Yesterday was the day. It has felt like years since I first purchased the tickets to see our beloved Tottenham Hotspur take on the San Jose Earthquakes. The day started, yesterday, with a 4 am wake up call, followed by a six hour drive north to San Jose. The game was originally scheduled for 7 pm, but was picked up by ESPN (as you all know, since ALL of you watched it) and had to be moved up to 1 pm. Apparently, we weren't the only peeved Spurs fans trying to check into the hotel early. We navigated our way to the stadium with plenty of time to spare.
Starting line ups. It's not a very big stadium, so yes we were that close. We sat in the section reserved for Spurs fans, but it honestly seemed like we took up half the stadium. Attendance was 10,700, which apparently was an all time record for San Jose.
Unfortunately, we decided to bring our small camera, with two kids and all the attachments they require, we thought it would be safer. Needless to say, the pictures could have been better.
During the game, these chaps below stood the whole time and sang. It was all fine until about the 80th minute, when a few drunken San Jose supporters realized their team wasn't going to get slaughtered and began singing back. I have no idea what they said, but our boys started in on their sisters. It was all downhill the last ten minutes.
The game ended 0-0. We had one disallowed goal for an offside call. Spurs were short about half their starting line up, as World Cup players were allowed to skip the trip. San Jose had their full squad as they have, well, no one that played in the World Cup.
The fun really began, though, afterwards. While at dinner, I overheard someone say, "aren't those soccer players outside?" (were in America, deal with the word) I turned around to see Robbie Keane, Jermaine Jenus, Tom Huddlestone and Alan Hutton. After throwing the baby across the table, she's rubbery still, she was fine, I sprinted outside as they were getting a cab. Just in time to say, "Robbie Keane!" and have him turn around, shake my hand and say, "how you doin', mate?" Then, off they went in a cab. But wait, it gets better.
We decided to head to the Fairmont Hotel for a drink only to find that was the hotel Spurs were staying in. See, this drunken problem is paying off finally. We walk into the bar and the first person I see is...head coach Harry Redknapp. My son (yes, I brought my son to the bar, shut up) quickly grabbed the pad of paper from his "Spurs Starter Pak" he got at the game, and I walked up to Harry and said, "Coach Redknapp?" He then started in as if I was a long lost relative with the how are ya's. We asked for an autograph, and my son got his first Spurs autograph. As we were looking at his autograph, Harry walked over and struck up a conversation with my father-in-law. But wait, it gets better.
Next up, Younes Kaboul. We spotted him in the lobby and my son got his second autograph. He seemed like a nice guy, as I was completely taken aback when he was asking where we from and asking about the area. I didn't expect a conversation! But wait, it gets better.
Next up, Vedran Corluka, Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar! There in that order below. Our three Croatians. Hopefully, you realized the short one is my son and not Croatian. I'm terrible with remembering to take pictures, but we remembered this one.
My wife now has a crush on Niko. Need to remember to leave her at home next time.
Lastly, our backup goalkeeper, who is our starting keeper on this tour as Horelio Gomes played in the World Cup, was Carlo Cudicini. He was hitting on a woman and her daughter, so we had to wait politely a little while for this one. Again, no picture.
All in all, a fantastic time was had. Almost time for the season to begin. August 14th. Mark your calendars.