A tailgate party seems a rather bizarre thing to do.
Driving up to a sports stadium. Opening the boot of your car. Cooking and drinking in a car park before the game starts. It has all the joy of an afternoon’s countryside walk in the rain.
Which is why I struggled to get my head around the scenes at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, last Saturday.
Having watched that godawful dross Spurs served up, my natural inclination was to bolt for the door as soon as the ref’s final whistle went. But as we edged ever so slowly up the stairs – my companion leaned in closely and said:
“One for the road?”
Never one to refuse, I assumed this meant a return visit to an early scene of the crime. How wrong I could have been. Instead I was taken deeper in to the bowels of the very stadium I was trying to escape from. There, to my amazement – were thousands of other people with nowhere else to go.
To my left, the longest bar in Europe, was 10 deep of people chasing the sweet relief of another pint. In front of me – food outlets of ever-changing styles – enveloped by the throng of people wanting delights such as chicken by the box.
Was it Chripy they were eating?
Further ahead was the Beavertown Microbrewey – kit glistening like it had never seen a drop of beer. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a server centre, rammed with enough compute power to bring a country to its knees. Where on earth was I?
My head started to spin a little, and not just because of the alcohol in my hand.
Is this what following a struggling, mid table football team has become? To rant and moan for 90 minutes, before letting off those developed levels of steam in the club you have just been moaning about?
I can see the benefits. Decent grub, good quality beer and the promise of live music as you waited for White Hart Lane or Bruce Grove to empty. But then they didn’t. The train was still packed as we left an hour later than the result dictated we should have.
Chances are, there will be clubs up and down the length of the country watching this Spurs Experiment. In the same way a team of consultants went around taking the best bits, from the very best stadia around the world. To bring back to glamorous North London.
We had to wait an extra year for the stadium. A year which then bore the fruits many of the fans were enjoying, long after we had left.
But you may want to ask yourself a simple question. Will your club having a bigger bar, really make up for the 90 minutes of football you just watched?
I know my answer – but then, that would be a little regressive – if not a bit offensive for your eyes.