Liberal Arts Blog — Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea — What’s the Difference? Who Cares? Why?
Liberal Arts Blog — Saturday is the Joy of Sports, Dance, Fitness, and All Things Physical Day
Today’s Topic: Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea — What’s the Difference? Who Cares? Why?
This morning I decided to learn something about three of London’s seven Premier League soccer teams. I start from a base of zero knowledge. The tidbits below are quite random. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
THE TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS — aka “the Spurs,” “the Lilywhites,” “the Yids”
1. Their arch-rival is Arsenal. Both teams are from North London. Their motto is “Audere est facere” (to dare is to do). Traditional kit: white shirt, blue shorts.
2. “Historically, the club had a significant Jewish following from the Jewish communities in east and north London, with around a third of its supporters estimated to be Jewish in the 1930s. Due to this early support, all three chairmen of the club since 1984 have been Jewish businessmen with prior history of supporting the club.”
3. The club no longer has a greater Jewish contingent among its fans than other major London clubs (Jewish supporters are estimated to form at most 5% of its fanbase), though it is nevertheless still identified as a Jewish club by rival fans,”
NB: Some fans have adopted “Yid” as a “badge or pride” but both the World Jewish Congress and the Board of Deputies of British Jews “have denounced the use of the word by fans.”
ARSENAL — “The Gunners” — “the third most successful club in English football”
1. Arsenal has won 48 trophies — this compares to Liverpool (68) and Manchester United (66). Chelsea has 34. Tottenham has 26.
2. Matches with arch rival Tottenham are referred to as the “North London Derby.”
3. Fans are called “Gooners.” Arsenal’s longest serving and most successful manager was a Frenchman named Arsene Wenger (1996–2018).
NB: “The club mascot is Gunnersaurus Rex, a smiling, 7-foot-tall green dinosaur, who first appeared at a home match against Manchester City in August 1994 (or 1993). He is based on a drawing by then 11-year-old Peter Lovell”
CHELSEA — “the Blues” — based in Fulham, West London
1.“The only London club to have won the Champions League and the Club World Cup.”
2. Owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich from 2003 to 2022.
3. Claims were made that Putin was behind the purchase to “increase his influence and raise Russia’s profile, not only with the elite but with ordinary British people.” Abramovich denied this.
NB: Sanctions on Russian oligarchs after the Russian invasion of the Ukraine led to the sale of the club to a consortium of investors led by Todd Boehly, an American businessman based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“You’ve got to continue to grow, or you’re just like last night’s corn bread — stale and dry.” - Loretta Lynn
For the last four years of posts organized by theme:
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to sports, dance, fitness. Or the coolest thing you learned about Sports, Dance, of Fitness in your life — whether on the field, on the dance floor or in the gym, whether from a coach, a parent, a friend, or just your own experimentation.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. Or even change their life. It’s perhaps a chance to put into words something you have never articulated before. And to cement in your own memory something cool you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart.