Jan 11, 2007

Dear Bill Simmons.....

So apparently Bill Simmons is reconsidering his decision to adopt Tottenham as his Premiership team. If you’re wondering who Bill is, he’s an American. But don’t hold that against him. He's a sports journalist who writes for ESPN and is possibly one of the best they have to offer. That’s what other Americans have told me.

Back in the summer he decided to choose a team from the Prem to 'support' in order to break his football (real football) virginity. He opted to go with Spurs. Yeah, yeah.....poor sucker. Google him, you'll come across the article he wrote up where he talks through his selection process. Its a good read.

He now apparently (sort of) regrets it, which you may argue for him that he has a case, but not until you hear that he thinks he should have chosen Newcastle United. I'm shaking my head with disapproval. This isn't American sports Bill where you can pick and support someone depending on what town you happen to be living in.

Right, let’s copy and paste something at this juncture:

Tim (Kalamazoo, Mich.): What happened to your newfound love of the English Premier League? I hope you know that you are now one of the several million people who claim to like soccer but don't actually follow through with it. Jerk.

Bill Simmons: I've been watching some, will kick it into another gear once the NFL season ends. My biggest problem is that I feel like I picked the wrong team … I keep gravitating towards Newcastle every time they're on, I like their uniforms and their fans and I'm kicking myself for not taking them. But I feel loyal to Spurs even though we have no real history. I feel like someone who went to college and immediately got a girlfriend the first week without playing the field. I dunno. I need to figure this out. There was a game last month when Newcastle beat Spurs 3-1 and I found myself getting fired up every time Newcastle scored … and you know how I feel about sports bigamy. So I'm not going to write about soccer until I figure this out.

Seems the cliché about Americans short-term concentration span rings true even for a professional writer. Uniforms? Bill, please, get a grip man. That's like me selecting an American Football team to support based purely on the length of the skirts the cheerleaders wear. Though, on reflection, that's probably how I would choose to support a team States Side.

As for their fans, yes, historically they are a fanatical bunch. Shirtless in sub-zero temperatures waving scarfs to help prove just how craaaaaaaaazy they are. I don’t get the ‘no real history’ bit, as I’m not sure if you are referring to yourself and your personal association with selecting Spurs or the club's history. I’m sure you can’t mean the club, as Newcastle haven’t won a thing for 50 years and Tottenham’s history is just that tad more colourful, if frustrating. And had you selected any other club for that matter, you'd still be without any true association to it.

You're Spurs, and you know you are...

I suppose the fact you are from Boston is the reason you have taken the Newcastle fans to heart. Brash loud fans in the North East of the country. But don't expect the Magpies to move their franchise down South to London.

See, what you need to do is get hold of one or two DVD’s. Maybe the 1981 FA Cup replay at Wembley. Or the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal from 1991. And also the 4-3 home defeat to Man City in the Cup when we were leading 3-0 against 10 men. Though this seasons 2-1 victory over Chelsea was probably one of the games of the season. Have you seen it? No? Why?

Better yet, how about getting in touch with Daniel Levy and asking for a ticket to a home match, because I assure you once you hear the Park Lane Roar your ears will bleed…

…well, maybe not bleed, but you'll find it altogether a more satisfying experience than watching a game on the box. I'll give you one of my tickets if you decide to pop over to London. As long as I get to meet some leggy cheerleaders if I ever re-visit America.

The reason you still feel some form of loyalty to us is because you are genuinely loyal to us but you are allowing yourself to get districted by something that you should be ignoring. It’s like having a girlfriend back at home, in sexy lingerie, waiting for you in bed with a tub of ice cream only for you to be eyeing up the slut in the local bar who is wearing a skirt so short that its half way up her neck. So stop flirting. The girl back home will let you lick ice cream off her every night, even if the slut in the bar will give you a f*cking great time in the sack, you're still end up with an assortment of STD's. Its not worth it. Choose the tub of ice cream!

Spurs, guaranteed, will always – without fail – give you a rollercoaster of a ride from season to season. Newcastle, historically, always find themselves complaining about their chairman and not really doing anything from one season to the next. I mean, when was the last time Newcastle got food poisoning on the last day of the season when needing to win to get into the Champions League? It’s positively popcorn premier entertainment. Only Spurs do spectacular defeats. But when we do get it right, we get it RIGHT. And we are a joy to watch.

I don’t think there’s that much to work out Bill. You need to stop being so over dramatic and join us in the utter misery and ecstasy that is being a Tottenham fan. You went through all the decision making and selected the Lilywhites so your creditability will be pretty much zero if you jump ship. Especially if you jump ship for a team that won’t provide you anything in the way of heart skips and headaches. I mean, Newcastle’s deadliest rivals aren’t even in the Prem. You can’t support a team that can’t provide you with a derby day.

Yes. We have been utterly underwhelming thus far this season, and my research suggests that tragically the games that have been screened over there in the States involving Spurs haven't been the best choices. Which means you probably haven't seem much of a certain Aaron Lennon.

But maybe thats not a bad thing because we haven't been that great in the Prem this year. But one or two explosive goals from Newcastle doesn't mean they wont spend the best part of the season defending like the Keystone Cops. And watching Newcastle losing as a Newcastle fan is like watching a really bad Adam Sandler movie. Any Adam Sandler movie.

Look, at the end of the day losing one armchair fan isn’t exactly going to break my heart or the hearts of others that follow the Spurs. But it’s wonderfully ironic that you chose us in the first place and I’d hate to see you move onto another club like many pretend followers of the game do.

We're in the League Cup semi-final. Its a two-legged game, one home and the other away. And we are playing Arsenal. Yes, the Enemy. Spurs are the type of team that could win the first leg 5-0 and the fans still wont be sure of a place in the final because if there is one team that could lose the second leg 6-0, its us.

Nobody can give you that kind of heart-trouble. Not even Newcastle United. Keep the faith Mr Simmons, and before I forget, who does have the cutest cheerleaders?



Anonymous said...

Bill Simmons is a complete and utter idiot. He's barely professional, and most soccer fans in the US were perturbed by his whole "I need an idea for a column so I'll adopt an EPL team" schtick.

He's a moron and a hack, a failed television comedy writer who was brought in to write whatever he wants.


spooky said...

So, all this hype about him being the USA's top sports writer is just...BS? TBH, i only ever heard of him because of his quest to support a Prem club. Thought it was interesting to see an American sports writer follow the Premiership. He doesn't appear to have too much patience.