A Sunday Match

The morning started with a run, and “brekkie” in the hotel.  Then we all went our separate ways - Mom and Dad on their Olympic walk, to be followed by a show (turned out they wound up at a movie theater), the Jaffees to the Tower of London, and then Matilda later, and Wayne and I off to White Hart Lane to watch the Hotspurs.

Of course, we had to stop at the Apple Store first, followed by lunch at Bella Italia.  Nice little place, and the hubby is definitely not fond of pubs.  Sigh. Oh well.  But we do like our Italian!

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is an English football club based in Tottenham, London, that plays in the Premier League. The club's home stadium is White Hart Lane. Its Latin motto is Audere est Facere ("To Dare Is to Do"), and its emblem is a cockerel standing upon a football.

Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, making it the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League. Tottenham was the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 it became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1967 it won the FA Cup for a third time in the 1960s. In the 1970s Tottenham won the League Cup on two occasions and was the inaugural winner of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. In the 1980s Spurs won several trophies: the FA Cup twice, FA Community Shield and the UEFA Cup in 1984. In the 1990s the club won the FA Cup and the League Cup. When it won the League Cup once more in 2008, it meant that it had won a major trophy in each of the last six decades – an achievement only matched by Manchester United, whom they beat for the first time at Old Trafford since 1989 a little over a week ago.

White Hart Lane is an all-seater football stadium in Tottenham, London, England. It was built in 1899 and has a capacity of 36,230.Along with housing  Tottenham, the stadium (known as the Lane) has also been selected for England national football matches and England under-21 football matches. White Hart Lane held capacity records in the early 1960s with numbers entering the 70,000s but as seating increased in popularity, the stadium has leveled out to a modest number in relation to other Premier League clubs. The record attendance remains an FA Cup tie on March 5, 1938 against Sunderland with the attendance being recorded at 75,038.

As with most stadiums in England, the pubs around the stadia are divided into home pubs and away friendly pubs for security reasons . Most pubs close to White Hart Lane are home pubs only, and The Bricklayers Arms is the most popular one with the best atmosphere. The Elmhurst is the most popular away friendly pub near the ground. Sadly, we did not go.

As we went in, I was asked by security if I had a gun in my purse - and then they frisked my purse!  Unbelievable, but probably realistic given how ugly competition between the fans can be.  I was amused by the sign banning alcohol on the field, and the queue to go into the stands filled by people pounding back beer.  The stadium was quite full, and we were seated near the area in the stands reserved for visiting fans.  Quite a small area, but they were loud, and the security team was out in force.  We were seated near the goal just 6 rows away from the pitch, so our view was quite something.  I have to admit, I was more than a little unprepared for the virtual combat zone that we entered.  I had thought that seeing a Mets game at old Shea Stadium had appropriately exposed me to vulgarity and violence, but boy, they had nothing on the football crowd.  The “gentleman” (very loosely used) to my right kept creeping over onto my seat, pushing me more and more into Wayne.  Finally, I looked at him, moved my legs sharply to the right and reclaimed my seat.  He had the grace to look sheepish.  Wayne thought that I should have sounded off with an “Oy!” and a couple of f-bombs so that I fit in.  What a hoot that was. In retrospect.

After a rough first half, Tottenham sharpened up, and beat Aston Villa 2-0.  Very exciting, and crushing crowds as we left.  The underground seems to operate similarly to the DC Metro after games, as new trains came in, empty, minutes apart as we all started to leave.

We met up to go out to dinner, and headed to Chinatown, where we ate at Mr. Kong’s.  It’s a long family story, but suffice to say, it was appropriate.  We enjoyed post-prandial drinks as well, and Pam and I tip toed off to bed in the wee hours of the morning.