One of the enduring images from Tottenham Hotspur’s first ever Champions League match at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was the planned tifo just before kick-off. As the players walked out onto the field to the Champions League theme, Spurs fans in the south stand held up plastic bags that were placed under their seats before the match, forming the club motto “TO DARE IS TO DO.”
It was, as we said at the time, pretty dang cool.
Now, Spurs are going to try and up the ante slightly for their first-ever Champions League semifinal match at their new stadium against Ajax by not only bringing back the TO DARE IS TO DO tifo, but also by encouraging all fans to wear white to the stadium, creating what they call a “sea of Lilywhite.”
The “sea of [color]” idea isn’t anything close to new — sports teams have been asking their fans to do this since forever ago, especially at basketball games. But when executed properly it can create a really cool atmosphere. I expect nothing less tomorrow.
The official announcement on Spurs’ website talks about how in 1961 Bill Nicholson started the tradition of playing in all-white kits in European competition (a tradition duly spoiled by this year’s Nike home kits which when paired with white shorts make the team look they’re wearing really stupid looking cummerbunds), and that the sea of Lilywhite is intended to both recall and be an extension of that for the entire crowd. For those who aren’t holding up plastic bags to spell out words, the club will be distributing more flags like what we saw against Manchester City, which should also create a very cool effect.
I get goosebumps from just listening to the theme play over the loudspeakers, so the odds of me going all tingly tomorrow just before 3 p.m. ET while watching are pretty much 100%. This kind of thing may be schlocky to some, but there’s no doubt that the atmosphere it creates can be pretty electric. I can’t wait to see it.