Friday, November 12, 2010
Why did I choose Spurs?
Upon deciding I'd give Soccer a go I had to choose a league. Unlike in America there are several great soccer leagues to choose from. One Saturday I decided to get hooked up to Fox Soccer Channel and Gol TV, which along with ESPN let me view all the big leagues in the world like the English Premier Leauge, La Liga, Series A, and to a lesser extent the Bundaligue and MLS. From almost the beginning I elmintated MLS (not good enough) and Series A (the Italian word for flop/dive is "Italian"). After watching a good number of German league games I eliminated it because the limited number of games on TV and the lack of star quality (not that they don't have any, but most of the biggest names play in the top three leagues)
After eliminating all but two leagues, both La Liga and the EPL put in massive bids to keep me entertained. With stars like Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaka, Inesta, Forlan, Villa, and others it was hard to spurn La Liga but having only two teams with any hope of winning the league (last year the 3rd place team was closer to the 20th place team than 2nd place Real Madrid) I just couldn't see being that interested besides the twice a year El Classico, and if it all boils down to two games, whats the point?
So then there was one...or twenty because now it was time to pick a team. As a real sports fan, I have always detested bandwagon fans. The guy who roots for the Yankees, Heat, Cowboys, Duke Basketball, and Florida Football should be deported (I'm always shocked when people want to deport immigrants...aren't these the people we should be wanting to deport?). Since I couldn't bring myself to be that guy Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal were immediately out. Not picking one of the "big four" was risky since they're the only teams to ever win a premier league title, but I felt worth it just to keep the bandwagon stink off of me. The last thing I ever want anyone to say to be is "that "women" with the adam's apple you hooked up with last night had a penis", but after that it's "you're a bandwagon fan who only like (insert big four team) because they win"
Four teams down, sixteen to go. Even though I wanted to stay away from the wagon I didn't think it wise to jump into soccer and have my new team relegated so I picked off the weak teams like a lion picking out gimp gazelle in the Serengeti. Immediately gone were Portsmouth, Hull City, Burnley, West Ham, Wigan, Wolves, Bolton, Sunderland, Stoke, Blackburn, and Birmingham. Most because they didn't see very good or like Blackburn they seemed to play a pretty boring style of football.
That left the final five teams Manchester City, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, Fulham. How I broke down the final five teams.
Manchester City- While Tavez is a really fun player to watch there wasn't a whole lot less and the team is owned by the Saudis. While they had the best chance to eventually win the title I couldn't root for a team of eventual All-Stars. This was the easiest team to eliminate.
Fulham- Second easiest team to eliminate. Even though they had Dempsy they played a shockingly boring brand of football. Couldn't get much into the week after week for draws.
Aston Villa- The third team eliminated and where things got a little harder. Aston Villa played a good game and had some very good players like Ashley Cole and James Milnar. I can't remember anything standing out against Villa but they didn't quite grab my attention like Everton or Tottenham.
Everton- The final team eliminated was by far the hardest. Everton played good attacking football and had some stand out preformers. Some of my earlier favorites to watch were Steven Piner, Tim Cahill, Fellaini, and especially Mikel Arteta who seemed to control the game wonderfully from midfield like a point guard in basketball. Very soon upon making it into Preston's final two they went and picked up Landon Donavan for a loan and if they had bought him for a permanent move over the Atlantic, this blog might lean heavily towards the Toffees.
Tottenham- There are several reasons that I eventually picked the Spurs. First they had a lot of fun players that immediately caught my attention like Luka Modric, Nino Kranjar, Tom Huddlestone, Jermain Dafoe, and Peter Crouch. Around the time Donavan joined Everton on loan Garreth Bale was becoming a superstar right before my eyes. They also had a complete nutter as a coach who says incredibley insane things, and has his teams play an almost blitzkrieg like style of wave after wave of attack while most of the world was trying to figure out how to get as many holding mid-fielders onto the pitch at once.
Everyone says Barcalona's Tika-Tika style of play is the most entertaining in the world but I disagree. I actually find their constant short passes and ultra possesion quite boring. Lionel Messi and David Villa made those styles fun for Barca and Spain respectively. Take those two players away and you're watching a bunch of guys basically running a passing practive for and an hour and a half. Give me the wave after wave of attacking football with little regard to defense any day.
Some other reason I was drawn to Spurs were they had an incredible home atmosphere they reminded me of how American sports used to be when I was a kid. Now nobody cheers at games because most of the real fans are at home watching from their couch at home. Also, being a San Antonio Spurs fan had rewarded me so much it felt only natural to root for the soccer Spurs.
And the main reason I decided to make Spurs my team was they had a history of underachieving and their fan base seems to be tortured much like the Red Sox fan base used to be here in the States. Their fans seem to expect the worse, get way too excited about a win, and jump completely off the ledge when things start to turn sour. The only team I had every felt that emotionally attached to was the aforementioned Spurs and as a teenager, where you care too much about sports, they had won four championships. I knew I'd never feel the high of that first championship or the wearing my "1995 Western Conference Champion" Spurs bootleg T-Shirt the night Hakeem destroyed Robinson, but now I had the opportunity to feel emotions again. I could be alive for the first time in a decade! Most of all though, I'm a miserable bastard and rooting for a underachieving team like Tottenham just felt right. Now Come on you F*cking Spurs!!!