Another Thursday night game under the floodlights, another 1882 occasion. Considering the minus temperatures, I'm probably not the only one welcoming what should be another glorious non-stop singing session at White Hart Lane which should warm the cockles of our hearts.
Charlton in the FA Youth Cup last season. Barcelona at the Lane in the NextGen. Maribor at the Lane in the Europa League and this evening against Panathinaikos. Coventry in the FA Cup will be the next one. It's all about momentum, it's all about giving the team relentless vocal support. This all started out as a means to enjoy football again without any constraints and the pressures of expectation. Which is why it started out as a youth game meet-up of like-minded individuals that just want to sing for the shirt. There's been a fair few articles written by myself (on this blog) and by others over at The Fighting Cock.
I don't really want to repeat myself as regular readers will be rolling eyes round about now. But just for the benefit of clarity, 1882 doesn't really exist. Its not about fragmenting support. It's about capturing the romanticism of what supporting Spurs should be about, especially on nights in Europe. We're no different to many supporters that frequent the Lane. Its just that as a consequence of a dip in the atmosphere, people that do want to sing are not always grouped together on any given match-day. So we simply organise with Tottenham which blocks we're allowed to publicise as '1882' so that people that do want to sing can buy their tickets there. The rest is up to everyone that turns up.
I guess it says a lot about the modern game when the 1882 matches I've attended have been some of the best nights out in recent years as a Spurs fan. Simply because of the attachment of like-minded individuals and the pride in everything that is Lilywhite. The pre-match meet-ups, the odd drink or five and the spontaneous creation of songs. Everyone is smiling. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to be doing this. But sadly the Premier League can not stand by the side of the Bundesliga, we remain in its shadow.
Our (English) footballing culture and the way it's evolving is changing the way many expect the football experience to be. I prefer to remain a supporter and not a consumer and I prefer noise to thoughtful silence. Are we a minority? I don't believe that. I guess long term I'd like to see WHL rediscover its natural vibrancy. In the short term we can inspire the rest of the stadium to sing along with a reminder or two.
A fair chunk of those that attended the Maribor game (in block J) were seasoned Park Laners. This evening, we'll be sat next to the away support (blocks 31, 32 and probably 30) in the Park Lane. No doubting the fact that the Greeks are a noisy lot so this should make for a brilliant atmosphere and judging by the comments made by Defoe and AVB - it does inspire the players. Why wouldn't it? Why shouldn't it? It's Tottenham. It's Europe. It's under the floodlights. It should have Glory Glory written all over it.
I've not even thought about the match itself. Selection, tactics and the necessity to take the points. All I've thought about is being in amongst fellow Spurs fans, losing my voice over the 90 minutes.
Thanks to the club for facilitating.
For more on 1882 please visit - http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/tag/1882/