Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yep, I'm Part of the Problem

So, Robin Van Persie just received a great long pass, broke in on goal, and rifled a shot past Pepe Reina to give Arsenal a 1-0 lead over Liverpool. I am supposed to be angry about this. As you may be aware I'm a Tottenham Hotspur fan. Historically, Arsenal are Tottenham's sworn death enemies. For decades, the teams' home grounds were separated by about four miles in North London and both are pretty storied clubs. I picked up English Soccer after World Cup 2006. I chose to follow Spurs because they seemed to have an inordinate amount of players that I liked in the tournament. Anna can attest that I'm pretty committed to it. And yet, without a historical attachment to the game, I learned my biases the wrong way.

For instance, I like Arsenal. They play a really appealing, fast game and their manager is shrewd in the Billy Beane sense. I also like Manchester United, who are also really fun and whose manager, Sir Alex Ferguson is a big-time Labour supporter. In the meantime I detest Liverpool. They play ugly soccer, their fans annoy me, and they're part-owned by Tom Hicks (who gave A-Rod the $250M contract that wrecked baseball for a while).

Some English fans complain about the increasing globalization of the game. And there's certainly a case to make that the EPL has become a global league that happens to be based in England. Arsenal was the first to embrace globalization, the first to field a line-up without any English players. But in the last few years, the top teams in the Premier League are increasingly filled with foreign players. The International TV rights are massively lucrative and currently recession proof. Foreign owners like Hicks have controversially bought teams as investments and run up large levels of debt. There is a proposal kicking around to add a 39th regular season game to the season and play it abroad. Some of these things are obviously detrimental and I feel as though I should speak out (or at least post lots of things about soccer to drive traffic). And yet, I'm a Spurs fan sitting here in Wisconsin of all places rooting for Arsenal; as our lawyer friends might say, I have no standing to make an argument.

Great, now fucking Robbie Keane (who I loved when he played for Spurs until August) has equalized for fucking Liverpool. Fuck those guys.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Anonymous Anonymous at December 21, 2008 8:22 PM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • I really appreciate "Arsenal are" using the plural form. It fits in the discussion of English soccer, but in American writing people would object and demand "Arsenal is."

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