Monday, August 08, 2011

Tottenham: Peek a Jew

So, here are some UK and soccer related facts I learned over the weekend:

(1) There is actually a place in the world called Tottenham. Its north of London... or perhaps part of London? Hard to tell. Wikipedia calls it "an area of the London Borough of Haringey," but I'm not sure if this means its like Forest Hills (i.e. part of the NYC borough of Queens) or something else.

(2) Totenham, whatever it is,  has its very own soccer team. They are called the "Hot Spurs." Though you might think this name is somehow related to flamboyantly gay cowboys, it is in fact connected to Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland. Apparently his neighborhood bullies reffered to him sneeringly as  "Harry Hotspur" and for reasons unknown the local soccer team chose to rub it in.

(3) The Hot Spurs have loads of Jewish fans.  Here is what Wikipedia says "The club, as with many clubs in London, has a large Jewish following and this has led to much anti-semitic provocation against Tottenham supporters. Tottenham supporters, Jewish and non-Jewish, united against this and adopted the nickname "Yids" (and variations, such as "Yid Army"), developing chants to support this"(!)

(4) The people of Tottenham have recently been rioting against the police. Same old story. After someone of questionable innocence was killed by a cop, the people disapproved and chose to demonstrate their firm commitment to justice by looting and setting things on fire. Apparently this familiar dance started last Friday night, but because it occurred in the UK, no one found out about it until this morning.

(5) Some of the  Chasidim of Tottenham have found themselves in the middle of the riots. As my crack London correspondent put it: Those idiots went along to watch the riots and got caught up. Makes perfect sense. If you have no TV, what else are you supposed to do for entertainment? It's also possible some were hoping to pick up a few tips that they could bring back to riot-happy Jerusalem, but that's not verified. In any event, the crack London correspondent has provided some video of Hasidim running for their lives, and someone else pointed me to video of Jews handing out challah on the streets of Tottenham.  See it after the jump.

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