Hello fellow Gooners!
I’m Mike, an Arsenal supporter who lives in Connecticut (U.S.A) and may be known to some of you as “GunnerGriff” on MySpace or “mikeg28” on Soccernet. Like some others on WordPress and/or the Web who have decided on starting up regular blogs focusing on The Arsenal, I’ve also made the jump to begin such an adventure.
A writer/editor and (more recently) graphic designer by trade, I figured it’s past time for me to do so. I guess my excuse for not beginning a site or blog up until now leans toward that tendency among people to somehow seek a clean break from the toils of their profession when pursuing interests and activities in their free time, not feeling a need to carry work-related issues or tasks over into their leisure.
But through the years, my interest in and passion for Arsenal Football Club has grown to such a point that it’s overtaken any and all other interests for me. I grew up much more of a fanatic for college basketball with some interest in international soccer, and began following Arsenal in the mid-1990s, with the arrival of Dennis Bergkamp at the club and the French contingent in the following years (and the double-winning side in 1998) being the events that established the Gunners as my favorite club.
While many in the U.S. pay little attention to world soccer, the growth of the Internet and the emergence of a few “soccer-only” television channels have been a godsend for those of us who follow and appreciate the “beautiful game” here. I now wake up to a daily reading of a couple Arsenal-related blogs and in the past decade have switched from ESPN as my channel of choice to Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta for daily viewing. This has allowed me to become fully immersed in the soccer (football) leagues in England and Europe, yet I’ve seen no other team in the world play such a stylish and attractive brand of football as Arsene Wenger’s side.
I’m sure most other Gooners feel that way about the club, which has brought much joy for us throughout the years but has also caused some sorrow and frustration in more recent seasons. It may seem strange to some in England, but there are club supporters elsewhere in the world — even here in the U.S. — who “live and die with their club.” And lately, for me, I have come to understand and embody the feelings and behaviors described by Nick Hornby throughout his novel “Fever Pitch.” I guess it’s telling that I own a DVD copy of that film — the original British version with Colin Firth portraying Hornby during that memorable season twenty years ago, not the lame Hollywood remake starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.
Anyway, I guess my point here is that, like the author, my daily attitude and outlook seems to mirror the fortunes of Arsenal at the time. It’s surely confusing to the people around me here in Connecticut who know of Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon but probably have no idea of who Cesc Fabregas or Robin van Persie are, but my personal feelings and emotions are tied to the happenings related to this Arsenal squad half a world away in North London.
I’ll be putting my thoughts and feelings into words on this site while hoping to provide a unique perspective, as not many Americans follow the sport or a club so passionately from this side of “the pond.”
Look for a blog update just about daily from me, concerning all things Arsenal — whether it’s some thoughts/reaction on recent matches, player transfers, or the club’s plan to expand its reach and its following here in The States. So, drop by regularly to check out my view on things, to comment on the site or the Gunners, or explore more on the site (which I plan to add in the coming days and months).
And, finally . . . Let’s Go Gunners!