Today, on Mozart's birthday (thank you, Google), I am going to talk about football.
There were at least two things wrong with that sentence, but no, you weren't imagining it. I'll allow you time to re-arrange your reading glasses on your noggin and to wipe that ridicilous grin off your face.
You see, Timo, my gorgeous half-Finn, half-Northern Irish love, is an avid football fan. Luckily not in the Eeeeeenglaaaaand-beer-bellied-going-out-to-get-smashed-wiv-the-lads-way, but rather, in that Fever Pitch-a-tad-obsessed-about-club-football-specifically-about-Arsenal-way.
Which, to a person like me, previously uneducated about these important differences, and ignorantly assuming that all football fans were alike, is a lesson learned. No, Timo didn't just make me write that. Although, I do think that he has subtly brainwashed me. A little. But I think I volunteered.
Not only am I beginning to understand the offside rule, I've now actually been to a football match (not just any match, but Arsenal versus Wigan, which was held on Tuesday at the Highbury stadium. Highbury is a place full of history, has beautiful Art Deco facade, and is due to be closed as a stadium and converted into flats. Arsenal FC will move to a new stadium nearby).
The picture on the left is of a penalty shoot-out (click for larger version), which, sadly, did not result in a goal for Arsenal. It is quite amusing to see how superstitious many of the devoted fans are - Timo kept on saying that he wished he hadn't taken that picture, because obviously, that's what proved to be unlucky for Arse. Yeaaaah.
When we were waiting for the match to start, outside the Gunners pub near the stadium, one of Timo's friends commented: "So, it's her first time at a match. Hope she's lucky".
A coach full of Wigan fans travelled past and the people inside thumped and jeered so viciously that I wouldn't have been surprised if they would have managed to break the windows and spill out onto the street. I guess there's a reason the Gunners has a sign above the door, stating: "Home fans only".
The match itself was exciting, but uncomfortable and frustrating. Exciting, because it was a new experience and because I couldn't help but get drawn in to the trance-like state of willing those players to get that fucking ball into that fucking net. Already.
Uncomfortable because it was very, very cold. One of the coldest nights this winter, with temperatures below freezing. And frustrating, because despite a score of 2-1 in favour of Arsenal, it was Wigan who came out as the winners, due to the calculations that determine the winning statistic when deciding who moves forward in the contest. And with this being the second match, and with Wigan having scored higher in the previous one... bah.
I've joined the club as a Red Member, which means that I'm now automatically in line for a Gold Member status (which, sadly, doesn't come with complimentary schmokes and pancakes*, but does mean that the likelihood of being able to obtain match tickets is higher). Timo is also a Red Member, and has joined another kind of line... the ridicilously long one for season tickets. His queue number is 37758. Maybe his grandchild might get a season ticket. If he's lucky.
I wish Arseblog would have been nominated as best sports blog in the 2006 Bloggies, but perhaps the regular visitors (or those witty and clever people who leave the most comments on any weblog, ever, according to Arseblogger) were too busy commenting and not busy enough nominating. For shame. Next year?
*If you get this reference, you're officially a nerd. Well done!