By Matt Giles
“It’s not cold outside and you are a guy. Why do you have a scarf on? What the hell is an ‘Emirate’ and why should I fly it? Is that part of Al Qaeda or something, boy?” My god, the fun conversations and questions I get at my office on game day. There is nothing like living in rural Oklahoma and supporting Arsenal. At times I feel like a foreigner because my red jersey isn’t crimson and cream with some shitty “O” and “U” on it. That’s okay though, because the looks of puzzlement and confusion I get at work are priceless. They just do not understand the passion of being a Gooner. I have had co-workers come and ask, with deep genuine concern, if I’m alright because they saw me throw my hands up, my head back and swear at my computer or they heard me cut my scream short after we score an exciting goal and I realize I’m at work and screaming in the office is looked down upon (apparently singing our anthems along with the fans at the game is not good office etiquette either, but screw them). I’ve followed other team in other sports and know that fans can be passionate for their team, but honestly this is a whole other level than anything I’ve supported before.
I’m proud to be a part of it. Any of you who have read my previous blogs know I am fairly new Arsenal supporter. I remember when I began cheering on the boys and then making the full-fledged decision to pick them as my team. It was great but frustrating. I came in at a pretty low time in our history, I feel. However, that was ok for me because I knew the tides would change and the mighty Arsenal would once again be that awesome force I had read about from previous seasons and I would have the knowledge that I supported them regardless. That is what I love about us Gooners. There is such pride and passion, an “all or nothing” sense that comes from us. There is no compromising our love for the club. Up or down, win or lose we support our club with everything that is in us. I do not know any one who supports Arsenal that isn’t this way. I know other guys that support other shit teams when they are doing well, but deny them and say they don’t care when the true shit form of these teams surface. This is absent with us because being a Gooner is just…well…awesome.
This season has been great so far. Sure we have had some bumps in the road and some losses that piss us off. But this season has been consistent and exciting to me. My favorite thing so far about this season, compared to previous ones, is the confidence I see from our boys as well as the fans. Finally, I can look at the upcoming fixtures and not stress because our team is that good that we should, and do, beat the opposition. Before, I just knew that we would blow some lead and draw or, even worse, lose to these middle and bottom teams. However, this season is different for me. Even if it’s not a beautiful victory we are fighting and getting our three points like we need to. We are holding our place on top of the table because it belongs to us. I love to see the fight and energy our boys bring to the pitch. It’s exciting to see Rosicky, Flamini, BFG, and the others fight for what is ours to win. And holy shit has anyone noticed that kid Gnabry? I’m very excited to see this kid develop!
So as we press through the back half of the seasons do not soften your songs. Whether you are at the pub with other supporters, cheering at home alone, or getting strange looks at the office for cheering loudly and proudly, remember what it means to be a Gooner! COYG!!!
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!