Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Early Season Limerick Review

Our coffers, so flush full of cash,
Boasted Ivan, "We've oodles to splash,"
Left Gonzo in the night,
For a racist who bites,
And got neither, once again -- hopes dashed

A winnable fixture to start,
A quick goal was nothing but art,
"Put your faith in the boss,"
But two yellows for Kos,
One-to-three, this team's bad for my heart

Hopping a flight east to Turkey,
Where we really made rather light work-y,
With their squad off the pace,
Fener just kicked some face,
And frankly, I find that quite jerky

Off a loss to Villa, three-to-one,
The ever-tricky “at Fulham”,
Lucky break to Giroud,
Poldi then tacked on two,
And no, guys, that wasn’t Robson

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Arsenal 5:2 Tottenham (Again!): The Drama of Sport

BOBBY HILL
Is it okay that I don't feel
like I want to live anymore?

HANK HILL
Yes, Bobby, that's normal.

* * * * *

Team sports are senseless. The ability to throw a ball through a hoop, or kick one between some sticks better than anyone else is, at its core, an ability without any real value in a purely human need sense, despite many fans' resistance to such blasphemy. As somebody who cares so much about a bunch of strangers' collective ability in these fields, I can see the argument and admit it. Sports only mean anything because we allow them to mean something. What those who argue against the intrigue of spectator sports often fail to grasp, however, is that sports only mean anything because we allow them to mean something. And we allow them to mean a lot, and that is why they are so special. With every kick of the ball, countless humans around the world experience the latest plot twist in a truly unscripted drama in which even the characters don't know what's ahead. The fact that the wave of emotions is being dictated by what is ultimately an arbitrary set of rules and goals does not change the fact that those actions have very real consequences to the untold masses, and that with those consequences comes higher tension and drama than I've ever experienced in even the best works of entertainment fiction.

Sports have brought me some of the highest highs and the lowest lows I've ever experienced and that is in no way to say I've led a life without personal happiness or sadness. It's simply that once you've jumped into the wild world that is sport, there're so few "real" opportunities to invest so much into wanting something for which there is never a grey result at the time of reckoning. The decades of bitter disappoints hurt, and it never gets easier, but man, after you've spent 5, 10, 20+ years wanting something so bad and coming up short time and time again, it's hard to match the feeling when suddenly you have it. The ability to win a game may not really mean anything, but it's certainly not meaningless.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Arsenal 0:2 Schalke 04 - Wherein "Cover Your Damned Heads, the Sky is Falling!"

Arsenal took on Schalke '04 in their third group stage match of this season's Champions League today, going down 2-0 on a pair of second half goals. It was not a good performance. On the weekend they lost on the road to Norwich City, the Canaries' first win of the season no-less, 1-0. It was not a good performance. In fact, you could go so far as to say Arsenal's post interlull performance has been downright rotten. But I don't want to talk about today's game, I want to talk about how we as a fanbase react to such poor showings. It is not a good performance.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

West Ham United 1:3 Arsenal -- Fun With Things Commentators Think

So, due to a stroke of good luck, the first match since my decision to finally get around to starting this blog was one which went well, sparing the displeasure (for the time being) of letting the titular blue out in full force. There's few downs as down as a loss to a weaker side heading into the interlull, and thanks to a strong game from most of our side, that's not a problem we'll have to worry about. Mannone continues to put unsafe amounts of strain on my heart every time he's forced to react to a cross into the box, and the team seemed to be shell-shocked for about 10 minutes following West Ham's against-the-grain goal to snatch the lead, but otherwise all was well in Arsenal's world. Santi Cazorla scored a lovely curler, Theo brought his finishing boots to tuck home the winner off a lovely Olivier Giroud pass, and the big Frenchman "finally" got his first goal in a proper competition that people can be bothered to pretend to care about. With all that noted, there's no shortage of detailed and fantastic game recaps to be found online, so rather than a standard point-by-point, I'd like to take a look at some wonderful things commentators think about Arsenal that were on display this week, despite minor hang-ups like them not being true.