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The following is an article Flav wrote for Sabotage Times.

Sick of there being no decent Spurs podcast, I decided to set up my own. I mean, how hard could it be?

The problem with Tottenham Hotspur podcasts is that there is only one: The Spurs Show with Phil Cornwell. And if that isn’t for you, then you’re stuffed. There have been a couple of other attempts from other well-meaning fans, but all seem to have petered out. And the problem with The Spurs Show is it’s not amazingly good. It’s run of the mill, mediocre… there’s just something missing… And it’s not because the show isn’t well produced, or the hosts are not proper Spurs fans, but because it never represented how I felt about my club, and I was convinced that other supporters felt the same. Deep down, despite having no broadcasting training at all, I thought I could do a better job.

Most importantly I felt like I had something to say. Something about following Spurs, about the state of football in general, about how the romance has been replaced by the monolithic Sky Sports and the armchair fanatic. At the very least I thought I could take the conversations held in the pub before every game and faithfully recreate them… with a microphone. And so The Fighting Cock podcast for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club was on its way.

I obviously needed other people. Proactive people. People with energy. Reliable people who were passionate about Tottenham. Also, obviously, I had to think it terms of the skill and knowledge of potential crew, and the perks they could bring going forward.

I wanted The Fighting Cock to launch to thousands of people, rather than hundreds. I didn’t really want to invest 15 hours a week preparing, writing, recording and editing, and only have eight die-hard fans listen to it. Then one night, in a drunken stupor, I emailed someone who I only fleetingly knew. His name is ‘Spooky’ of www.dearmrlevy.com. Dear Mr Levy is probably Tottenham’s premier fan run blog, and gets tens of thousands of hits a month. What drew me to the site, and what convinced me that perhaps Spooky might be the guy for me, was that it wasn’t cluttered by advertisements (popular football blogs, even independent ones, can bring in a tidy sums through advertising). I asked him why he didn’t have ads on the site. He nonchalantly replied that ‘it is all about Tottenham, the football.’ He didn’t want advertisements getting in the way of that. He didn’t want advertisers influencing articles… it would sully what he was doing. I knew then that he was right for what I wanted to do. He was up for it, and we began plotting.

Last week Engineer Al mentioned his one-night stand with a 40-year-old Philosophy lecturer and she licked his bumhole

The Fighting Cock also needed instant credibility. I knew my own woolly leftie liberal and somewhat rose-tinted views on Tottenham and football might irritate listeners. I’m not massively likable anyway. Luckily I know the Trunk or ‘Trunk’ (youtube him). His football animations have tens of thousands of hits, and accolade a plenty. The Fighting Cock would have an advantage purely by association

So I had the launch pad and out-of-the-box kudos in place. Now I needed filler. Admittedly that sounds like an insult to the two other members of the team that ended up coming aboard: it’s not meant like that, but words fail me.

Ricky brought years of following Spurs all over the country and Europe, he remains one of the most diehard Tottenham fans I’ve ever met, and he has always made me laugh. He was always going to be in.

Chicago Dan, however, was a masterstroke, if I don’t say so myself. He’s a funny guy, and not only does he know his football and is measured and thoughtful when he speaks, but he’s also American. As many people listen to The Fighting Cock in the States as they do in the UK. Plus, it took some balls for Dan to come on board. He’s been a target for critics of the show purely because where he was born, but I’ll challenge anyone to find me a more die-hard Spurs fan than Dan.

And possibly the most important member is the engineer. Recording and editing a podcast might sound easy when you’re listening to it. But when it’s a group of men who are inebriated, unprofessional, mostly angry at last week’s humiliating defeat, and constantly saying ‘errrrm’ every other word, well major surgery is often needed – the first episode we recorded 90mins of audio of which we could use 45mins, and even that was pretty ropey. Luckily my little brother, Engineer Al, has a degree in sound engineering.

Writing The Fighting Cock was always going to be easy. When you’re in the pub you don’t have a notebook to reference every time you want to make a point with every point you want to make through the evening written into it. So nor do we. We have three or four bullet points, and the rest is organic. Sometimes it’s utter nonsense, other times it’s gold. Either way it’s real.

Putting yourself out there, especially in these times where insults can be hurled at you through facebook, twitter, email, skype with minimal effort, is hard. From the start you’re going to get people that hate you. Some will loathe you. Don’t get me wrong; if I weren’t me, I’d hate me. But I grew a thick skin pretty quickly. You can’t let people wishing cancer on you, and those that hope ‘your mum gets raped by a horse,’ bother you. People enjoy telling you that you’re rubbish. It’s human nature. If you’re sensitive, or this sort of thing narks you then don’t bother. The old Chinese proverb ‘You can please some of the people all the time, and everyone else is a wazack’ has never been more apt for fledgling a podcaster like myself.

We often start The Fighting Cock by talking about something funny that’s happened to us in the past week. Last week Engineer Al mentioned his one-night stand with a 40-year-old Philosophy lecturer and she licked his ring. To us that’s funny. It would make us laugh if we heard someone else say it, so we record it. It has nothing to do with Tottenham, and some people really hate it when we digress, but we’re not well known pundits, and it’s important that listeners get a feel for our personalities – Engineer Al being a filthy bungle. I feel that talking about our masturbation habits before 55mins of Spurs talk helps the audience identify, and it gives us a chance to say stuff that makes us laugh.

Ultimately it’s been a wholesome and rewarding experience. The first Fighting Cock podcast we released, back in July, reached 6th place in the iTunes charts for Sports based podcasts. And we’ve been included in the iTunes New and Noteworthy list, a total of 8 weeks running (that’s really hard to do.) We get emails of support everyday, and it feels good that people are enjoying what we’re doing.

And it isn’t hard. We get to talk about Tottenham. And because we’re recording it, and people for some reason afford us some sort of authority: people believe what we’re saying to have more meaning than if we were saying it out loud in the pub. Ultimately though, people are enjoying The Fighting Cock because we are your average Tottenham Hotspur fan: frustrated, success starved, self opinionated, fickle and a little arrogant.

Written by

The Fighting Cock


Published on 10th October 2011

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4 Responses to Meet The Fan Behind The Fighting Cock Podcast

  1. Slim 11/10/2011 at 3:50 pm #

    It’s great that you’ve got all these people on board, but there’s far too many of you on the podcasts. You keep talking over each other which makes it difficult to follow. Maybe you should have a max of 4 people per broadcast and rotate your squad.

  2. Oldy14 12/10/2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Love the show, well done flav for getting it going, dont change anything about it.COYS

  3. mdiver 13/10/2011 at 8:39 pm #

    Last week Engineer Al mentioned his one-night stand with a 40-year-old Philosophy lecturer and she licked his bumhole

    You had me right there

  4. Nick 27/11/2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Listened to your show for the first time (episodes 11 & 12) on my iPod while waiting for a plane in India. I was getting some funny looks for laughing and smiling to myself but thanks for getting me through my 30 hour journey home that little bit easier. Love everything about the show and lookingforward to catching up on the ones I’ve missed.

    Holla back young’ns – No paedo (swear I heard this in one of them, genius!)

    COYS

    Nicky B

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