You have To Laugh Or Else You Cry…
Or: I used to be disgusted, now I try to be amused…I’m on holiday so here’s more thoughts of Club Captain, Consolsbob
It’s going to be a long season. Whatever approach you adopt for supporting The Arsenal this year and however the campaign goes there are going to be several occasions when you will want to throw your television set out of the window, or, at least, throw something hard at Jamie Redknapp. Similarly you are unlikely to get through MOTD without risking apoplexy at the ‘insights’ offered by Hansen or Shearer. I have endured many seasons now of ranting at the television and, as a result, feeling duty bound as a ‘reasonable’ person, explaining myself to consolslel. This becomes tiresome and, eventually, embarrassing.
Moreover there will be many miles of newsprint that will inflame the mind of any AKB and unreserved Arsenal supporter. No matter how hard you avoid the Daily Mail, The Sun, Mirror, in fact almost any newspaper, sooner or later a piece of analysis or comment will cross your eye line or be repeated in your presence.. Many of those pieces of journalese will be derogatory of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and his ‘experiment. Often they will offer in marked contrast the magnificence of Chelsea‘s play, the genius of Old Red nose and the wise team building policy of Mancini. I guarantee that there will be many occasions when your blood pressure level will rise dangerously. You will risk being thrown out of public places.
In case you are one, like myself, who rarely bothers with either MOTD or newspapers but gets their comment and news from the web, specifically from Arsenal blogs such as our own dear ACLF, then I am afraid that another form of vexation awaits you there. Yes, you know those of whom I speak, the doomers. Those who spend their lives waiting for another failure of our team to win every game by at least four clear goals and sign Messi and Flamini. Such perceived shortcomings can lead to hours of trawling through their own peculiar brand of misery on your favourite sites. Worse are the futile arguments with which you will respond to their diatribes in a bid to either make them see reason or just piss off.
Nor will there be any escape at the Emirates. Too many fools with opinions fuelled by the expert analysis provided by ‘Talksport’.
In short, the season will be trying at times and, make no mistake, if Arsenal actually win the Premiership or European Championship then your rage will know no bounds as the excuses are trotted out for the mancs and chavs and grudging praise is dispensed with great charity by Richard Keyes and his ilk. No, we are on our own. Frankly I can’t stand another year of it. Why should Arsenal fans be unable to read a newspaper and watch television like anybody else?
Obviously most of us will watch an awful lot of football on television. We will also spend too long on this website. It’s unavoidable. So, how do we come through it all without making raving lunatics of ourselves? The solution requires us to consider an alternative view of television sports programmes, the back pages and doomers. For too long we have given the fools, liars and miserable bastards too much credence, too much respect. Now I see them for what they are, comedians and writers of some of the funniest lines since ‘The Office’. Once realised, a whole world of entertainment is opened up to us.
We know that the media is pisspoor, that for every pundit who is lazy and ignorant there is another that despises our club. We know that the only cheap headlines that Arsene and Arsenal provide will be to do with the ‘experiment’, ‘cheap’ foreign imports, and a failure to play the game ‘properly’. They will steadfastly ignore the differences that make Arsenal a model for the game, a game that is desperately in need of an escape route from the vision of the future offered by the remainder of the ‘Big 4 plus 1’. A trio of clubs, plus 1, that in their own distinct ways threatens to destroy the game and all it was and should be.
They will delight in every ‘big name’ signing provided by unsustainable debt or people so rich that they can do whatever they like for as long as they want to do it. They will pontificate about the English virtues of fair play while watching Stevie Me ‘earn’ another penalty or some troglodyte scythe into the back of some ‘fancy dan’ foreigner in an Arsenal shirt. That is their way. I can’t see it changing. How could it? Why would it?
Sports journalism and punditry is at a very low ebb. Think we can change their minds by shouting at them or debating the issues? Scientists believe that it took a long time for dinosaurs to die because it took an awfully long time for the fatal news to actually reach their brains.
How about the ‘fans’? Those who don’t have the intelligence or interest to think for themselves. They, of course, are going to echo the views of the same pisspoor pundits. Those pundits will then use the views of those fans to support their ‘opinions’ and spew it all back at us, justified in their smug and self sustaining world view. As for those who know very well what they are doing, those who cynically encourage a negative view of their own club. Well, it’s a job isn’t it?
No, no more raging against the dying of the light. I will waste no more time on the fools, liars and cynics. I will follow my club with passion and celebrate its victories in all fields with those likeminded fellow travellers. For the rest, I will treat them with amusement.
What’s that Alan? ‘Football is a contact sport‘? ‘Arsenal won’t win nothing unless they add some steel to their game‘? Bloody good, tell us another one. ‘No strength in depth, their squad doesn’t compare to United’s, Fletcher would walk into their first eleven.’ Pffft! I nearly bust a gut there. Truly hilarious. Seriously, why wouldn’t we laugh at Craig Burley?
I shall treat ‘Sunday Supplement’ as a warm up for a lunchtime session in the pub crying with laughter at Tony Cascarino in the Times. Actually, he’s so funny I’ll probably tune into him on ‘TalkSport’ a bit later.
No longer will the sports pages of our sordid press be avoided. I will be able to watch MOTD as much as any chav or manc supporter. I am liberated. I am an Arsenal supporter and free man. Even better, only Arsenal fans have their own glut of new comedy available practically 24/7.
As for the doomers. Well, when you think about them, they really are very funny in a sad sort of way, To my mind they are following in the footsteps of some great British comedians who successfully mine that seam of human existence where you don’t quite know how to deal with the world, where you are a victim of your own shortcomings or situation. A stranger in a world that has moved on and left you alone in your bedsit. Try reading their posts in the voice of Tony Hancock.