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Jasmine: Men, Women & Our Love For Football

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 Credit: Mike Hewitt /Allsport

Credit: Mike Hewitt /Allsport

This post was inspired by Thierry Henry who I had a childhood crush on. I saw a picture of him at Wimbledon and he is still as cute as ever. It brought back memories of the Arsenal I knew and loved that consisted of other greats like: Pires, Reyes, Bergkamp, Viera, Campbell, Ljumberg,Lehman, A.Cole, K. Toure, G. Silva, R.V. Persie, Edu, Wiltord. This team, plus a few others, is the reason why we loved arsenal.

We weren’t allergic to silverware back then. I recall the season we went undefeated for 49 games until Manchester United threw a wrench in the works. Those were the days of the INVINCIBLES. I remember us losing Champion’s league in 2006 to Barcelona with great sadness. I was preparing for a major exam the following day, so in between reading in my room, I would dash out to the living room whenever I heard my Dad yelling at the TV so I could catch some of the action.

Now, men and women love football differently. Some women are loyal to a team because their significant other is a fan. They may become invested along the way or just go along for the ride, claiming to be a Chelsea fan whilst thinking the team is managed by Louis van Gaal and their home is Emirates. *rolling my eyes*

There are others who watch just so they can ogle Cristiano Ronaldo (CR7) and swoon over his abs whenever he takes off his shirt.

And then, there are others who start watching because of a crush, end up becoming invested in the team and wouldn’t give them up for anyone or reason – people like me. You guys remember Atlanta 96, and how fantastic Papilo (Kanu Nwankwo) was, well I started following him in the papers after that. I read he was signed on by Arsenal, decided to start watching their games, realised my dad was a Gunner too and then I met Henry and promptly dumped Nwankwo (these girls ain’t loyal…. Chris Brown, na you sabi). I had tears in my eyes when he played his last game for Arsenal. These days, I will confess I’m not an ardent fan, but in my heart, I will always be a Gunner. Infact, top on my bucket list is to watch a game at Emirates. British embassy, please note.

As for men and football; that is true love, passion, dedication, sacrifice. I know only one woman who loves football this much. They will trek for miles to find a viewing center, have heated discussions on the subject, fights have even broken out on account of football. When my Dad is watching a match, you could do anything and get away with it, because all he will see and hear for ninety minutes is that game on TV. I swear an earthquake could occur and if the spot where he is seated is spared, together with the TV, he wouldn’t notice. I’m sure we all know at least one person who is this obsessed.

This is for the love of the beautiful game and the men and women who love it. Special cheers to the Gunners in the house!

Jasmine is a medical doctor and wife who loves to read, surf the web and experience new things. Writing about her observations, thoughts and life experiences is a passion that has led her to maintain a personal blog atwww.jazzandzara.blogspot.com. She would love to someday host her own talk show.

38 Comments

  1. Drknite

    December 28, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Looking at the picture, I would have thought this article was about American Football. #LFC #YWNWA

    • Ashley

      December 28, 2015 at 5:52 pm

      Ode ni e there’s only one football that Yankee sport ain’t no football. Then you now go on and mention Lfc. Odeshi. Kikikiki

    • Eve82

      December 28, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      Another Kop in the house. #YNWA

    • *curious*

      December 28, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      yelz…i thought the same.

  2. Rrrrrrr

    December 28, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Man United, oooohhhhh, My love for the club started with Beckham, David Beckham. As young as 13 I think( not sure) I saw an ad he did with cindy Crawford and that’s how the love started. Now he is gone from the team but am still Loyal to the Club. Till thy Kingdom come. Manchester United for life.

  3. star

    December 28, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    For me I had to love football, I have 5 brothers,plus my best friend is a guy who also loves football. I join my brothers out to game centres or bars even at night for certain matches. I have my teams jersey too. I’m such a football lover that even my male friends ask me for time of some matches, or scores, or cup draws. My brothers and i have arguments about football that could last hours sef. My mum hates that I watch football with my brothers all the time, she would prefer I spend that time with her.
    My friends think I’m crazy to love football this much.lemme give a shout out to my team #FCB

  4. chi-e-z

    December 28, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Arsenals fans go sit somewhere jor…. Coming from a bitter ManU fan rn

    • Jasmine

      December 28, 2015 at 9:31 pm

      lol…. We love you too.

  5. Missy J

    December 28, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    #TeamChelsea #TeamMourinho. All thanks to my brothers.
    I enjoy watching and talking about it.

