Almost every post I have ever written on my blog has pertained to helping to create jobs for members of our extended American family, mostly by simply encouraging Americans to buy the products their American brothers and sisters make. But man does not live by American made products alone. Today I offer a couple of things that relate to a few other passions in my life. Namely Tottenham Hotspur and the Smiths
Come All Ye Spurs!
Soccer, or more properly football, is not very popular in America. According to a recent poll, NFL football is by far the most popular sport for Americans, followed by Major League Baseball, College football, Auto racing, the NBA, the NHL and then Men’s college basketball. I love watching NFL and college football, love March Madness, can’t stand baseball, haven’t watched an NBA game in probably ten years and would rather eat broken glass than watch a NASCAR race. But I do love watching European football, especially the Premier League and above all else Tottenham Hotspur.
My adoration of a team from North London was not something I chose. It was thrust upon me. I was going to University in London in 1981 and was living with a family in Tottenham. After dinner the first night the father of the house announced that he was taking me to his local. After locking the front door, my host turned to me and said “Lad, I’ve only two rules for you during your stay. First, if you plan on staying out after the pubs close, call me and the missus so we don’t worry. And second, the only team you can support when you’re living under my roof is Spurs!” So it began.
Being a Spurs fan is a bit of a mixed blessing. They rarely if ever win a trophy. The last time Spurs won the league I was cutting my first tooth. Spurs have never won the Champions League but did win the European Cup Winners Cup the year I uttered my first vaguely complete sentence in 1961/62. But they never get relegated. Their middling existence was mocked by Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in the brilliant film In Bruges which also features Ralph Fiennes.
[looking at a surreal Bosch painting]
Gleeson: It’s Judgment Day, you know?
Farrell: No. What’s that then?
Gleeson: Well, it’s, you know, the final day on Earth, when mankind will be judged for the crimes they’ve committed and that.
Farrell: Oh. And see who gets into heaven and who gets into hell and all that.
Gleeson: Yeah. And what’s the other place?
Gleeson: Purgatory… what’s that?
Farrell: Purgatory’s kind of like the in-betweeny one. You weren’t really shit, but you weren’t all that great either. Like Tottenham.
Farrell: Do you believe in all that stuff, Ken?
Gleeson: About Tottenham?
All I can say is if Gleeson is a Spurs fan I am sure he believes it.
So that was a long story to explain why a buddy of mine from my soccer team sent me a hilarious video that features Spurs. In it, an American football coach is sent to London to coach an English football team, Tottenham Hotspur. I think it’s a riot and I hope you do too.
I’m not sure when I first heard a Smiths’ tune, but they got under my skin pretty quick. The Smiths hailed from Manchester and broke on the scene in 1982. The Smiths consisted of Andy Rourke, Morrissey, Johnny Marr, and Mike Joyce. While they only released four studio albums, they maintain a huge cult following to this day. I always have loved them for their fairly depressing lyrics and unique sound.
Last week, I buddy of mine sent me a link to a great tumblr titled “This Charming Charlie.” A graphic designer Lauren LoPrete, took a bunch of Charlie Brown comics and added Smiths lyrics to the cartoons. I think they are great and so do a lot of other people. I hope you enjoy them.
I will be back to Made in America posts tomorrow.
All the best,