Gunners and Basement Expectations

Sports have been the most important part of my life for as long as I can remember. There is something about professional competition that ignites my passion like almost nothing else out there can.

  • The roar of excitement after multiple people get concussions-er I mean a fumble is lost. 
  • A chorus of fans, including children, singing a German polka about getting drunk,
  • Stephen A Smith sounding like a gear shifting in your Trans-Am

All of these are things that pique my interest, and sarcasm aside, there is nothing I love more in this world than sport...that is until I became an Arsenal fan. I was never really into soccer until about 2014 when one of my roommates told me I should pick a team in the English Premier League to cheer for, so naturally with no research other than statistics on my copy of FIFA 2001 for the PS1, I decided to cheer for Arsenal FC based out of North London.

My experiences since becoming an Arsenal fan (or as we call ourselves, The Gooners) are as follows:

  1. Regularly starting the season with high hopes and fantastic dreams, only to lose to teams that spend half as much on players every year as Arsenal.
  2. Constant "will he-won't he" on whether Arsene Wenger, who was once called by a fellow manager a specialist in failure, will leave/retire/get fired.
  3. Players consistently threatening to leave and saying they are unhappy at Arsenal due to lack of trophies.
  4. Stan Kroenke being the owner of the team I cheer for. You know, the same guy who moved the Rams back to L.A.?
  5. Piers Morgan being a fellow supporter.

As you can see, all of these are not things anybody with a sane mind would ever put up with, but all the same I still soldier on, ever steadfast in my newfound fandom for a team that plays 12 hours away. Some other time I'll get into the ridiculous traumatic experience that is being a fan of a franchise that has no hope of winning in the next 5 years (here's a hint: the city rhymes with "Shmicago" and the front office is synonymous with "dumpster fire"). I'm used to cheering for teams that win Super Bowls, Big Ten titles, and occasionally have a mustache man slide down a big slide, however Arsenal have beaten my expectations so low that I've finally come to grips with the fact that they'll never do anything of consequence, never bring in players of elite caliber, and may not lift a major trophy for another 13 years.

The disappointment. The celebration of mediocrity. Whatever the hell this is. All of it is a cold and lonely feeling.

Until next time, sports fans.

Ben SchwindComment