August 11th 2017
Today, Barclays came back with a bang. The 2017/18 football season began under the Friday night lights with Arsenal against Leicester at Emirates Stadium. It’s been six weeks since the last season finished, and I’ve been counting down the days. It didn’t disappoint.
I text Alice this morning saying “Football is back tonight!” and she got angry and said something along the lines of “No. Please. I hate it. It’s just men kicking a ball around. Who even gives a fuck?”
Me. I do!
My team, Arsenal, scored within ninety seconds, and all of the waiting was worth it because football was back and Arsenal were winning and then the other team, Leicester, scored. Then Leicester scored again, and Arsenal were losing and I was sad and I wished the summer break was back already, but then Arsenal scored again and there was hope.
A little slither of promise that this next nine months of football might lead to something gre– oh fuck Leicester scored again. 3-2 down. 50 minutes in. First day of the season. I don’t know why I bother. Alice doesn’t understand how I can get so angry about football. And honestly, I don’t either. It really does infuriate me, and I am not an emotional man.
I was angry and sad, but I was still kind of hopeful. Because it’s the first day of the season and it’s Arsenal and it’s Barclays, and Barclays is bonkers, and with 5 minutes to go Aaron Ramsey scored to make it 3-3, and I was on my feet. I was up. I was shouting. Alice was upstairs, probably sleeping, probably scared by the shouts from the living room. And then Giroud scored the winner for Arsenal. 87th minute. 4-3. I was up again. I scared the hamster. I dropped my laptop. I was up. I was gone.
Football is fucking mad. Non-football fans don’t understand it, and I don’t know how to explain it.
I’m smart enough to know that I have no control over the outcome of that game, so why bother getting upset about it?
No film, TV show, or operatic performance has ever given me the ride of emotions that I’ve just experienced over the last ninety minutes. It was absolutely mental.
It’s just a game, right? Except it’s not. It’s Barclays, and it’s Bonkers, and it’s Aaron Ramsey, and it’s Arsenal FC.
Until tomorrow, it’s Arsenal FC.