Nero of the Rovers
There seem parallels between the Roman Empire under Nero and Blackburn Rovers under Steve Kean. Let us take a journey back to Ancient Rome.
The old gods were replaced with new ones from another universe. Their first edict was to get rid of the old Emperor, Allardysus. He was killed by eating poisoned mushrooms and replaced by his murderer, Nero Keanus.
After an incident with his chariot, the new Roman Emperor, is disqualified from driving by the Senate. He decides to appeal to a higher authority, visiting the Oracle, at the Adelphi, to contact the gods at Mount Olympune.
There sit the three deities: Brothers Apollo Venkasian and Jupiter Balajius, along with their Goddess sister Juno Anuradha. They listen carefully when Keanus asks them for advice.
‘What will become of my chariot horse, Failus?’ he asks despairingly.
‘Why not get rid of that Danish Consul and make Failus your Assistant.’ replies Balajius.
‘What a good idea’, replied the Emperor. ‘He shall pull my barge over the Aqueduct at Ewood, on my way to watch my gladiators in the Coliseum.’
‘Remember Keanus, we have given you a vote of confidence – Don’t let us down’, said Venkasian.
Once he was gone, the goddess said: ‘I’ll be glad when they invent the Gregorian Calendar. I’m fed up of bailing out these crazy emperors. I’ve already got the Ides of March marked on this Julian version.’
At the Coliseum there was much dismay amongst the plebeians. They were unimpressed by their gladiators’ lacking the killer instinct. This led to protest marches and plots to overthrow Nero Keanus.
But the emperor had an idea. Music has charms to soothe the savage beast, so said the ancient sage. He told the Senate of his plan to bring peace and happiness. He would play his lute to the plebeians in the Coliseum. Once again the Senate began to doubt their own judgement and, even more so, that of the Emperor.
It was the day of the match. A massive crowd filled the amphitheatre. There was fevered anticipation when the emperor rose. All of a sudden he pulled out his lute and began singing. This was too much for the crowd. There was great anger amongst the plebeians, almost as if they were at the Steps reunion concert. Rioting broke out as they gave Keanus a massive thumbs down.
While the Coliseum burned. Nero Keanus fiddled. The plebeians revolted and nobody believed in the new gods anymore.
From Mount Olympune the three gods watched in horror as the chaos broke out below.
Then came a judgement from on high. While playing his lute, Keanus was hit by a thunderbolt. He stared at the heavens as he went down. ‘Ate two butties!’ or something similar, he was heard to shout to his senators. History may have lost this in translation over the years, especially with his Pictish accent. His last words were: “Qualis artifex pereo” which translated reads “What an artist the world loses in me.”
But there lay the emperor and the plebeians rejoiced. They remembered the words of his old teacher, Seneca, who said: “However many men one kills he can never kill his successor.”
May the gods be with us