Happy to front a fellow Milwaukeean -Kevin
My name is Vince...and I'm a Spurs' supporter.
I have been following this site for six months. I have been following Spurs for four years. Why do I feel that if this experience of what it is to be a Spurs' supporter were to be taken from me I would be reduced to rubble? What is it about this club that inspires me to get up early every weekend, live with the good, die with the bad, and contemplate about the degeneration of a pair of knees?
To be honest, I didn't need this. I'm an American, a proud Milwaukeean (not an oxymoron) to be exact, with plenty of sporting interests. I have the history of the Packers (one of the three most important NFL teams ever), the Brewers (a baseball team/my first love), and the Bucks (god this is regressing) to keep me occupied. But no matter the success or failure of my home teams there is always the backdrop of our profile, the small market sizes, and the financial discrepancies that conspire against "us". We fight the good fight, we suffer ineptitude (looking at you Bucks), and we puff our Napoleon-like chests at the big boys, daring them to outspend us. Spurs do not parallel any of my home teams. We are North London. We have history. We could spend more. We still can't help but eff it up.
Recently, I read a thread comparing all of our "other" teams (Mariners, GS Warriors, etc.) to Spurs and I just couldn't buy it. (In my unending respect for the Commentariat, I did try twice to buy each comparison.) In fact, the only sporting examples I could draw analogies from were Greg Norman--a tool--and the Red Sox of the 20th century, the endearing cousin of the Medusa like harpy that presently resides in the Northeast. No, there is something different amiss for a Spurs' fan. And to be quite clear, it can only be shown through actual experience--there is no theorizing the bond we hold to this club and each other. This difference actualized for me recently with the realization that no matter how many trips I make to Miller Park (and I am a regular), a place of untold misery and recent success, I will rarely have the same sense of existential kinship that I experience upon meeting Spurs' supporters at my local "footie" pub. Upon an introduction, it's almost as if we look at each other and say: "You poor bastard; how did they hook you in? Well, let's get ready to be gut-punched by a set-piece goal two minutes before half after we smash one ball apiece into the side netting, a defender's back, and Row Z...and let's just not admit what's happening out there during our set-pieces. Bartender..." The connection is immediate and that thick. We've all experienced something like that in person or on this site and it makes it so real.
Consider a point of contrast to our match days: My friend and I were recently watching a match along side a gaggle of United fans. Every single time they arrived in the attacking third they, literally, could not believe the outcome if it was not a goal. I, Guiness in hand, commented "They should experience a match like we do. They wouldn't even like soccer." This made Ben, my Spurs' roll dog, giggle incessantly. Thankfully, we were close to alcohol and a few diehard Lilywhites.
This all seems so twisted, and it is, but I really believe we wouldn't enjoy it any other way. Because for every Davola-like kick we take to our pride, every plate of bad lasanga, and every smug look our red rivals from Woolwich shoot our way, I--we actually--will always have years ending in one, the first half against Newcastle, the bi-monthly drinking binges that lead to Ben play-screaming "Fabregas, you wanker!" (I guess that's just me), the lump in the throat that rises "When The Spurs Go Marching In", and true roots in North London. We are foolishness, futility, and fatalism, yes. But, we are optimism, devotion, and tradition, too. All are necessary parts for each of "us". North London is ours.