WHERE DOES OR SHOULD SUPPORTING THE ARSENAL RANK IN THE OVERALL PICTURE FOR ANY SINGLE FAN? by ken1945
Following on from Jon Fox’s last article, one of the things that came out of the discussions from said article, was the relevance of supporting our club and where it “should” feature in the everyday world we live in.
Some really thought-provoking points were made – global warming.. .ongoing famine… wars around the globe… other countries behaviour… the individuals within that country – in fact, it seems that football and it’s fans, were not able to see the bigger picture and should get their priorities in order…. just as it was over fifty years ago!!!
Now, for me, this holier than thou concept is like a red flag to a bull – and here’s why:
The Arsenal have given me countless years of pleasure, despair and everything in between.
From a very early age, going to Highbury and mixing with people from every walk of life and all with one passion, made me realise what following a club can give one.
I’ve sat next to, and listened to, a complete mix of individuals, learnt words that increased my vocabulary, sang with fellow supporters who I never knew and jumped around with joy when we scored.. .or moaned and bitched with when we lost, swearing never to come back, but knowing we would be at the next home game.
Two or three weeks later, there we were, chatting away as if we knew each other all our lives and talking about many varied things, but it was The Arsenal that held the connection to that friendship.
Even if we disagreed on, say, participating in ban the bomb marches (60’s protests!!) we had the one thing that was always destined to keep that bond… The Arsenal.
As I grew older and started a family, there were other priorities that became bigger issues, but The Arsenal never went away… so much so, that I inducted my two daughters into the family that is The Arsenal, much to my wife’s displeasure I should add!!!
During this time, I had to give up my season ticket for financial reasons and I felt I had betrayed what was, essentially, my first love/commitment – for those who cannot understand my feeling, don’t worry, as I really can’t fathom it out myself!!!!
Once I was able and willing to look further than the family’s health, wealth and stability, it was such a simple thing to step right back into supporting my club again… still knowing that there were wars, famine, corruption, etc, etc, in the world and I diligently cast my vote at every opportunity to try and make the world into the image that I saw as correct.
But why would that affect in any way, the time and money that I wanted to give to my club?
Why would that make me a lesser person, simply because I saw The Arsenal as my outlet once every week?
I don’t need people to tell me that there are other things more important, as I’ve lived through those years and they still exist, despite all the efforts of mankind to eradicate them.
I could sit at home, wringing my hands, go on more protest marches and give even more money to charities, half of which never reaches it’s intended victims anyway (AdPat comment- allegedly!) … or I could follow this “thing” called The Arsenal and use the emotions I have left (after my family and friends) supporting this club of ours.
I look at the latest meeting of the powerful leaders, here in Scotland, patting each other on the back as they try to clear up the mess that politicians have made – sitting around, dining on the very best money can buy – a room full of corruption – and I say to myself… ”Come on Ken, let’s get away from this pig’s trough and go and watch a game of football”.
I’m sick of being told to get my priorities right by others – I believe I have got my priorities right, and The Arsenal is as important to me as it was nigh on seventy years ago.
I leave you to decide what makes someone a supporter or a fan and what their priorities are or should be, and I’m not saying my way is the correct way, but please don’t tell me what I should be doing – and act like Mother Teresa while saying it.
Once a Gooner – Always a Gooner.