Ladies and gentlemen.
There’s a war happening. The most complicated war there’s ever likely to be. Its got more sides in it than both world wars combined and yet its battles are fought out in the smallest of areas with the simplest of weapons. There are no alliances. There are no treaties. Some participants are strong, they are in it to win the war. Some are not so strong, they are in it to survive the war. Soldiers switch sides. Weapons are traded. Damage is esoteric. Casualties are abstracted. Attrition is ephemeral. Peace is impossible. The war is happening for the entirety of your living years on this earth.
There are rules, written rules, rules for the battlefield, rules for soldier behaviour, rules for combatant action and interaction, these rules are governed and enforced. Then there are the unwritten rules, the moral standpoints, the common sense, the points of view, and the subjective opinions also. Rules are generally heeded. Rules are sometimes broken.
Ladies and gentlemen, you know what it is I’m talking about. You’ve already chosen your allegiance in this war. You are the oil that keeps the war machine ticking. You’re proud of your involvement in your side’s fortunes, you revel righteously in the rewards each victory brings and you grieve unimpeachably in the pangs of failure. You characterise yourself with the values of your side and you place your own character values with your allegiance. You travel to the battlefield and survey your investment and its performance both critically and subjectively. You’ve invested yourself emotionally, financially, totally in this allegiance.
For why else do you cheer and honour when your side’s warriors land a blow, wound an opponent, gain ground on the enemy in battle and why do you damn and berate when they are beaten likewise? Why else would you scream and denounce the gods when you percieve injustice against your side, and invoke helpless resignation when lady luck smiles upon your soldiers? You laugh and jeer when your mortal enemy fails. You cry and fawn when they succeed. When your side negotiates in the trading of arms you are content to see your side’s achieve greater strength. You do your best to support your combatants wherever the battefield and you reflect on the past, current and future glories and failures of the side to which you have pledged your allegiance.
Ladies and gentlemen, you have pledged your allegiance to your side, and you are bound by the unwritten moral standpoint of this war to your choice, you may not defect without repercussions, and you are tied to your side’s fortunes, fair or foul. The results of your side’s campaigns ebb and flow throughout the war, there are victories and defeats, and there are times when one significantly outweighs the other. You taste each keenly, sometimes you sip, sometimes you quaff, but you know you are drinking from the cup of forever, and it is real, because at the end of the war there is victory, achievement and reward. At the end there will always be glory to chase.
At the end of it all, there will always be Tottenham Hotspur.