PICTURE the scene. It is June, 2017. Hampden Park. As the finest footballers that Scotland and England can muster end their warm-ups and make their way up the tunnel prior to doing battle in a crucial World Cup qualifier, a scuffle breaks out. It’s mostly handbags, but there’s footage, and an infantile (and very public) blame game ensues over who started it.

In this parallel universe, Harry Kane doesn’t deliver a swift boot to the under-kilt of 6 million Scots by grabbing an injury-time equaliser, and Leigh Griffiths’ free-kick double seals a historic win over the Auld Enemy.

Gareth Southgate, the England manager, for reasons known only to himself, decides to take the train home. As he disembarks, he is accosted by a small group of jubilant and very drunken Scots, who verbally abuse him and call him an English b*****d.

It isn’t hard to picture the headlines and hear the politicians falling over themselves to condemn the yobbish footballers and the game’s fans as a collective embarrassment, who have brought shame on the sport and their country.

But hold on a minute. This set of events didn’t happen during a football match at all, but before and after Scotland’s stirring Calcutta Cup win over England at Murrayfield last weekend.

What do you know? It turns out that there are a few bad apples up there on the moral high ground that our rugger set like to occupy.

Winston Churchill once apparently said that rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen, and that has been twisted over the years to include the stinger that football is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans.

Having heard this ad nauseum through my high school days from the rugby types who sneered at us football-playing ruffians, please forgive me a little smirk at this slipping of the sport’s halo.

Not that it is particularly a laughing matter, but my hope is that it can be seen for what it is. Is it an embarrassment to Scotland? No. To rugby fans? Lamentably perhaps in my view, but no. Why should anyone else who shares such a tenuous connection to these numbskulls feel an iota of shame over what was a distasteful scene, but not one uncommon in town centres up and down the country on any given weekend?

Let’s just call it what it is, loutish behaviour from a small group of drunken idiots. I don’t think the term is too strong, when you consider that Eddie Jones, the supposed ‘English b*****d’ in all of this, is actually from Tasmania.

So, while the SRU were right to publicly condemn the actions of these eejits, neither they, or rugby fans in general, should bear any responsibility for their actions.

I have seen some rugby supporters online trying to distance themselves from the men in question, and even suggesting they may have been football fans. Leaving aside the fact that anyone who has shared a train with rugby supporters heading to Edinburgh will know that they have their fair share of inebriated numpties within their number, this brings me neatly to my point.

Let’s say that while this unsavoury scene was being played out, the police turned up, and saw everything. In order to apportion punishment to these ‘gentlemen’, they would need to first establish where they were heading. If indeed it was the football, they would fall victim to the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, and as a result, be subject to harsher sentencing. If they were going anywhere else, be that the rugby, the pub, or Strictly Come Dancing, they would be judged under an entirely different set of rules and punishments.

So, did the incident highlight a problem with anti-English racism in Scotland? Not for me. Did it shame rugby? Please. All it showed is that a few drunken lads can sometimes behave terribly, and should be punished accordingly, no matter where they are going.

There’s little better than going to a sporting event with a group of friends, enjoying a drink and a bit of a laugh along the way. Unfortunately, every sport/country/team has their fair share of dafties, but how is it fair that perfectly civilised folk going to the football can’t enjoy a drink on the train or on a supporters' bus, but those going literally anywhere else can? Football supporters, just like their rugby brethren, do not all deserve to be tarred with the same brush.