“Am I happy or in misery” ? Jimi Hendrix got it right, the life of a football fan for the most part is a weekly swap between joy, pain, misery and apathy depending on your team of course. Not to mention the ridiculous pre season optimism that convinces us our team could win the league next year, even though they were 15th last year.
I regularly fall out of love with football only to be dragged back by a new signing, change of manager or even back to back wins. If you support any team outside the so called ‘big’ clubs winning the league is not an option ( the first person who mentions Leicester gets it). With that being said, football for me is about moments, individual games or special players not just the end result of yet another gruelling season.
It always make me laugh to hear Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool fans moaning about their lack of trophies, and how the season was a disaster, the team and the manager are shit because we ‘only’ won the league cup this year. Swiftly forgetting the gold nuggets that were found amongst “the silt and sand of the season, (unless your a Sunderland fan in which case your f’ked) even if your team is not the beneficiary.
Owens goal against Argentina, Bergkamps against the same opposition, at the same world cup, as well as Gerrards equaliser against West Ham, Kanu’s hat trick against Chelsea, Van Persies hat trick again against Chelsea, and Ibra’s overhead kick against England are just a few special goals amongst hundreds. Often very few lead to glory but remain in the memory because just for a moment we think wtf did I just see and we remember why we love the beautiful game, and why we keep watching a crap game in the vain hope somebody might just dribble past 4 players and smash one in from outside the box , we’re waiting for ‘the moment‘
As a Spurs fan so I’m regularly reminded we don’t win f’k all but it is a joy to see us try. Favourite moment of last season ? beating Swansea 3-1 away after being 1-0 down in the 89th minute , in the grand context of the season it didn’t stop Chelsea winning the league, but it stands out as never say die ‘moment‘.
Stop looking at the season as a whole and suddenly the game takes on a new perspective.
For the youngsters get on YouTube and check out Archie Gemmil against Holland, Justin Fashanu against Liverpool or Ronnie Radford against Newcastle. Not a trophy in sight but unforgettable football ‘moments‘ nonetheless.
One memory that sticks with me is our penalty shootout against Anderlecht, UEFA cup final 1984. Spurs’ young black left back Danny Thomas steps up and misses. That sinking feeling watching thinking shit, we’re going to lose and the black player missed the penalty, here come the bananas (It was 1984).
Instead the crowd as one start a rousing chant of ‘theres only one Danny Thomas’ as he walks forlornly back to the centre circle.
We eventually won the shootout and the cup but for me that was ‘the moment’.
Even as a Spurs fan , watching Morgan and Ranieri lift the premier league trophy was great, proof that sometimes the big boys have to yield, but that was certainly an anomaly.
If you support Stoke or West Bromwich, Watford, Burnley or any other so called ‘small’ club these moments are what bring you back, game after game, season after season because the chances are you won’t see a trophy in your lifetime so the importance of ‘ the moment ‘ is intensely magnified.
Forget about the trophies, the so called big clubs have monopolized those for 20 years, live for the moment (it might just happen).