September 4, 2022
"Welcome to the Lockheed Martin Tottenham Football Clubs Season Opening Doubleheader!"
I've walked through the Nando's Gate into StubHub Stadium At White Hart Lane dozens of times, but this time felt different. The utter soullessness of the ground and the occasion -- a Correctional Facilities Incorporated Premier League match, followed by the main event, an NFL game -- swept over me. When J.K. Rowling created Dementors, she was seeing into the future of Tottenham Hotspur F.C., or as the entire conglomerate became known, Sporting Tottenham Hotspur.
The day they announced the renaming of the entire organization, as well as the footballing side to Tottenham Hotspur Association Football Club, was my personal turning point. It was when I started to question what was happening, if the game truly was being ruined.
I was never a commercialism alarmist. I always found the fight against commercialism that started around 10 years ago with the StubHub sponsorship very strange. After all, the Premier League was founded on commercialism. That was literally the entire point. I didn't see how StubHub was different from what Sky did in the early 90s, but it was a slippery slope. Once the club saw they could weather the backlash from that and make fans forget about it, they knew they could go forward with their plans.
I grab my Monsanto Meat* Pie and Bud Light. I walk to the Gary Lineker Stand Brought To You By Verizon. I step up the stairs to Tesco's Row 12 and find my McDonald's Seat.
"Hey Dave, going to the FC Hotspur of Tottenham match later?", I ask the man who's sat next to me for every home game since StubHub Stadium At White Hart Lane opened.
"No thanks mate, I'm sticking around for the gridiron. Think we've got a shot this year, Manziel's bang in form."
"Yeah, but you know McDaniels is going to keep running those crap trick plays for Tebow."
I had developed genuine opinions about the gridiron. And the basketball. And the ice hockey. And the American Twenty20 BaseCricket. It was all Tottenham Hotspur. They sucked me in.
"Remember fans, if you bring your ticket stub from tonight's doubleheader to the StubHub Arena box office, you get 5 percent off season tickets for Tottenham Hotspur Ice Hockey Club!"
Fans celebrated the day Tottenham announced they'd entered into negotiations to sell the club. We were only mildly concerned when the bidder was revealed to be some shell company we'd never heard of. Eventually we found out they were financed by Koch Industries, with Donald Trump as CEO and minority investors Drake, Justin Bieber, and of course, the best-selling recording artist in the history of the world, Zayn Malik. It took them less than two years to buy the Oakland Raiders and move them to London. Then they got expansion franchises in every other American league and joined forces with the people behind the Indian Premier League to bankrupt Major League Baseball and found a new international league that played a baseball-cricket hybrid sport. It is by far the fastest growing game on earth, projected to pass association football in global popularity by 2027.
The footballing arm of the organization is now known as Tottenham Hotspur Association Football Club. The NFL side is known as Tottenham Spurs to Americans, marketed as Tottenham Hotspur Gridiron FC locally.
"And now it's time for the Forever 21 walkouts! Stand up for your Tottenham Hotspur Association Football Club!"
Malik's latest No. 1 single "Magic When We F--k" blasts as the players walk out. We're not sure when it became socially acceptable to put that word in the title of pop singles. It kind of just happened.
The players walked out with their new shirts, sponsored by GazKoch. This club had made the Koch Brothers so much money that they decided to buy Gazprom, just to kill off a competitor.
Honorary Director of Football Drake and acting president of Tottenham Hotspur AFC Peter Crouch had assembled the greatest side in the world. The finest players from the Americas, Spain and Germany graced the pitch, along with 29-year-old captain Harry Kane, the only remaining player from the pre-Koch era. The pride of club, Kane was now a Champions League winner.
Spurs had such passionate fans, who waited so long for that type of glory, but the atmosphere was a bit subdued at the 2022 Champions League final. The supporters could hardly be bothered to sing until Izzy Brown put Barcelona ahead, which elicited a hearty "OH WHEN THE SPUUUUUUURS!" There was a solid cheer when Jordan Morris equalized, but the fans didn't really come alive until Kane netted the winner. The Allianz Arena echoed with cries of "HARRY KANE, HE'S ONE OF OUR OWN!", and the fans kept the song going through the rest of the match, and in the streets of Munich for the rest of the night. The club and sport they knew might have been gutted by commercialism, but Kane was still there, the primary source of pride for the club's fans and a link to a dying past.
As I reminisced about Kane's winner, "Get Ready For This" started blasting through the speakers.
"And now! It's tiiiiiiiime for the DeBeers Kickoff!"
No. I can't take this anymore. I'm ripping up my season ticket and walking out.
It's not worth it. Champions League glory isn't worth it. Having World Cup winners Jordan Morris and Emerson Hyndman isn't worth it. This is garbage. This club is garbage.
I'm going to the FC Hotspur match.