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!