"Oh No You Didn’t" - Pet peeves of an Arsenal fan
We’re all human and being a girl makes me even more entitled to find out tiny annoyances and peeves in almost everything that moves, or doesn’t. To narrow it down to football related stuff, I think the most common ones would be my benchmate singing: “Oh Robin van Persie” consistently in my ear every time he remembers to breathe, or my dad realising he has another one of those “stories” to entertain guests with by bringing them up to my room and pointing at the RVP poster in the Arsenal jersey and highlighting the not so fine points of this summer’s transfer saga. These are the top five annoying things people say, categorized in no particular order on the annoyance scale, although bound by a common factor, i.e., they’re said by people who do not watch football and probably think offside is a bad stadium seat choice. These are scenarios that totally justify the fact that I like to watch my matches in private (if not in the company of other football fans) and the faint footsteps of someone coming inside the holy shrine I’ve created surrounded by the glow of the TV sends me rankling over the edge.
#1. Arsenal is going to lose
This happens a lot of times I’m at a cousin’s or a relative’s, or probably some random’s place if I can’t beat rush hour and I desperately need to be in a front of a TV. They take a glimpse at who is playing and draw a far-fetched conclusion from whatever football talk they’ve heard on the streets, and trust me there isn’t much, to conclude to the fact that Arsenal is going to lose. No matter who the opposing team is. Only because they know the select few that have been glorified, such as Manchester United. Even though Arsenal’s recent performance against Bradford in a Capital One Cup tie is questionable, I’d rather they kept their opinions to themselves rather than chucking it at the television screen with forlorn disdain, sending bad karma to the starting XI.
#2. Why do you support Arsenal.
Why not? Is there some inglorious rule that states that you have to support something that is the best of the lot? This is not a battle between good and evil, and I’m not picking sides that affect the greater good and the cycle of humanity in the near future. It’s like grabbing someone in a store and asking them why they’re going for the blue bag when you would’ve gone for the green one. Keep your baggage to yourself. And the annoying part isn’t even the question, it’s the fact that it’s not a question. My mom looks at me as though I’ve made a bad career choice with this forlorn look that says I should’ve done what she wanted me to instead of making my own choices. Making your own choices makes you responsible for the way they turn out to be, and you have to deal with the guilt/happiness that is chucked towards you. Stop trying to be weatherman and invading my sunshine/rain.
#3. Oh, that should’ve been a goal
Should it? Do you honestly expect me to look away from the screen and explain the entire concept of getting a corner kick if you can’t quite manage to get a shot on target? Plus the increasingly annoying baritone of Scoore, scooore, when either side of the match advances towards their side of the field is annoying. They needn’t be in the vicinity of the goal, but the fact that they’re sharing the same screen space with it is reason enough for them to score a goal. You cannot just simply kick a ball and expect it to shoot past a dozen legs and magically curve its way into the net just because you can see it. Calm the fuck down, and watch the passes,the defending, Ramsey’s striking good looks. This game isn’t just about the goals.
#4. They don’t know how to play
Do you feel like getting up and giving us a demonstration then? So what if someone slipped on the pitch or missed an easy pass or hasn’t been in good form for a bit. You do not have some twenty-odd thousand people looming over your head, plus a billion more peering at you from their screens. It’s so easy to pass judgement, yet so difficult to hold up your end when the time comes to prove it. If they weren’t good enough, maybe they would be the ones saying this, and you would be somewhere else by now rather than dropping criticism and pizza on my couch.
#5. It’s just a match
And you’re just a tool. What if I said the same thing about your baby when you were showing off about how cute he/she was? I don’t care if we’re possibly losing or winning or it could go either way or there’s a very important someplace else that I need to be. If there’s a match on and Arsenal’s playing, I shall watch it. Unless I’m sleep deprived, I can forgive myself with mild substance abuse later. So the next time you think of taking my match lightly, I’ll do the same with something you love. Oh, it’s just a car. Oh, that’s just a tree.
Next time you want to be in the same breathing space as me when there’s a game on, clear your head, sit down and have a strong cup of “shut the hell up”.