So, I’ve finally got round to opening my Arsenal 2012/2013 membership pack, something I commit £36 for annually and have just started reading the first chapter or so when I realised I had struck on some really interesting material when it comes to supporting my FMP as a cultural entity.
The book is dubbed ‘a unique collection of writings about Arsenal Football Club‘ which is basically what it says on the tin and is of course worth a heads up to your budding gooner. A couple of other points interested me, one being that it was edited by a great man named Andrew Mangan, who, is simply one of my cultural heroes. Andrew commits to writing everyday for his blog arseblog.com, which I read religiously as well as the Podcast he does every Friday. His life and commitment to Arsenal has led to his expanding career meeting people ‘online and of’ as he says. Among this however I found it most interesting that he’s editing the novel over some of the bigger names writing for it, and the club itself. For me it’s a sign of the times really that these ‘unofficial names’ (not to sound degrading, I’m not, I love the man) are powering their place in such a big institute such as AFC.
When I read the excerpts from the book I feel reminded by a lot of many other things that this book relates too. Many other Arsenal blogs, Facebook groups I have joined, twitter accounts that are popular with the Arsenal crowd, The Arsenal pub I have visited, but none more than my very own FMP. Like all of these above, I feel so deeply entwined with the red and white that I have to tell people about it. Not unlike ‘So Paddy got up’ I feel my film embodies that out-of-Arsenal experience that we all have and I’m sure others involved with Arsenal stuff feel all the time, it’s truly what’s powering me on to do this project justice.
On the back of the book, at the end sits the quote: ‘This special publication underlines the rich heritage of Arsenal Football Club as well as the fans which sit at the heart of this club’. For me you can’t get any more on the mark when in comparison of my film. Like all of the great ‘fan made’ items which are out there nowadays my film will and can make it up there with the best of them.
Football and sport in general is becoming that spread out, in fact it probably is already and thanks to marketing, PR and social media the day’s of supporting the local team have gone. The day’s of wearing the local colours and being the pride of the north are being replaced by your membership card of ‘Pena Internacional Malaguista’ and donning the flip-flops to watch Los Boquerones on a Saturday evening.
I just wanted to end on another quote from the book from Andrew Mangan himself:
‘If you haven’t yet been able to make that trip, even if you never will, you can still engage, chat, discuss and argue with other Arsenal fans on the many, varied websites, forums and social media outlets we have available to us. There is nothing to prove, no badge of honor to wear, only the knowledge that you support by far the best team the world has ever seen. The highs and lows are shared by a collective that spans the globe’