TAPS AFF: The Glasgow Ten

The line-up for the heptathlon at the European Indoor Championships has finally been decided. Twelve contenders will descend upon Glasgow to fight for gold, silver and bronze.

But what do they need to know about Scotland’s biggest city? Here is the Glasgow Ten – ten things all decathletes of Europe should know about Glasgow.

1 Everyone in Glasgow is referred to either as “Big Man” or “Wee Man”. Arthur Abele would be “Big Man”, Brian Clay would be “Wee Man”.  All multieventers will be assessed on arrival at Glasgow Airport and assigned a category.

2 If you miss your personal best by 0.01 second, the technical term for this in Glasgow is “you missed that by a bawhair”.

3 If you are offered a Glasgow Kiss, this is not a romantic gesture. It is a headbutt, demonstrated expertly by Mehdi Baala when he took on Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad at the Monaco Diamond League in 2011.

4 If you cannot remember the name of a competitor when being interviewed, “Hingmy” is a useful catch-all name.

5 The greatest honour that can be bestowed upon a person in Glasgow is the placing of a traffic cone on one’s head.  If you win a medal, instead of receiving flowers or a laurel wreath, there will be a ceremonial placing of a traffic cone on your head on the podium.

The Duke of Wellington wears his traffic cone proudly

6 Irn Bru is Scotland’s most popular soft drink, ahead of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and is made just outside of Glasgow. It contains iron. It has its own tartan. It gives us energy and clarity of thought. It runs through our veins. It gives us life.    

7 Glasgow is full of bams.  A bam is someone who does something so crazy, so outrageous, that they must clearly be insane.  Robert Harting picking up Berlino is a bam. Kevin Mayer scoring 9126 is a bam. Karsten Warholm runs like a bam. Janek Õiglane vaulted over 5.19 like a bam.

8 In Glasgow, we have our own scale to measure performance. A poor performance is pish. A good performance is a stoater. And if you are particularly pleased with your score, then it is Pure Dead Brilliant.

9 After a tough 400m, or an exhausting 1000m, you will probably have the boak.  Make sure you make it to the nearest wheelie bin.

X Every year in Glasgow at the first hint of sunshine and when the temperature rises above 10 ° C , there is a spontaneous mass removal of shirts.  This phenomenon is called “Taps Aff”.  It is the inspiration for the tradition at the end of every decathlon, when singlets are removed and the multieventers all shout “TAPS AFF!!”

TAPS AFF!

Translation

  • Bawhair: a gentleman’s pubic hair
  • Hingmy: thingmy, thingummy, what-do-you-call-it, what’s his name
  • The boak: to vomit

Credits

  • Photos of Martin Roe, Jorge Ureña, Tim Duckworth, Ilya Shkurenyov: James Rhodes
  • Photos of Basile Rolnin, Thomas Van der Plaetsen, Fredrik Samuelsson, Jiri Sykora, Vitaly Zhuk: Michel Fisquet- TeamPhoto
  • Photos of Janek Õiglane , Karl Robert Saluri, Andreas Bechmann: Olavi Kaljunen – trackpic
  • Photo of decathletes from London World Championships: Erik van Leeuwen
  • Additional Weegie Wisdom: Katie Dunlop

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