Home town, local, regional, national support. Period. Nothing more. American football is bigger, better, faster, stronger & just plain funner, than all sports. The very pinnacle of sport itself. In fact, only sissy's & fools play "other" sports. ( soccer & rugby, respectively )
Culturally typical, myopic view. Not surprisingly, didn't take long before finding way to my senses. "Revelation", presented early & often, was shared many, many times. Grossly misguided, as it were, though not without it's share of truth. ( Lyle Alzado was big. ) Soccer faded from my consciousness. Youth by definition is immature.
Sunday afternoon football ( NFL ), takes on a somewhat religious tone in many households across America. Icons, memorabilia, an ingrowth of statistical chatter, abundantly available. I was no stranger to the rituals, just the opposite, I was being groomed for a place among it's hierarchy . Much of the aforementioned culture/religion of American football is healthy & good. I learned much, though I became so singularly focused on this one sport, it's ideology , for much of my youth. Sadly, unknowingly missing out. A singular season of "organized" soccer was all I ever played. Someone must have noticed my not so golden run, for soon there after I was fully indoctrinated into "The Order". The following six seasons were dedicated to Astronaut Rugby, nothing else. I did well, though probably coulda & shoulda done plenty more. Furious loyalty is sometimes costly, as years rolled by my team provided plenty of heartache. *cough* Seahawks *cough* So much, that a "phantom touchdown" & one Super Bowl later, I've lost most interest. ( don't even wanna talk Mariners )
That one season continued to be soccer's contribution to my life well into my late 20's. About the time my daughter was old enough to play. "Play" is putting her first season into grand perspective, because mostly, she would "play", with whatever happened to be lying around. If the ball traveled by, it'd receive a hearty kick & possible chase. She loved it, & after getting over her boredom with defending, excelled. I myself found a supporting role quickly, running drills, placing cones & making gallons of hot coco. I became a soccer mom. Whether it practice, meeting or game, the taxi light was on, few missed. My love for the sport, my absolute unwavering faith comes from here. As she & her skills grew, so did my appreciation for the game.
That admiration became a great insatiable hunger. Thankfully my home town club, Sounders FC, elected to join the relatively young MLS in 2009. Soccer leagues have come & gone in the not so distant past here in America. Leaving it a largely peripheral sport. This most recent reiteration looks to change that. Thankful as I am for our own league, pinnacle it ain't. So I began to look abroad. My first venture was a Serie A fixture, combatants now forgotten . I can remember thinking what could be if they were more concerned about playing for the win. Unimpressive. After a small amount of digging, began finding & watching the EPL. The style suited me, both physical & technical. I decided, that being without specific ties to a club, I'd watch as a neutral. I found myself watching Everton often, American goal keeper & all. Late into October of the '09-'10 season Everton lost 2-0 to Tottenham. My first Spurs game. Sometime over the course of that game, my watered down version of loyalty changed . I liked this team. How they played with ambition & excitement. I began to watch more EPL footie, though continued to be drawn to Hotspur matches. Never having been a supporter for any team outside my home state, I considered myself only a "follower". Somehow a casual non fan, based solely on my geographical local. My interest in the team continued outside the matches.
Waves of immersion filled inside spaces up, if you will. Passion man, like religious/spiritual movement. WTH? I'm not from there! Sure I'm part Welsh like Bale, 'Arry was a Sounder, & the all too comfortingly familiar, "push so hard it hurts, &
often sometimes hurts you bad feeling, that's somehow happening again, & thought I learned this feeling, already feeling" ?! Or the times the announcers would make lite "jabs" at Spurs, tactics/ lack of tactics/roster, & I'd notice me becoming increasingly defensive. Or seeing a magnificent performance from an oft injured Ledley King, & listening to the undulated praise/remembered glory of days gone by, feeling melancholy for having missed it. So I'm tripping out a little bit, 'cause I'm American & the one thing not hard to find, is people quick to point that fact out. My Americanism. So not wanting to be offended or offensive, I stuffed it. Shelved, categorized, neatly tucked away.
Then I found this site. Just over a year ago, began reading, lurking & learning.
Earlier in the year I was at a Sounders match & at halftime sparked a conversation with my neighbor. A fellow in town on business. The conversation quickly turned to international leagues, in particular the EPL. I asked him what team, if any, he supported, almost involuntarily his spine straightened, at the ready to defend. "Tottenham" he said, & to my surprise, with no hesitation, I too pledged my allegiance. We shared a knowing smile & talked as much as time afforded. The moment wasn't lost on me. Shortly after I read a post written here. http://www.cartilagefreecaptain.com/2011/7/14/2275808/on-being-rude-and-prejudiced-fans-of-all-nationalities-have-equal. A sincere thanks to the CFC community.
Somehow these events came to qualify my fandom for THFC. Along the way I've grown. Many misconceptions, attitudes, & preconceived notions have been shed. Returned, to the sport of my early youth. A resurgence of faith, started bravely with a raised hand. That stand, I would argue, started it all.
I'd especially like to thank my Mother, from one Soccer Mom to another, you really do Rock!
As sappy as this may all seem, it's my story. & coincidentally, Chuck Norris approved.