IT may well have been St Andrew's Day yesterday when all things Scottish were celebrated across the land, but the day before in Falkirk it was Russell Latapy Day.
My most vivid memory of Russell playing in the green and white wasn't an awesome display of trickery on the ball, a wonder goal or my amazement of how someone who can smoke so many fags can cut it on the pitch. No, it was none of those things. In fact it was a moment when he was on the pitch at Easter Road and was nowhere near the ball at the time.
It happened during THAT derby match which ended up with Hibs scoring six and my Latapy moment wasn't his goal that night, but it came much earlier, right after Hibs had gone down 1-0 to an early goal. I remember seeing the goal going in the net and then my head going into my hands.
For a moment, I feared the worst but looked up to the middle of the Hibs half where the players were making their way back to the centre spot to kick off again. I saw wee Russell, looking none too perplexed and just signalling to those around him to calm down in a "Guys! Don't worry it's all going to be fine" way and, well, we all know what happened next!
But, as I said when finishing last week's column, Saturday's game will have had no room for sentiment when the game kicked off and, most importantly of all, Hibs HAD to keep that momentum from last week's battering of Motherwell going to prove it wasn't a flash in the pan.
I was reading Billy Dodd's predictions online for the weekend's games and he tipped this one to finish one each. I remember thinking that perhaps he was being a bit naïve, given Hibs previous encounter with Motherwell. Who feels a bit naïve now?
So come Saturday, there were flags adorning the Falkirk Stadium, fans were asked to turn up wearing red as tribute to Latapy's home Nations, afro wigs, not seen on Hibbies since the days of Jimmy Boco, were duly donned and all we needed was a game to live up to the hype and hoo ha about the day, a footballing display fitting to honour the wee man's talents.
And surprise, surprise, the first half didn't quite make entertaining, thrilling, silky stuff did it?
I'm locked in panto land for the foreseeable future so am suffering from football withdrawal symptoms, so have to rely on the radio in my dressing room at The King's for updates in between moments of being bad and scaring children. But it appears I missed out on a goalkeeping display worthy of any pantomime.
The goalie issue has long been debated by fans and, just days before this match, I was reading more quotes from Mixu saying he needs to strengthen the goalkeeping position as he feels that both Ma-Kalambay and McNeil are prone to "inconsistencies" and need more competition.
Well, almost right on cue, Big Yves displayed one of his "inconsistencies" by running out for a ball, not getting it and leaving his goal exposed for Falkirk's opener. He's done it again. We know he can pull off some cracking saves as he displayed as well on Saturday, but it's these little moments of his which so often give oppositions a goal – and Hibs fans the jitters.
At 1-0 I thought that was it – here we go again, brilliant one week and the complete opposite the next. What is it about Hibs where they can play brilliantly, dominating opposition and creating chances left right and centre one week, then in the next match struggle against similarly matched opposition?
I was hoping for great things for Derek Riordan on Russell Latapy day as Derek is revered by fans in a similar way to Russell. But the similarity doesn't end there. Both have the ability to turn a game around, both can have fans on their feet at their displays of footballing wizardry and both love a good bevvy up the toon. Although, perhaps both don't do it so much these days.
Riordan headed for the bench and Big Colin Nish came on, combined with Big Rob Jones and got us one almighty Big Point and a small sigh of relief.
Next weekend we take on Celtic. And how are we going to do? Well, it depends on which Hibs team turns up and if our goalie is inconsistency-prone. But can we get a result? Perhaps I'll ask Billy Dodds.