In the case of Rangers circa 2013, however, a more appropriate metaphor would compare them to full-blown, spring-loaded, booby traps.
Rangers host their SPFL League Two namesakes from Berwick on Tuesday night - a match which they must play without any of their summer signings, as trialists were only permitted to play in the first round - knowing that a repeat of their League Cup exit to Forfar Athletic, or last season's misadventures against Queen of the South, Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Dundee United, would only heap further embarrassment on the club and the manager.
Berwick's record home gate was the 13,283, which saw them defeat Rangers 1-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup in January 1967 and, while they managed a draw against the Glasgow side in last season's Irn-Bru Third Division, they lost their three other meetings.
Friday night's 6-0 victory against Airdrieonians reinforced the opinion that the Ibrox club are beginning their league campaign with more conviction than they ended the last one, but the Ramsdens Cup has accrued a disproportionate significance, not least becauses last season's tormentors from Dumfries await in the next round, albeit in a match which Rangers could approach with all of their signings in place.
Charles Green may have been freshly banished from his role as a consultant at the club, but as far as the Ramsdens is concerned, surely he was correct to expect the club to secure a cup win? "He is entitled to his opinion," Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, said. "But I am not sure anybody within these walls apart from Charles would share that opinion, certainly not among the staff. We have probably got a far more realistic outlook on it than Charles had."
"We didn't win it [the Ramsdens] last year and for now we have the same team," he added. "So whether people expect us to win it is up to them. I hope to win it and will do everything I can to win it, but when you expect to win things it becomes dangerous territory. I can understand people outside maybe expecting us to win it if we get through on Tuesday, I can understand the expectation level rising then, but I will do my best to ensure that Rangers as a club never expect to win anything.
Citing Berwick scoring four league goals against Queen's Park, McCoist remains cautious. "Tuesday is a tough one, a real danger game for us, not only due to the fact that we are not helped by being unable to field the lads that we brought in," he said. "They have started well, so it will be difficult for us. The strange thing is that we can't even play the same team we played in the previous round. All I would say is that come September we will be in a happier position to draw anybody in a cup."
Bilel Mohsni, the club's French-Tunisian centre-half, is another who cannot wait until September 1. Impressive in the friendly against Newcastle United, he has found the nuances of the SPFL's trialist regulation rather bamboozling. But inactivity has not dented his confidence. "I do think we can win a cup," said Mohsni. "We proved it against Newcastle. They are a big team, so when we play against a good team we can match them, so I think we have a chance."
He may have been unable to play competitive football yet, but Mohsni has still had a beginners' guide on life in Glasgow. "When I signed I tried to find a flat, but every time something happened," said the Parisien. "It was funny because I found a flat and said okay, but I was only one of two people the landlord had interested. The other person was a Celtic player and the landlord was a Celtic fan, so he gave it to a Celtic player. I spoke to my agent and said 'this is crazy', but he told me in Glasgow half are Rangers and half are Celtic. If you find a Rangers fan they will be very nice, but if they are Celtic, no chance. I don't know who the player was, but I've found a flat now, so I'm happy."
Now he can concentrate on making himself a household name.