Following the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory, we thought that it was time to dust off an article we published last year, in which the Packers fan Josiah Bonsey explains why he chose Spurs as his English football soccer team.

Whether Josiah’s rationale still holds water now that his under-achieving team have won the Super Bowl, is open for debate. Hopefully it means that Tottenham are in line to win the Champions League this season. Over to you Josiah…

American fans tend to be frontrunners—unlike the Brits, perhaps, we derive no sick pleasure from rooting for losers. If our teams aren’t champions, well, we start rooting for teams that are.

Thus, the small crowd of football fans in the US is dominated by supporters of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool. Americans tend to follow the World Cup, select a few favorites—David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney—and then root for those players’ teams. Generally, the informed American sports fan is aware of the Champions League final and perhaps of the general structure of power in the Premier League. And while the Premier League is growing in popularity—games are now shown once or twice a week on ESPN, for many the only channel for watching sports—the teams outside the (hopefully short-lasted) Top Four labor in a kind of anonymity.

Like most American fans, and perhaps unlike most of the readers of this site, I chose to become a Spurs supporter. I was not born into it, and there was absolutely zero pressure for me to root for Tottenham—or any other team, for that matter.

I became a Tottenham fan the day I asked my friend Ian, who was wearing his Manchester United jacket for what seemed like the 100th day in a row, which Premier League team most closely resembled the Green Bay Packers, the American football (one term) team I root for. The Packers are a team with a storied history, intensely lovable players, devoted, passionate fans, and a connection to the community that is unparalleled in American sports. Ian said Tottenham, and so I became a Tottenham fan.

I know to some this might seem inadequate. I was not born into Spurs; I have not experienced the heartbreak over the years (trust me, the FA Cup loss to Portsmouth hurt plenty enough); I am a bandwagon fan, etc. Though there are some times when I myself, as an American living in America, feel inadequate as a fan—after all, I’ve never been at the Lane for a cup tie, I am far less exposed to Spurs history and lore, and there are few other Spurs fans around with whom I can discuss Aaron Lennon’s fitness or Tom Huddlestone’s trademark rocket-shots into the twentieth row.

But being an American fan has required a devotion of its own. I wake up early on Saturdays to watch games, and I have to dig a great deal to find information about our starting XI because I can’t read about it in the newspaper each morning. This sort of labor (if that’s really the right word, for I derive great pleasure from it) caused me to become increasingly invested in Spurs, because there’s no real point in checking every single daily English paper online if I don’t care about how we’re going to do against the Scum.

This piece is meant to serve as both an introduction and explanation for who I am as a football fan. Hopefully, as an American and a relatively new fan, I will be able to add a different perspective to discussion about our beloved Spurs. And from across the Atlantic, COYS.

SHARE

10 COMMENTS

  1. As a Spurs fan since 84 and a Packer since 94 I agree with Josiah are teams are a mirror image at times. My hope is that with GB getting to the play off via the wild card and Spurs getting to the CL via the 4th place we can follow their lead and win the big one come May. Go Pack Go. COYS

  2. You know what’s ironic?

    I’m a Pittsburgh Steeler fan, have been my whole life. As a Yank, I chose Spurs for the exact same reason as Josiah (this was back just before the two recent Superbowl wins) — passionate fans, past glory, recent history of underachievement, intense and hated main rival. Now, Pittsburgh have gone one to win two Superbowls in the past six years… and lost one last night… to the Packers.

    Ironic.

  3. Hey Josiah. Spurs fan since 1966 after my first game aged 7 and Packers fan since about 1983. I’m ecstatic about the Superbowl win, I was so tense right till the end. My one and only visit to Lambeau Field was in 1986 vs.Bears (we lost). Spurs always win a trophy when the year ends in a 1 and the only one we can realistically win now is the Champions League. I think I would die and go to heaven!

  4. I lived in Green Bay as a young teenager for a few years in the 1980’s and, of course, have been a fan ever since. I traveled to London with my family on holiday about 5 years ago and, after a fluke encounter with the brand, took an interest in the Spurs that has developed into full-blown addiction. (Thank God for Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN2!)

    I think the atmosphere around each club has been a mix of deep legend and regularly (not this year for GB!!!) frustrated high hopes.

    I do think that GB’s history probably puts it more in line with a Liverpool as far as it’s prominence in the history of the game goes. Wolverhampton’s run as champs/runners up in the 50’s might make them comparable to GB as a small town with impressive title success.

    Whatever the reason (or lapse of reason), congratulations on your allegiance. COYS!

  5. Well done Packers !! I admire (and share) your team choices Josiah but I’m not so sure about the quality of the friends you keep.
    Kiwiyid, MennoDaddy, Gav and Matt – it’s great to hear you’re part of the world-wide yid army. COYS !!!

  6. Congrats on the Super Bowl win for the Packers, and, even as a United fan, hopefully we’ll be seeing Spurs in the Champions League next year as well. That said Josiah, I’m more than a little distressed that your readers can’t accept United supporters as friends…

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.