By Scott C. Mossman
I find myself a delightfully distracted Gooner this morning. We’ve waited months (maybe years) to see a signing of the sort of Mesut Ozil to walk onto the pitch wearing the famous red shirt with white sleeves and now we’re off to see the wizard. However, the feeling is different this morning. Usually, after an international break, Sooner Gooners are anxiously awaiting the Premier League weekend. This morning? After last night? It is 12 years on, to the day, since the towers fell in New York City and, once again, we Americans are a part of something bigger than ourselves and can feel proud as a nation standing together. For the seventh consecutive time, our USMNT boys have led us to the world’s biggest stage. While the chants of “dos a cero” echo around in our heads let’s take into account the bigger picture. This country has turned a corner in regards to the beautiful game. Average attendance in MLS is higher than the NBA, NBC has dropped a quarter of a billion dollars to broadcast the Premier League, and ESPN is about to unload World Cup 2014 coverage on any person with eyes and ears. New fans are being bred and more will follow after next summer. Anyone already along for the ride is witnessing the most rapid sporting growth in the United States and joining a kind of sporting atmosphere unrivaled by any other.
I suppose you could say the bigger picture is the recognition we are in the middle of the most exciting times of American soccer history. It is amazing that in a country of such established sporting culture there is an uprising of interest by the millions. The overnight rating for the Gold Cup final (the mickey mouse/no Confederations Cup implications version, mind you) two months ago was a record breaking 1.7. The second biggest overnight rating for a soccer match on Fox ever! The future for Arsenal Football Club doesn’t look too terrible either after the club shattered its record transfer fee, finally showing some big buy ambition not seen since Dennis Bergkamp (God) was brought in.
As for the yellow brick road, Oz seems to be the culmination of separately placed passions. Oz is Brazil. Oz is North London. Oz is Mesut Ozil. The road now turns to Sunderland, England (now home to fellow yank, Jozy Altidore) this weekend with our glistening, golden signing in front of us and Brazil in the distance. I am committed to this road and these passions and the future when I will see them come crying out in what are sure to be the kind of moments that a lifetime is remembered by. We’ve all started this journey at different stops on the road, but we all march together now. Red army, Sam’s army, whatever. We’ve got Mesut Ozil and we are going to Brazil. We’re certainly not in Kansas anymore.
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!