"The one thing that unites Spurs supporters is that you know they have suffered deep emotional suffering." These words I uttered to Skipjack in Ryleigh's Oyster, peering out onto this bar filled to the gills with Spurs supporters.
The fandom of American Spurs supporters is a solipsistic existence. Time and time I heard the stories this weekend of how this group of individuals fell into this club from North London. A hungover channel flipping to Fox Sports World, a random trip to London, a love passed on by a family member. Never did I hear that one got into it for the winning, the glory, or the legion of support.
I, like many fans, was raised on searching for grainy feeds, radio broadcasts, and whatever else I could find to fill my need for Spurs. We're used to seeing Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United kits on the streets and on our television. Turning despondent or ecstatic in work or class as we watch a game, trying to hide that we are completely enveloped in this match thousands of miles away from us. We know what it is like to famously be asked, "What's a Hotspur?"
It's always been a moment of excitement of my life to hear "COYS!" or "Yid Army" whilst walking down the street in Spurs apparel, as you and this stranger acknowledge that you are part of this strange cult. This strange cult that your girlfriend, siblings, or parents may never understand. Even those of us who have been to White Hart Lane come back home talk about the experience as if it was a pilgrimage to Mecca, never expecting to have that experience anywhere near matched.
It was surreal then to walk into Ryleigh's this weekend and see legions of this American Yid Army, fans from all over the country gathering for this one weekend. To hear these songs sung by not the few, not the dozens, but the hundreds that filled this bar in a sea of navy and lilywhite. Baltimore had suddenly been transported to the blue part of North London.
Such a large part of why I am involved with this site is to help build a community around Spurs. Not all of us live in large urban areas and can be a regular part of a vibrant supporters group. Tottenham can be something that unites English, American, Canadians, Australians, Asians and Africans and wherever else together. This site we use as a virtual meeting place, where the comments can remind us all that we're not alone in our emotional swings on this team. Where we can make inside jokes that unite us as Spurs supporters.
Getting to meet these people then, these people who I have shared times good and low with, was a wish fulfilled. Where Spurs jerseys that led to 14th place finishes, players of mediocre to poor success, and heartbreak after heartbreak become a source of unification and pride. With Tottenham, only can you expect the worst yet dream of the stars.
So thank you to Skipjack, Lennon's Eyebrow, Tottenham Makes Me Cry, Chevy14Man, and Lance Anderson, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person. Thanks to the readers who I met, who I hope will soon join us in conversation. And thanks to everyone who made Tottenham come alive once again for me. I hope that all the Spurs supporters that came together in Los Angeles, and those still to come together in New York have this solidarity. And for those I have not met, I hope we can find a time in the future to enjoy this club together.
For those hours in Ryleigh's, I truly believed that Tottenham were the greatest club the world has ever seen. That North London was ours. In an hour I would arrive to a stadium filled 75% with Liverpool supporters as Tottenham played some truly uninspiring football. But that was not what this weekend was about. This weekend was about the supporters, as we were all reminded that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.
We are Tottenham, We are Tottenham, Super Tottenham from The Lane.