    • chi-e-z

      December 28, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      but Mourinho is gonee boo…him team done mess am up hehehe na so bros don get kicked out I mean really though how Chelsea take dey rank 16th 4 premiere league haba… seem like ManU players tryin 2 pull the same thing G-d hope them no embarrass me finish like that now. I don die for Arsenal fans hands wit them abuse… anyways let’s just all talk about how sexy sturridge is thinking of pulling into team Liverpool 4 him sef 😀 … nah can’t just leave ManU like that but seriously contemplating…

    • Missy J

      December 29, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Lol… I know right!! Chelsea has been awful this season even with Mourinho but Mourinho and I have got this special connection. I’m a big fan of this talent and accomplishments. By 2016 they go induct am into Guinness book of record.
      Hehehe.. See them, plastic fans. Because of boy you want to abandon your club but leave some of these players are fine for Africa and their hair game is tight.

  6. Ello Bae

    December 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Jasmine you are spot on. I loved that Arsenal team with Thierry, Van Persie, Bergkamp, Vierra, Ashley Cole and others. I remember crying when we lost out of that Championship. We were down by one goal before the final whistle. We were determined to equalize after loosing the first leg but alas, it was not to be. I cried so hard that my mom asked me if they would pay me for my tears. My best memory of my team is the 2001-2002 season when we won the premiership and the FA cup followed by 2003.
    Like you, I am just an arsenal fan at heart now. I have almost completely lost faith in the present team and I just check to see where we are in the table. I cannot come and go and kill myself. After all this season is up for grabs! If Leicester , who were in the second division, can beat some of the best teams and top the table with Chelsea hanging on for dear life, then it’s free for all. Another team i miss is Bolton. The English Premiership is not the same as it was. That being said, I will always and forever remain a Gunner. #gunnerforlife

    • Ello Bae

      December 28, 2015 at 6:33 pm

      Losing*

    • Jasmine

      December 28, 2015 at 9:37 pm

      Ah!!! That was my best season too. Like you, I just check the table and catch highlights whenever I can. They’ve broken my heart so many times, ain’t nothing left to break. But, we have got to be the most loyal fans sha.

  7. Tunmi

    December 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    I didn’t get into football because of my dad or brothers. It was probably from watching the Olympics or the world Cup. I’m not a fan of league teams, more of national teams. There is just something about football that is so beautiful. It’s the chemistry, the physics and the mechanics that all come into play on the field.

  8. Firstofall

    December 28, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    First of all American football is the best. I think I am too attached. When my team loses, I can’t sleep. Breaks my heart

    • chi-e-z

      December 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Who you rooting for? I want Falcons ofcourse but dem don already fall my hand so guess I’m switching to default Patriots but Green bay Parkers seem to be doing good. And Lions just came outta nowhere to become super underdog champios of the year.

  9. Elvis

    December 28, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Reading this article, it seems as if I am the one writing it, you just told my story!, the only difference is that I had no exam the next day during our Champions league final in 2006, I was actually in SS2 then in a boarding school, I watched that match from a Teacher’s window that resides in the staff quarters inside the school premises.

    Gunners forever, this articles brings back some nostalgia feeling in me, Man U actually wrecked our 49 matches unbeaten with a 1 goal win.. U damn right and thanks!

    • Jasmine

      December 28, 2015 at 9:39 pm

      You’re welcome!!! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.

  10. Nikky

    December 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    I followed Mikel Obi’s career after that wonderful performance at the world youth championship in 2005. When it became clear that he was going to play for Chelsea I started watching Chelsea games regularly. I realized I was not following the club because of Mikel anymore I just fell in love with the club. As a Chelsea fan this season has been beyond heart breaking but I still can’t give up on them.

    • chi-e-z

      December 28, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      hehehe Chelsea fans una still dey 😀

    • Jasmine

      December 28, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      Behave, chi-e-z. Don’t be mean. @ Nikky: Keep rooting for your team.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  11. sultana

    December 28, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I feel this is partially my story too. I started actively watching football from Atlanta 96. One blessed Saturday afternoon, I tuned to nta and they were showing a game. Arsenal was top of the table and man u was second. I decided to support man u cos I love the underdog. The next week, 4 PM I was in front of the tv . Arsenal was number 2 and man u 1. I switched allegiance and have not looked back since then except cos arsenal wanted to give people heart attack, me, I jump and pass. One cannot afford to put one’s heart in arsenals hand. I cannot go and come and die biko 🙂
    But arsenal in its glory days was my team. I had a crush on Dennis Bergkamp and even started keeping cut outs of interviews with him. Emmanuel petit, Marc overmars, Tony Adams, were my guys. Soccer was like a soap opera for moi and many guys wondered how a female could love and enjoy soccer all on her own.

    That champions league loss to Barcelona was painful jor, but arsenal fans are used to such disappointment.

    On a lighter note, used to think arsenal belonged to arsene wenger cos of the similarities. Really miss those days, watched the loss to Southampton a couple days ago and don’t miss that feeling abeg.

    Loved this article!

  12. Isabella Akinseye

    December 28, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Gunner 4 life. I caught the bug in 2004 while babysitting for my cousins. My uncle was and still is a die-hard fan and ever since I have stuck to them like white on rice. I remember watching Champions League finals too and those men (not boys) that used to play for Arsenal. One word. LEGENDARY.

