January 14th 2018
Today I began to question my previously unwavering support of Arsenal Football Club. They lost again today, but this isn’t a blog about football, it’s a blog about me, so I won’t go into the details of Arsenal’s current slump in form, management, ownership, etc, but I will go into how all of that makes me feel.
And what all that makes me feel is… nothing.
Arsenal are absolutely shambolic on and off the field at the moment, but I’m not beyond the point of caring. As Arsenal become worse and worse, football is becoming less and less interesting to me. I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. I don’t enjoy watching it, and I don’t enjoy the between-games ‘following it’ aspect. It’s just all a lot of unneeded and unwanted stress, without any of the pleasure of what it’s supposed to be: entertainment.
An Arsenal loss used to completely ruin my day, or my week, whereas now it’s more of an inconvenience — something that I’ve learnt to get over very quickly because the next loss comes only three days later.
To be honest, it’s not so much the losing that I mind, it’s the fact that the football I commit so much of my life to watching is no longer entertaining.
One reason I’ve always followed Arsenal is because they, historically, play entertaining, creative, beautiful attacking football. It’s been described, at times, as poetry in motion. An artform. Nowadays it’s still artful, but is more a piece of modern/contemporary art where someone has taken a shit in the middle of a room and a crowd of people stand around the turd trying to figure out what the meaning of it all is.
Sorry for the vulgarity of that image, but it was deserved.
I commit a lot of my week to watching football. There’s usually three games to watch, plus all the interviews and media stuff that I consume throughout the week. It’s not unreasonable to expect a little entertaining return on my investment.
To properly compare it to entertainment… this year, football is like Scrubs series nine. All the same people are there, and you’ll still watch it because you always have, but something is not quite right. It’s draining, and forced, and not really enjoyable any more. But you carry on watching it more out of loyalty than anything.
Is that a resonant metaphor?
There was a time in the not too distant past where I didn’t follow football at all. Between 2008ish and 2012 I’d stopped my obsession with Arsenal. It was only when I got to University that I started following football again. Honestly, I’m considering going back to my pre-Uni phase of football disassociation.
Until tomorrow, I’m just losing interest, fast.