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The Hipster Conundrum: Spurs, Dempsey, and America

June 8, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; USA forward Clint Dempsey (8) against  Antigua & Barbuda during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. USA defeated Antigua & Barbuda 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE
June 8, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; USA forward Clint Dempsey (8) against Antigua & Barbuda during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. USA defeated Antigua & Barbuda 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Long time readers of the site would likely know two things about me: by deep, optimistic love of Tottenham Hotspur and my USMNT (US Men's National Soccer Team) "fanboyism", as it is called these days. The former has led to me releasing thousands of words--and a tear or two--on all things Tottenham Hotspur. The latter has led to me traveling to see the national team, joining up with the American Outlaws, and developing a huge appreciation for certain national team members--with Clint Dempsey deep among them.

The number of words spent on the Clint Dempsey-Landon Donovan "rivalry" have been numerous enough already. But I, like many USMNT supporters, came out on team Dempsey. He had an amazing journey of perseverance to get here. He has a cool nickname, Deuce. He raps. He's been the bad boy of U.S. soccer, and arguably the greatest American attacker in European football history.

Dempsey's signing is Tottenham Hotspur's single biggest moment in marketing the club to America. Freshly designed Under Armour jerseys, Dempsey, and a rising Spurs club (well the last couple years at least) is a marketer's dream. The USMNT fanboys are coming to Spurs. Perhaps this was said the best in what SB Nation's Matt Ufford said shortly after the team:

I hardly expect this to be a unique experience. I expect many of the fans who began to follow Fulham when the club was "Fulhamerica" will jump ship to Spurs. If you are a young, passionate USMNT fan, you have just of good of a reason to root for Spurs as any other Premiership side.

When I first heard the news of Dempsey coming to Spurs, the emotion was true excitement. One of my favorite players in the world was coming to my club and a bargain deal. Dempsey will be a valuable finisher and contributor on the field. And of course, I planned my order of a Dempsey Spurs kit.

But because perception matters to me, sadly a bit of hipster element switched on. What does it say about me if I wear a Dempsey Spurs kit? Will I look like a bandwagon USMNT fan? Will people realize that I suffered many years of highs and lows with this team. Do I want to have the same kit as the vast majority of other new American Spurs supporters?

For me, the answer turned out to be yes. US Soccer and Spurs are bumping into each other, and I am going to embrace it. But I fully understand those of you feel differently. There will be some insufferable fanboys coming around these parts, yelling whenever Deuce does not go 90 minutes in a match. And at least for some American supporters, a bit of our us against the world identity will go away. But f**k it, I'm going to enjoy the Dempsey experience.

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