  13. ayi

    December 29, 2015 at 12:30 am

    Jasmine thank you for this article…. I love arsernal,would forever be a gunner….I remember those days of prizes bergkamp but you forgot to mention seaman and Ray parlour..everyone in my family gunner fan plus mum too(we have managed to convert some cousins to gunner camp.Lol).still crushing on thierry henry

  14. ayi

    December 29, 2015 at 12:32 am

    *pires and bergkamp

  15. Flemzy

    December 29, 2015 at 12:37 am

    Jasmine, you didn’t mention Thierry’s return to Arsenal then in 2012, and that Goal immediately he came on the field. I think the match was against Leeds FC. I screamed and screamed like I just won the lottery: “the King was back”.
    Jasmine, we are ‘sisters’ on so many levels. I too had a huge crush on Henry, well at least now it’s less. Started watching Arsenal matches because of him. Those Henry, Pires and Vierra days enh, the team had fine guys, plus they were good. Became addicted. That unbeaten run was pure bliss. During that period mum went to London, see me begging her to go to Arsenal Shop. She did and brought me an Arsenal Teddy. Just lost it last year when I moved.
    As for that champions league loss in 2006 hmmm, felt it in my heart that we would most likely lose, nevertheless still travelled home from school to watch it. It was a sad night to say the least. Just a fan at heart too now.
    Future plans as regards Arsenal: take a picture with that Henry’s statue at the entrance of Emirates.
    You are also my sister in practicing by the “Hippocratic Oath”.

  16. MJ

    December 29, 2015 at 12:46 am

    My love for the game started during the fifa under 20 tournament in holland. I remember crushing on Mikel obi that I followed the tournament to the very end and when he won the silver boot I was full of smiles. LOL. I have stopped crushing on him (the reason is obviou) but he made me love the game. I still crush on walcot. C Ronaldo is bae for life! I just love love dem footballers so I follow the game. LOL

  17. Ba

    December 29, 2015 at 2:15 am

    I got endear to ManU because of David Beckham most especially. I used to get thrill watching those amazing free kicks cum free goals. I always get move and observe how he did it, measure it accuracy. Nisterrol the finisher also added to my love. That’s how I gradually began my journey as a ManU fan. Fan for life.

  18. therealerniemac

    December 29, 2015 at 3:52 am

    You guys do realize that ManU is sacrilegious!!
    Please say Man Utd next time,we’re sensitive with that stuff….cheerio

  19. Evans

    December 29, 2015 at 4:12 am

    I started supporting Arsenal in 2005 (just after we won the FA cup the previous year) so it took another 9 years to have a feel of what it means for your team to win a trophy, sad!

    I visited the Emirates twice in two days in 2014 (first ever visit), first day was for a tour and I watched Arsenal play Man United the other day. What fixture can be better than that? Sadly we lost 1-2 to a depleted Man United side after spending £90 for a ticket! Despite the loss the experience was incredible.

  20. Al

    December 29, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Jasmine, thanks for the memory(F Sinatra) ;I cried my heart out that night in Paris when we lost to Barca in the Champs finals having flown in from Lagos. Ozils goal against Bmourth yday was sublime ,enough to forgive the Sunderland loss as we’re now top of the league! Wengers loyalty to champagne soccer yet maintaining top 4 in the BPL over the years inspite of some truly infuriating losses, sustains our love hate relationship but nevertheless endears him to most Gunners! Or would you rather drown in a …sea of gin or dine with the red devils ? A Galling thought!

    • C'est la vie.

      December 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      It was Southampton not Sunderland.

  21. Ama

    December 29, 2015 at 8:23 am

    I loved Arsenal, I love Arsenal still. I would go to the viewing centre to see games. I remember falling ill when Michael Owen did Arsenal in at the FA Cup final in 2001, as in I was too sick to go to work. I am one of those few ladies who genuinely love football, not because I try to tag along with some dude. I am the only female child so it’s sort of understandable. I can’t recall how many Arsenal friends I made in traffic, once I spot an Arsenal sticker on your car, I must “give you road” to pass o. But the Arsenal of Vieira (mad crush on that guy), Dennis Bergkamp, Pires, Henry is not quite the Arsenal of today. And my love of Arsenal finally paid off, I met my husband in traffic and what triggered a conversation was the Arsenal sticker we both had on our cars. Forever a Gooner!

    • Feelitx

      December 29, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      So Sweet.

  22. dando

    December 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

    D first football tournament I watched was usa94, but really caught d football fever in 2002, that’s when I first saw puyol play his strength, determination was what attracted me to FCB n d fact they were underdogs to real madrid back then. #teamFCB

  23. de

    December 29, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Wonderful write up…”girls ain’t loyal got me laughing hard” thank u for ds piece. Hop yo read more from you.

  24. Feelitx

    December 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Spot On. Very Hilarious too.

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