Might Alex Salmond not have been better to call his independence referendum this year, for all that he probably regards the sharp upping of cross-border hostilities with the same unbridled relish that a shark views a snorkeller inching ever closer.
Never mind taking a chance and waiting until at least 2014, when the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, not to mention slow-motion replays of the skirmish at Bannockburn, might have raised Scottish self-regard. Salmond should hold the referendum in June, by which time the arrogance of the Football Association and the ineffably tedious issue of the British Olympic football teams will have done his work for him.
"We're 90-minute patriots," Jim Sillars once famously remarked, in what was not intended as a flattering commentary on his fellow Scots. But while accepting that more water will pass under this particular bridge than even the heavens have unleashed in the last six weeks, what would independence mean for Scottish sport?
Given that we already compete on the international stage at football – of which more later – rugby, and other sports, the biggest change would undoubtedly be admission, as a nation in our own right, to the Olympic Games. If fully independent, there would be no impediment to prevent the International Olympic Committee welcoming Scotland into the fold.
At a stroke, the entire focus of sports funding in Scotland would switch from the Commonwealth Games to the Olympics. The latter is where all planetary prestige lies and where, rightly or wrongly, nations are judged on their all-round sporting prowess.
At Beijing in 2008, Team GB had an exceptionally successful games, finishing fourth in the medal table with 19 golds, 13 silvers and 15 bronzes. Without Scottish athletes they would still have finished fourth, but this time tied with Germany on 41 medals and with an identical split of 16-10-15.
Two of Britain's 47 medals, involving cyclist Chris Hoy and rower Kath Grainger, would have had be stripped out completely because they came in team events. That would have left Scotland with two gold medals (both Hoy) and two silver in Beijing.
That may not sound like much, but it would still have left an independent Scotland a very respectable joint 31st in the overall medals table. Sharing that position with Mongolia and Thailand might not sound too prestigious, but left in our wake would have been countries such as Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Switzerland and, even more surprisingly, India.
It has to be conceded that athletes such as Hoy and Grainger get a huge boost from training alongside other British athletes who are also world and Olympic-class. Nearly all the UK's centres of excellence are in England (who would have guessed?) and it is to these sporting meccas that nearly all Scottish Olympic prospects must gravitate.
For Scotland to maintain that 31st place in the Olympic table it would require not just exceptional athletes such as Hoy, but a substantial increase in sports funding from Holyrood. As things stand, only about £50m from an annual budget of more than £30bn is allocated directly to sport – a paltry figure which would only scratch at the surface of Olympic ambition. Substantial one-off funding would also need to be allocated to finally build the indoor facilities which every sport in Scotland craves and deserves.
Would a fully independent Scotland finally shame the politicians into giving sport the priority it deserves? Being placed humiliatingly in the Olympic medals table is certainly not a vote-winner.
As far as football is concerned, even the chief executive of the SFA, Stewart Regan, might welcome the prospect of cutting ties with his native England – at least in a professional capacity. It's a scenario from which the governing body stands only to gain.
Witness the uncomfortable position the SFA has been put in over the Olympics. It has no option but to oppose the GB team, because to embrace it could leave Scotland (like the other home countries) vulnerable to the prospect of Fifa demanding a British team at the World Cup. That ultimate sanction – which in itself would probably do more to break up the UK than any political movement – would be removed forever if Scotland was a fully fledged nation.
Would Scotland then lose its historic seat on the International Football Association Board? Possibly. But then again who much cares, because if the shenanigans over goalmouth technology tell us anything, it is that the IFAB is merely a rubber stamp for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini.
Again, losing our historic right to a British vice-presidency of Fifa? I don't think too many would be losing sleep over that one with our status as a footballing nation secured.
How would Celtic and Rangers react to an independent Scotland? Not with undisguised glee, if the flags on display at Celtic Park and Ibrox are any measure. But the only issue that would really matter to them is this: how would it affect their ambitions to join English football?
At face value, it seems to shut the door completely. But that doesn't take account of Swansea (and perhaps next season Cardiff also) playing in the English Premier League. The decision, one suspects, will be a commercial one, and necessarily involving the complicity of the satellite television companies, rather than a matter of boundaries – although Uefa may well view it differently.
Not much change for rugby, and certainly not for the SRU. Scottish players would presumably still be eligible for the British & Irish Lions, although a bit of name tweaking might be required. It would certainly be taken very sorely, given all the history and tradition involved, if the Scots were excluded.
In golf, the R&A, the world governing body of the sport with the exceptions of the United States and Mexico, would almost certainly remain ensconced in their hallowed headquarters at the Old Course in St Andrews. When the admittedly highly hypothetical question was put to them yesterday, the R&A did nothing to demur.
As far as the Open Championship, which was first contested at Prestwick in 1860 and stayed in Scotland for its first 34 years, is concerned, it would presumably continue to rotate between this country and England (with Royal Portrush, in Northern Ireland, also coming into the frame). Satisfyingly, the American-led charge to demean the world's oldest championship by calling it the British Open, or, even more irritatingly, "The British", would be stymied.
If Scotland was to become independent tomorrow, no British sport would feel our departure more than tennis. Almost the entire Davis Cup team, led by Andy Murray, is Scottish. And neither would there be any tears shed at the divorce from the Lawn Tennis Association, which has historically treated Scotland as its ragged-trousered relation.
And finally, who would be appointed to be the figurehead of this new sporting Scotland? Well, a highly combustible Alex Ferguson of course, hell-bent on revenge after being stripped of his knighthood by a Westminster prime minister playing to a new audience.