What do we think of…?

Definitely been a minute. With the Queen’s passing and the subsequent match-postponements, seeing Arsenal play feels like a distant memory. But we’re back at it Saturday with a North London Derby.

Saturday’s match is a 4:30AM PT kickoff, but Maggie’s will be open and we will be there! We’re also giving away posters commemorating a North London Derby from The Invincibles season. First come, first serve, while supplies last. If ever there was a match to cement your Bay Area Gooner status, this is it!

Let us know on Facebook if you’re coming!

What to say about the Gunners’ 100+ year old rivalry with Tottenham. In trying to find a comparable Bay Area sports rivalry to contextualize it, only the Giants-Dodgers might be as fierce.

Personally, I find Chelsea and United along with their supporters more loathsome, but for most who grew up supporting Arsenal, there is no more bitter rival. The success of any Arsenal season depends in large part, on how we do against Spurs.

In the early days of our group, a British exchange student turned up regularly at Maggie’s. Rachel’s family were Tottenham supporters for generations, until in a fit of youthful rebellion, her father switched to Arsenal. She would eventually follow his lead, and the family rift was like a wound that never fully healed.

Once, a British couple watched a NLD with us whilst on honeymoon. The groom, white, supporting Spurs, the bride, black, and a die-hard Gooner. I only mention race, because they told me football allegiances caused far more consternation amongst their families than any racial aspect. Arsenal won that day and the groom steadfastly refused to have his picture taken in front of the BAG banner. I often wonder if they are still married.

I have a friend, born and raised supporting Spurs with whom I’ve bonded over music, literature, and football. However, it can be very challenging to discuss our respective clubs. A physical transformation (think Jekyll to Hyde) comes over him, whenever Arsenal is mentioned, so ingrained is his enmity, that I often avoid the topic.

I worry my disdain for Spurs is not sufficient enough for a proper Gooner. My animosity towards the aforementioned United and Chelsea, along with Stoke (some years back) might be more pronounced. I want to beat Tottenham every time we play them and am forever aggravated by the praise the British media lavishes on them despite a total lack of recent silverware, but is my hatred strong enough? I wonder.

A couple of Brits traveling the world stopped in to the pub once, one a Gooner, the other a Spurs supporter. When asked why they chose to travel with one another, the response was, We never lack for anything to banter about.

That’s probably where sports rivalries should reside. In pointed but civil banter. Still, when we sing, We hate Totteham, we hate Tottenham this weekend, I will be amongst the Tottenham haters.

See you at the pub!

Cheers, Mark

Published by Bay Area Gooners

Founder of the Bay Area Gooners