On becoming an American Spurs fan (and buying a Dempsey shirt)

I'm probably the epitome of what English Spurs fans hate.

I hated soccer (and I will continue to call it that, as it's just easier for an American who talks to American friends) as a teenager. I didn't really even get into it when I went to college, and my school was dominant in their conference and division. I didn't get into it in for the latest WC, and not because of the success of the Women's national team over the past decade. The last time I even played the game was in elementary school.

I got into soccer after, on an impulse, purchasing Football Manager 2011 (best seller on Steam UK!). The first team I selected, I admit, was Chelsea. I knew who they were, I knew they had bank, and I knew they were in the chase. After a few months of getting to know the players and the scene (in reality), I abandoned Chelsea and began to look for a new club. My brother had casually mentioned once that me rooting for Chelsea would be like me rooting for the Yankees, and I eventually came to agree. And so the hunt for a new team began.

I wanted to root for a team that had a reasonable chance for glory, one with history, one with a future, and one that wasn't known for buying championships. Eventually my attention came to Tottenham. Tottenham is one of the few teams that actually has Location/Noun names, which was in line with American naming conventions. The shortened name for the team is the Spurs, which is the the name of the NBA team in my college town. I was told the Hotspur favor an attacking game with less emphasis on defense and "playing it safe," which was always my main bitching point about soccer. I got annoyed any time I saw a backpass. They had world class players, but never seemed to make the most of their potential. Tottenham should be a team on the up.

And so the the the story was written. I was a Tottenham fan. In the past few years I've racked up insane amounts of time on FM. I stopped playing when it cost me a girlfriend, but still - I learned enough to where I could probably run a youth team. I watched the second half collapse last year with absolute horror, and I watched the most recent transfer window with tense excitement as AVB was brought in and Levy did his thing.

Which brings me to today. I just registered for this website, and I just bought the first professional jersey I've ever bought (in any sport) - Dempsey's #2.

I've read the thoughts people have on the bandwagon effect that Dempsey will have, and issue this defense:

Dempsey isn't my favorite player, by far. Hell, he hasn't even logged a minute of play time yet for Spurs. But...I redid my order and changed it from my first choice anyway. What swayed my decision was the fact that I will be wearing this shirt in America. The casual American fans will recognize the Dempsey name, but maybe not the club. My hope is that I will be able to spark a conversation with a casual fan that is looking for an EPL team for which to root. The risk is that I add to the list of supposed band-wagoners that seem to give you OGs a headache.

Some day I hope to make it to London to see a home game, learn the chants, and cheer on the Spurs - so I ask you, if you see someone at WHL wearing the #2, pat them on the shoulder and say welcome to the family. Our backgrounds may be different, but we want the same thing.

Before you write a FanPost: Lurk! Comment! Talk with your fellow members! If you've been here for more than a couple of days and you know what's up, write away!

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