Well, that was an interesting day of football. Congrats to West Ham on winning promotion and because I routinely coach youth football and have to set a good example, congratulations Chelsea on winning the Champions League.
Now that that's out of the way, pretty rotten feeling on the go right now. It really didn't have to come to this, did it? We could have had it all. But we didn't and life goes on, though it sometimes feels pretty crappy.
We had our opportunities throughout the season to lock Champions League up. Without a doubt. Yet it all fell by the wayside in what could be classified as a very Spurs outcome. It was tooth and nail, touch and go right up until Drogba knocked that penalty home in the final. After that point, it's all done. We got fourth, but don't get Champions League. Crisis, right?
Sure, it's pretty crappy. Scratch that, it blows. But we did get fourth, which for many was a goal for the season. Chelsea got a very favourable roll of the football dice this year, there's absolutely no other way to think about it, but them's the breaks, son. I'd still rather be a Tottenham fan every day of the year, twice, than cheer for anyone else.
What does it mean going forward? Good question. For one thing, we'll be in the Europa league and it'll be interesting to see how we handle that. Whether a decision is made to actually go for it, or to just field "C" teams for the duration. Maybe some things could be changed with the Europa league to make teams give a crap, but even then it shouldn't matter.
"It's magnificent to be in Europe, and this club–a club like Tottenham Hotspur–if we're not in Europe...we're nothing. We're nothing," said Sir Bill Nicholson. Guess what? We are in Europe next year, albeit not quite as lucrative a European adventure, but still Europe. I guess that means we're something then, doesn't it? Even if we weren't in Europe, though, we're still something. Tomorrow will come, and the next day, and Tottenham Hotspur will still exist. Unless some type of actual calamity strikes and we go the way of my first sports love, the Montreal Expos.
There are times where I see parallels between the Expos and Spurs. An inability to hold onto players as they developed and grew in stature. The Expos were known as "The Major League Farm Team," especially in their later years. Successive runs of pretty rotten luck. We can all probably draw together multiple Tottenham examples, but ones for the Expos include the 1994 strike, which cancelled their best year to win a World Series, no one willing to step in and take over the first Canadian MLB franchise, and a city that turned it's back but then cried when they left. Yet even as these things happened, I made trips to Montreal with my dad and brother to watch games in the Olympic Stadium, fill in the score card by hand and enjoy a hotdog. When they were gone, a void was created, but I still had memories.
Tottenham has arguably stepped in to fill that void left by the Montreal Expos. The similarities between the two teams influenced my decision to support Tottenham. I love it, too. I love everything about this club. The badge, the stadium, the songs, the traditions, the echoes of past glory that resonate, the style of play. The amount of time I spent on Youtube procrastinating by watching Tottenham videos is staggering. It sucks that we aren't in going to be in the Champions League for many reasons, whether it's cash or holding onto players. Players come and go but a club can last. It's the tangible thing you hang on to. I learned that as a Montreal fan. Players I liked would be there, then be gone and yeah I'd be sad, but I knew I'd be going to Montreal to watch a game with my dad and that feeling kept me going. The club was still there.
I'm almost at the end of this rambling opus. It wasn't supposed to be this long. I just finished my undergraduate degree and closed the book on a big chapter of life, as well as a rather significant relationship. Thus, I've been in a state of reflection. After the match today, I've been thinking about sports fandom. Now you might be saying "Bro, it's only been a little while since it ended." Yes that's true, but I've had these things rattling in my head for days. Reflecting on life, on sports, a variety of things. Maybe I'll keep writing on this stuff, maybe not. Pretty surprised I even wrote this, given my social anxiety that manifests itself from time to time.
If you've gotten this far, thanks. This piece doesn't really have a point, it's more just thoughts. I guess the point is that even after the Expos were gone, I had those memories and I was still an Expos fan. We might lose some really important parts of the team because of today, or we might not, but that's a bit beyond my control. All I know is that when I wake up tomorrow and roll out of bed as my mother yells at me to help her with something, I'll still be a Tottenham Hotspur fan. Players come and go, hell, the team can shut down operations. But we cheer for the club. We cheer for Spurs. To me, that's really all that matters and I wouldn't have it any other way. COYS.