 8:00.
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