I’ve only been forced to exit a car on one occasion in my life.
A few years ago I was picked up by a friend of a friend in downtown Baltimore, and upon hearing from my position in the back seat that he had to expedite our mission (we were supposed to go to the bar, first) in order to “catch the Man. U. game,”
I audibly scoffed, uttering under my breath, “Oh, f*** Man. U.”
Needless to say, this was an ill-advised choice of words, but I stand by my assessment. Luckily for me, it wasn’t raining, and the walk home was actually quite enjoyable.
All biases against Manchester United fully disclosed, it’s nice to see a team not from Manchester (it’s just so hard to root for City, innit?) making a run at the Premier League title. In this case I’m talking of course about Tottenham Hotspur, perhaps the most daintily English sounding of all the clubs in the FA.
This north London squad has as its “mascot” and logo a cockerel wearing spurs standing on top of a football. (By the way, at the top of the Wikipedia entry for “cockerel” it reads: “‘Cockadoodledoo’ and ‘Cocka-doodle-doo’ redirect here.” Wonderful news.) They’re also known as the “Lilywhites,” due to their home uniforms.
Oh, could they be any more British-sounding?
As a digression, Spurs fans are also sometimes called (or refer to themselves as) “yids” or “yiddos,” names which began to be used in the 1980s, mainly by fans of rival and fellow-London club Arsenal as a term of antisemitic abuse (presumably because of the large Jewish population in the Haringey/Stamford Hill area). The Spurs fans made the nickname a badge of honour by calling themselves the “yids” or “yiddos,” although not everyone agrees about the effectiveness of such a strategy.
Anyway, back to the football: after beating West Brom over the weekend, the Spurs, as they are also widely (and affectionately) known, have now picked up 28 points from a ten-game unbeaten league run. They are now in third behind the two Manchester clubs. One of my favorite soccer blogs, Football365, posted this commentary:
“It’s a statement that will inspire plenty of scoffing, but on what basis can Spurs not be considered contenders? Had the league begun when it ought to have done – the day after the transfer window closed – they would currently be leading both of Manchester’s European minnows. As it stands in reality, even after their defeats to both City and United in the two wilderness weeks between the season’s premature start and the season’s proper start, they remain just two points behind second-placed United with a game in hand. And absolutely nobody is doubting United are title contenders, are they?”
In a video posted by the BBC, Spurs Manager Harry Redknapp admits he wasn’t happy with their first-half performance on Saturday, but thought they fought hard to get back into the match and did well near the end. They were, notably, helped by a possibly controversial penalty (although, which ones aren’t?) in the 25th minute; after the match West Brom manager Roy Hodgson said: “We’ve had more penalties given against us, I think, than any other team.”
I can’t verify that statement.
However, I can verify that the Spurs are on a run, and I for one am rooting for them to give “Manchester’s minnows” trouble as the season progresses. Tottenham’s motto is, after all, Audere Est Facere (to dare is to do).