By Jonathan Blaustein
“Look at the clock. Keep the faith. You never know. But a third for Arsenal… and surely curtains. (pause.) And there it is! Mertesacker!” The other Fox announcer. (Not Stuart Robson)
It’s Monday afternoon, Mountain Standard Time. Outside, the blue skies have shaded gray, as a Monsoon storm approaches from the West. The field of extinct volcanoes, out my door, reaches up to grab the walking rain, always welcome here in the high desert.
Sage bushes soak up water, voracious, like a drunk at the pub. The wet air soothes my lungs, still hoarse from shouting at the television screen two days ago. I’m sure you were out of your mind with excitement too. Right?
Yesterday, under what appeared to be a far more menacing weather pattern, Londoners and Gooners alike danced through the streets, following an open-topped, red bus like cultists, celebrating the genius of a tall, skinny dude from Alsace.
Long live the king!
And, just like that, another season is done and dusted. (Who says a Yank from the boonies can’t appropriate some English slang?)
We’ve reached the end, and I’m not entirely sure how I’ll go two months without any more football. At least there’s Chile to root for in the Copa America. (Don’t get hurt, Alexis, you magnificent bastard.)
It’s been a pleasure to step from the ranks of the silent masses, and contribute to this blog over the 2014-15 season. I appreciate the opportunity to pitch in and attempt to add value to this, my favorite Arsenal blog.
Have I done so?
I’m not sure, really. The submissions never came pouring in, but always managed to pop up at the last minute. Just when I thought there’d be no column, some Gooner from a far flung corner of Earth would email me a picture, and I’d try to write something witty and/or intelligible about it, while sharing my opinions on the state of the club.
Looking back, I was vindicated by adopting a stance of guarded optimism. I called myself the voice of reason, and reason prevailed. Trophy delivered, no horrendous performances, (save Monaco at home,) and a very likable team came together before our eyes.
We saw pictures of cute kids, yes, and I got the chance to whip out my wicked Jose Mourinho impression. But it’s hard to feel vital here, as Tim does such a good job with his analysis, the London guys actually report from the games, and Naveen just knows a ton of shit.
Where do I fit in? Good question. I haven’t exactly figured that out, so we’ll see if there’s motivation come August.
That said, I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, and am thrilled to have been the recipient of emails from people like Sean Thum, in Malaysia.
We ended up, unexpectedly, having a few guys submit multiple times, becoming almost a group of regulars. (Norm!) So May would have come and gone, but on the 30th, Sean sent in a picture of his buddies, screaming at a big screen, while the FA cup was lifted.
How could we not publish that? What better visual could there be for why this football club inspires the Global joy and loyalty it does?
It’s not escaped my notice that long-time fans think newbies are a breed apart. (The JV fans, if you will.) I don’t blame them. Relationships like these take years to build, to gain the subtlety of flavor. But for me, the rise from AVB’s negative spiral to this sort of savored, unlabored victory?
Totally. Fucking. Awesome.
So thank you, 7am kickoff readers. Thank you, Tim. And thanks to the photographers who took the time to share their world with the rest of us.
As we say out here in the Wild West, much obliged.