ESPN soccer writer David Hirshey is a lifelong Arsenal supporter.* Arsenal and Tottenham are both in northern London and so their fans are not on the friendliest terms.
This is only exacerbated by the fact that Arsenal won their last trophy in their rivals’ stadium, White Hart Lane.
Hirshey, along with a friend who is a Tottenham supporter, headed to White Hart Lane to see the struggling Tottenham side take on Stoke City (a team near the bottom of the Premier League standings**).
Here was his column about the day, featuring this:
Although the neighborhood surrounding White Hart Lane is down on its luck, the cherry blossoms lining the road along with the brilliant sunshine and summery temperatures had put Spurs fans in a festive mood. They were in full voice, singing “Glory, glory, Tottenham Hotspur — and the Spurs go marching on” with the kind of gusto that belied the spiritually depleting loss their team had suffered only four days earlier.
Emma thought it might be a good idea if I lip-synched the words just to fit in, but I told her that would be sacrilege and instead remained resolutely mute. It got worse when we stopped for a beer at a local pub named the Bell and Hare, where we were greeted by a sweaty mob bellowing “Yiddo, Yiddo” in honor of the club’s defiant Jewish heritage.
"How can you hate your own people?" Emma asked over the din.
"Bernie Madoff is Jewish," I explained, "and I’m not a big fan of his, either."
Gotta say, I don’t think that you’d see anything like this from a Yankees fan going to Fenway Park.
Anyway, a cool look at the intense fandom of English soccer fans — one that doesn’t involve any hooliganism.
* Over there they say fans are “supporters.” I will use the two terms interchangeably because I feel like it. So there.
** The would say that Stoke City is at the bottom of the table instead of standings. Whatever.