The Night Before the Final

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It’s the last day in May, 2019. I’m nervous and excited.
I hope Spurs win tomorrow night but I will try to not get too deflated if they don’t.

It is only a game after all.

Yet despite logically knowing it’s only a game I would still really like to see Spurs win something big for once in my lifetime. Because the big fear is that we might never get another chance. We aren’t serial winners of anything, which in a way suits me as I’d feel guilty if we started winning everything.

Yes, football is only a game and yet it may often seem like more than that.
In many ways it has become one of the most constant thing in my life, an anchor during my time here when so much has been changing.

Life in Galway always seems to be in flux,  people trundling bags around the place looking for their Airbnb, people coming and then going out of your life, slightly guarded neighbours.
I’ve found it hard to make friends for different reasons over the last 6 years while feeling disconnected from the ones I had, the world is hard to get a handle on. So because you feel a bit isolated and lonely it means you’re ready to join a club or tribe, or maybe become more a bit more embroiled in one you are already a member of.

And so it is that Spurs have been something of a constant and something I feel like I have managed to get a handle on.
In a world of constant flux and change is something that helps make sense of things. Because it’s fundamentally the same as it’s always been except for the odd tweak here and there. Football has pretty much remained unchanged since I started watching it unlike many other things. Which I value in a world of flux.
I understand why following a team can become something akin to a religion for some people. They know the rules and can follow what happens. At the end of the game there is usually some type of result that can be understood and processed. It’s like if you cut the grass or paint a wall, you can see the result of your work and know where you stand. It’s nice to have results, especially if you do art or some other jobs where its hard to measure results.

At the end of the season you finish in a certain position. You feel like you might belong to some sort of a community or tribe where you hold certain opinions and things in common without embarrassment.  You might make friends through it and feel less alone.
Yes, it’s only a game but there is something about the game that plugs into very real human needs. I  can see why some people treat sport like something akin to a religion.

Mauricio Pochettino arrived not long after we arrived here, which has also coincided with Spurs actually being pretty good. They challenged for a league title the year Leicester won, they’ve played good football and the mentality of being ‘Spursy’ is slowly being shaken off.  So it’s hard to explain but the journey of my strange time here Galway is roughly tied up this current version of Tottenham Hotspur.

And now, tomorrow night they’re playing in the biggest club final of the lot, the Champions League final. Unbelievable!

Stupid people think that the only thing that matters is winning a trophy. If that was the case there would be little or no enjoyment for the vast number of fans. I’ve enjoyed this season so much with a couple of the best football games I’ve ever seen. If there is one word to describe the journey so far I’d pick the word ‘grace’. It’s the moment when you think that Spurs are going to get through against Man City, only for Sterling to score and you sink because that’s Spurs being Spurs….only for this new thing called VAR coming into play and changing the reality again. It’s when you’re 3-0 down at Ajax and the Lucas Moura sweeps the ball into the goal last seconds and you’re going through.

Because of those moments of grace (or luck!) in getting this far I’d like to think that losing the final to Liverpool won’t matter so much. It’s been so much fun coming so far that you’ll always remember those unexpected results.

On the other hand though maybe I’m writing my first blog in ages the night before the Champions League final as this feeling of excitement, hope, possibilities might be the pinnacle of my experience as a Spurs fan, so I just want to enjoy it before Liverpool thump us 4-1 or something like that and I feel miserable for the rest of the weekend.

Anyway, may the best team win and COYS! (obviously)

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