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This is a difficult column for me to write. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I need to make a confession: I’ve committed sports bigamy.
A lot of people look at switching sports teams similarly to cheating on a girlfriend. So, with that in mind, here’s my breakup letter to my former team.
For 13 years of my life, I was a fan of Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League. Recently, I’ve broken up with them. I’ve found a new love. I’m sorry, Tottenham, but I just couldn’t be with you anymore.
I’ve wanted to have this talk with you for some time. There are some things you need to know about. Some things have been going on for the past three years that we need to talk about.
You’ve broken my heart at least once a year for the past 13 years, oftentimes more than just once a year. You’ve let me down. You’ve made promises to me that you never intended to keep. Let me explain.
When I first became a fan, you were a middle-of-the-standings team. Often you punched above your weight. You were fun and exciting. That’s what made me fall for you in the first place. But things have changed since then. You’ve changed.
You started making a little noise in the league and started getting some more attention. People started noticing you, but you still had some serious flaws. You kind of started to come off as a wannabe superstar. You really weren’t. You hadn’t done anything to really deserve superstar status. You didn’t win any tournaments. You didn’t win the league. In fact, you blew, finishing in third place and securing a Champions League spot last year, but your failures aren’t why I’m leaving you. The other team is lower than you in the league and are a ways away from winning any major trophies.
You haven’t done much to try to better yourself. You promised me for years that you’d go out there and get a high-quality forward who could score and help you become the kind of team you were meant to be. But you never did. Every year just brought heartache and disappointment. You lied to me time and time again.
You also showed multiple instances of having a dense and uneducated fanbase. They verbally abused players after poor games and bickered over everything. A large group of them wanted a new manager mere weeks after you hired a new manager. Multiple times at the start of this season when things were a little rough, the team was booed off the field at halftime or at the end of a match.
About three years ago, I started seeing another team. I was hurt and a little upset by the way you’ve treated me. I admit it: I went out looking for something else. I started watching a team in the championship division play (comparable to minor league baseball).
The team I started watching was Swansea City from Wales. What first attracted me to them was probably the fact that I have Welsh family, so they were the team I started watching. I flirted with them for two years while they were in the lower division. I watched as many games as I could and started to learn more about them.
Two years ago was when I really started thinking of them as more than just a friend.
I started watching Swansea play a lot and started connecting with fans of the team. It was hard watching them play. Since they were still in the championship at the time, most of their games weren’t on TV. I’d have to find them online, but it was worth it. They made me happy. Watching that season was great. It ended with Swansea winning promotion to the English Premier League.
This year was the last straw. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take your broken promises, your fans, your years of disappointment and bad management.
I don’t hate you. I still care about you and want you to succeed. I just can’t be with you anymore. I’m sorry. I really am.
I’m sorry I left you. We had some good years, but I deserve to be happy. I know you’ll do fine without me. You don’t need me. I know a lot of people will judge me for leaving you and for committing sports bigamy, but that’s OK. I’m sure I’ll take a lot of flak for this, but I can take it.