this illusion


It's August and I don't want it to be.  It's the start of the football season and I don't want it to be.  While everyone else has got their club back after the summer, I'm facing a season without my team, Tottenham Hotspur, by choice.

Is it possible to divorce your team ?  I'd never really thought so before now. Fundamental supporter protocol dictates that once you've made your choice or in some cases had your choice made for you, that's it.  You are stuck with them.

My reasons for putting pen to paper on this very emotive subject are two-fold.  The first is an objective view  that modern football with it's TV revenue, merchandising, outrageous wages and even more ridiculous ticket prices, multitude of transfers and general worship of Mammon is so far removed from the game that I grew up to love, perhaps it's one step too far.

"Virtual" supporters who shell out for the replica shirt, credit card, tracksuits, car stickers and all the other accepted tat are valued by the club just as much as the poor sods who still pay way over the odds to watch a bunch of prima donnas strut their stuff in all weathers.  Perhaps even, the virtual fan is valued even higher, as they won't be at the ground to voice their displeasure when things inevitably go tits up on the park.

So, good luck to the ManU-factured fans and their weekly trip to the Megastore ... they are entitled to it as it ain't for me !!

The second reason is subjective and obviously has more personal resonance.  For me, going to White Hart Lane is not the experience it was when I first started going.  Gone is the crowd generated noise, passion and camaraderie to be replaced by Videotrons, music to signify the scoring of a goal and a man dressed as a cockerel walking round the perimeter of the pitch.

I watched Spurs home and away on a dozen or so occasions last season and I felt totally removed.  I didn't care about the team - I laughed at them.  I didn't feel like encouraging or cheering them on - they were just comically hopeless.  A group of strangers there to entertain me with their ineptitude and circus clownery.

Before you question the merits of this piece by claiming I am only disillusioned because Tottenham are currently the epitome of mediocrity, I'll counter with the fact that when the teams cored, I didn't feel the coursing of elation, that when an individual player rose above the turgidity of a game and displayed some skill, I didn't feel privileged.  I'll also tell you that when we conceded, I didn't feel that usual sickness in the pit of my stomach.  Sure, I stood up and even joined in a few songs, but I was doing that only out of habit and memory.  Maybe my memory had duped me and it had always been like this, but that fact that this wasn't how I remembered watching Tottenham and I really didn't want a part of it anymore.

To use a marital analogy, I feel like I am leaving a marriage that's been going wrong for years.  I don't feel any real animosity towards "her" , but I don't feel like I have any passion left anymore and the relationship is bad for the both of us.  Besides, the sex has been terrible of late.

I'll always look back fondly on our time together and I'm sure that there will be nights when I'll miss her comforting reassurance and weekends when I'll long for her familiar touch, but I know I've got to move on.

I feel like a love rat for deserting her when she is currently very ill, but the time is right.  I will initially be poorer for leaving, but I'm leaving in the hope of improving the rest of my life.

So that's it.  The divorce papers have been drawn up and I've moved my things out, but hang on ... we've just gone top of the league courtesy of Simon Davies' goal at the Valley and if the whispers are true, then we are about to sign Hernan Crespo, Robbie Keane, Kevin Phillips and Morientes.  

Glory, Glory Hallelujah !!  The Spurs Go Marching On !!

Now where was I ?? ... Oh, Shit !!

Mark Waldon

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