Editor’s note: Please welcome Alyson McManus as Cartilage Free Captain’s newest contributor. Alyson will serve as Social Media Head, and will contribute periodic written articles. We’re still working on a couple more new hires — it’s a slow process, mostly because of me — but are confident that all new writers will contribute to a thriving and diverse staff here at Carty Free.
When Carty Free posted they were looking for new writers, I knew the time was right for me to apply for a spot. Much like a lot of people, the pandemic has been a series of never-ending existential crises about what to do with my life, where do I go from here, etc. To me a chance to write for one of my favorite blogs about one of my favorite things was an ideal chance to at least stem the tide of these existential crises. As Tottenham Hotspur fans, existential crises are nothing new. We live them from week to week.
As a queer, trans, neurodiverse woman, I really wanted to be able to explore Spurs fandom and Spurs from viewpoints that we don’t always talk about. One of the main things I want to explore with CFC is who Spurs fans are. From groups like Proud Lillywhites to Spurs Ability to even our commentariat, I want to be able to examine and touch upon what unites us and what drove us to become Spurs fans. I want to report on Spurs and Spurs adjacent news that maybe falls through the cracks. My background in sociology and political science really shapes the lens on how I write about things.
So why Spurs? I became a soccer fan in 1994 like a lot of young Americans when the World Cup came to our shore. I became enamored with a player named Jurgen Klinsmann and did the best to learn what I could about him at the time. I was 12 and the internet wasn’t fully accessible. I thought Tottenham sounded like an interesting team when I did read about them but I wasn’t fully hooked. Though I followed some soccer on and off until I started college, it was mostly the US National Teams and MLS. It wasn’t until the mid 2000s that I rediscovered Spurs and started to follow them thanks to a suggestion to at the time celebrated ESPN pop culture sports columnist that he pick Spurs as his EPL team. Their plucky underdog nature and the gut punches that came reminded me of my beloved Minnesota Vikings and I thought yeah I remember kind of liking them before too.
The internet has made being a Spurs fan abroad easier than ever before. When I found Cartilage Free Captain in September of 2013, I knew I had found my people. I have survived the days of FRAAB, Gary Rootbeer, Tim Sherwood, The Gareth Bale Saga, Comrade Pav, you name it. CFC has been such a welcoming and go to source for Spurs news. The collective conscious we have as Spurs fans is nice because I’ve never felt alone in these Spursy existential crises or even when going through my own. I look forward to being able to write and talk with you the CFC family more. I want CFC to remain that welcoming space for ALL Spurs fans.