Tottenham Hotspur: Defining ‘Spursy’


Tottenham Hotspur find ways to redefine “Spursy” every year.

There is actually little irony in the events that are detailed in that hit song from the 1990s “Ironic.” It is terrible luck and not irony if you overcome a lifelong fear of flying and hop onto a plane only for that plane to plummet to the ground. Meeting the man of your dreams before meeting his beautiful wife is a slap in the face and possibly a sign that some higher entity is not a fan of you at that particular moment,  but ironic it is not. Songwriter Alanis Morissette would have been more correct in using a different word for what was her contribution to the greatness that is 90s music.

“Spursy” is one example.

While no actual definition for the made-up word exists, fans of Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur are more than familiar with the term. The ways that Tottenham give glimpses of hope to diehard supporters only to then break the hearts of those fans year after year after year defy logic, to the point that it sometimes seems as if the club is doing it on purpose. Being a Tottenham supporter is about character building and practicing patience as much as it is about cheering on a team whenever it takes the pitch for a meaningful game.

Spursy is Tottenham going up 2-0 when away to north London rivals Arsenal only to then surrender five — count ’em — five unanswered goals. Spursy is losing the bid to claim the Olympic Stadium as your own to West Ham United. Spursy is Tottenham forming a so-called partnership with Real Madrid only for Spurs to sell superstar talents Luka Modric and Gareth Bale to the Spanish giants without getting anything outside of the transfer fees in return. Spursy would be Real turning around and selling Bale to Manchester United only a few years after acquiring the Welsh wonder, a rumor that refuses to die this January.

It never ends.

Spursy is earning a place in the Champions League only to then lose that spot due to Chelsea defeating Bayern Munich in the Final ON PENALTIES! Spursy is earning the most Premier League points in Tottenham history only to then miss out on Champions League because Arsenal out of nowhere became the hottest team in England and leapfrogged Spurs in the league table. Spursy is parting ways with three head coaches since 2012. Spursy is Tottenham beating Chelsea 5-3 before losing to Crystal Palace.

Spursy is what occurred at Bramall Lane on Wednesday night.

Tottenham were away to League One side Sheffield United for the second leg of the Capital One Cup showdown when Christian Eriksen, the latest beloved star to wear Lilywhite, lined up for a free kick in the first half of the contest. Eriksen, as everybody watching in-person and via television broadcast expected, went for goal, and he struck a perfect curling attempt that sailed over the wall, ricocheted off of the far post and bounced across the line. It was as good a free kick as you will see, a memory to the numerous times that the previously mentioned Bale played the role of Tottenham savior. Spurs were up 2-0 on aggregate, and it was, on paper, job done.

Then, Spursy happened.

The Tottenham back line didn’t get the memo that it had to put in a full shift on Wednesday, as it fell asleep at the midway point of the second half. 18-year Che Adams took advantage of a pair of chances, hitting Tottenham for a brace that threatened to send the match to extra time, an additional period of playing time that Spurs did not need. It was classic Spursy, so much so that it seemed to be a given that Tottenham would play an additional 30 minutes before being bounced out of the competition one match before the Final.

Something funny then occurred. Spursy was, for at least one night, defeated by a pair of Tottenham heroes. Harry Kane, who has been a revelation for Spurs in his first season as a full-time Tottenham starter, slid a through ball into the final third as Eriksen sprinted toward the penalty area. The Dane coolly hit a far-post left-footed attempt that rolled into the corner of the goal, a saving grace for the top-flight club that was, only minutes prior to the goal, on the verge of delivering a brand new gut punch to fans.

It is easy for fans and commentators to be cynical about the League Cup and FA Cup in a big-money world where it is all about playing European football on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Remember, those of you who see such games as nothing more than distractions away from what should be the No. 1 goal for a club such as Tottenham, that Chelsea, the side that may run away with the Premier League title when all is said and done, went all-in on the League Cup and will meet Spurs in the Final on March 1.

There are still so many ways that Spursy will again strike Tottenham in 2015. Spurs could go on to drop the Final in some Spursy way, perhaps due to an own goal or goalkeeper Hugo Lloris tripping over himself and gifting away the game-winning goal to Chelsea. Tottenham could flop out of Europa League again before again finishing out of the top four and without Champions League football. This could lead to Tottenham selling Eriksen to Real Madrid because why not, right?

You can’t always tell when and how Spursy is going to hit, and that is all part of the fun that comes with following Tottenham. It is a true phenomenon, one that affects Tottenham every time that the club is closing to taking that next step. A traffic jam when you’re already late. A “No Smoking” sign on your cigarette break.

It’s not irony. It’s Spursy.

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