The Fighting Cock – Firm Holder of the Heart and Soul of Tottenham Hotspurs

Written by Hyun Moh (John) Shin

The Fighting Cock is a blog site created in 2011 by a group of avid fans of Tottenham Hotspurs, an established football club in the English Premier League. Hosted by a number of personnel including Thelonious, Bardi, Flav, and Ricky, the blog is named from the club emblem, a cockerel standing on a ball. As a matter of fact, the logo of the blog itself is a modification of the emblem, adding a team scarf, a ferocious expression and scars to the cockerel, representing the image of a fierce supporting group with undying loyalty towards the club it represents.

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The Fighting Cock Logo (left), and the Tottenham Hotspur Logo (right)

  The widely renowned feature of the Fighting Cock is its weekly podcast section, in which a number of its hosts gather up to discuss and analyze various issues on and off the football pitch. Not only does it provide excellent analysis of the matches played in between the podcast sessions, but it also brings in issues behind the scene that are likely to be overlooked by many others dedicated to the game of football. In one particular episode, the podcast hosts a couple of representatives of the “ENIC out” movement – a fan-based movement to drive out their financial management, the ENIC group, from maintaining control over Tottenham Hotspurs – to discuss the underlying reasons that such movement has come into fruition. From these reasons, including the increased ticket prices, unwillingness to keep their top players, and lack of communication between the management and the fanbase, the discussion raises the ultimate issue that has been popping up ever since the birth of football clubs – the danger of viewing them solely as a business.

  Such issues are heavily tied to arguably the most significant contribution the Fighting Cock has made to Tottenham Hotspurs fan community – its 1882 movement, a spirited effort to rejuvenate the atmosphere of their spectators reminiscent of the club’s year of foundation, 1882. As fans of the Spurs since the 80s or 90s, before the club went under financial management of the ENIC group, the hosts of the blog share a common desire to not only support the club and the players, but to maintain the spirit of the game of football as untarnished as possible by the external issue that plagues throughout the club. The Spurs’ fans have recently been described by many as disappointed and disillusioned by the profit-centered direction that the club has been going; articles and even interviews from the players and managers have been pointing out that the Spurs fans tend to remain silent as a match goes into a stalemate, booing at every mistake that their own players make. Through 1882 movement, the Fighting Cock intends to change such unhealthy trend by calling out such issues to the public, organizing trips for the groups of fans who share the same idea, and try to increase the atmosphere of the match as much as possible. Martin Cloake, a long-serving football journalist, describes the movement as “a new generation creating something and questioning the blandification of modern football”, and it is indeed rejuvenating to observe their movement both in and out of the stadium, a proper fan’s reaction to keep football as it is. More information about the 1882 movement can be found in the 1882 and the forum sections of the site.

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The 1882 Movement by the Fighting Cock
Attempts to Restore the Spirit of Football Spectatorship

  That is not to say that the Fighting Cock is short on its conventional articles and forum discussions; the blog posts regular articles in its blog section, and hosts discussions of various issues in and outside Tottenham Hotspurs in its forum section. Since these are run more from the members of the site than the blog hosts, the level of expertise or involvement in the content in these sections are not as pronounced as the podcast or the 1882 section. Nevertheless, the two sections contain their own share of intriguing perspectives of issues regarding the Spurs. One particularly interesting piece tells the potential debacle of the current team captain, Younnes Kaboul, focusing on a particular incident when he argues with his teammate Jan Vertonghen and Michelle Vorm, with the supporters chanting the names of the other two rather than the captain. The article points out the number of factors that have been leading up to the incident – how Kaboul has shown none of the ability or leadership skills since he was named captain at the start of this season; how he showed less emotion on the bench when his teammate scored a late goal; and how he might have attempted to stand up against the coaching methods of his current manager, Mauricio Pochettino; in the end, the author channels the frustrations of the fans towards Kaboul to his own, and concludes that there is little point keeping Kaboul in the club, both for the player’s and the club’s sake. Such personable approaches prevalent in the two sections are relatable to what all football fans in general feel about their respective supporting clubs, and in turn, make the content in these sections highly approachable in a different way.

Overall, the Fighting Cock is a solid blog, both for fans of Tottenham Hotspurs and for those of other football teams not based in London. Its contents are undeniably geared more towards the Spurs fans, and Arsenal fans would definitely not like what is said in the podcasts, but the level of maturity and passion that the blog aims to maintain in its contents and activities, as the lover of both the club and the game of football, makes the Fighting Cock one of the few blogs I would recommend football fans in general to regularly follow.

 

<External Links>

The Fighting Cock Main Page

http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/

“Emmanuel Adebayor Slams Tottenham Fans After Stoke Boos”
written by Nick Akerman, Bleacher Report

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2262192-emmanuel-adebayor-slams-tottenham-fans-after-stoke-boos

“Revealed: Tottenham Combatting Fan Group Trying to Improve Atmosphere”,
written by Daniel Taylor, the Guardian

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2013/dec/05/tottenham-fan-group-atmosphere

“Nineteen Eighty-Four”, The Fighting Cock Podcast Season 4, Ep. 15

http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/2014/11/s4e15-nineteen-eighty-four/

“The 1882 Movement”

http://www.thefightingcock.co.uk/1882-movement/

“The End of Kaboul”, written by BardiTFC

http://thefightingcock.co.uk/2015/01/the-end-of-kaboul/

One thought on “The Fighting Cock – Firm Holder of the Heart and Soul of Tottenham Hotspurs

  1. Robin Kinross

    Nice to see this blog recognized – it’s one of the best. One exceptional feature of the podcast that you could have mentioned is the weekly news section on Spurs’s youth teams and their players away from the club on loan (delivered by expert commentator Windy). It’s a recognition that this club, and football generally, consists of a lot more than just the first team.

    By the way, Tottenham Hotspur is the name of the club (single not plural). It’s abbreviated to Spurs, usually without a definite article. Hard to explain the logic here, but that’s how it goes.

    Reply

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