14 April 2014

FA confuses Gibbs and Ox again, and fans fightin'...

All rights' in the world again, it seems. We're back to winning ways. We all agree that Wenger should stay infinitely, Sanogo is full of potential, and fourth place is once again our target. Elsewhere, flowers are blooming, birds and bees are attempting to mate (although I'm almost sure there's some kind of law, natural or otherwise, that agitates against this abomination. What would result? Birds that sting? Bees that sing? Birds with bees in their mouths and when they sing they shoot bees at you? The horror). Just when I thought that the chorus was warming up to sing a rousing rendition of kumbayah, however, the storm clouds gathered. Always with the storm clouds. Of course, it is raining in these parts, so that might be more about cold fronts and cumulonimubus clouds than symbolism...

First, the FA, proving that it either was a gleefully self-aware sense of self-deprecation, or blissful, casual, ignorance, mentioned in its match report that, during the FA Cup semifinal, "Gibbs' [sic] shot skipped up off the Wembley turf and directly into the big German's path—who was able to head home from three yards out". Now, like me, you're taking umbrage at the missing s that should follow "Gibbs'", resulting in a word that sounds like "Gibbses". If that didn't get your panties in a twist, well, sit tight. That "who was able to head home" business? "The big German's" is an adjectival phrase describing "path"—and the path is not a person "who was able to head home." Don't even get me started on their omission of the "F" part of "BFG."  It's almost enough to make their post-Marriner gaffe get lost in the shuffle. To have mistaken Ox for Gibbs not once but twice goes beyond the pallor—er, pale. Casual racism is one thing, but bad grammar? It's all that separates us from the barbarians, infidels, and other less civilized types.

More seriously, though, are reports that Gooners came to blows on Saturday—with other Gooners. Apparently, in blocks 519 and 538, among others, differing opinions on how best to respond to Wigan's goal led to philosophical exchanges that consisted more of pugilism than postulates. Look—whatever disagreements we might have, whose fault it is that we conceded or struggled to score or are in the fix we're in—those can wait until after the match. Let the tempers cool and keep the focus on the players we do have on the pitch. Hurling abuse at the players, or turning on each other in the stands, just ain't worth it. We're all in this together, aren't we? If you can't hold your liquor and your temper at the same time, let someone who can have the seat. There are families there, some with kids, and while it's one thing for a kid to hear a few new vocabulary words from time to time, they really shouldn't have to fear for their safety. I won't make too much of the anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, but it does seem to merit a mention. It was, after all, almost 25 years ago to the day, and it was an FA Cup semifinal that resulted in death and injury. It seems a bit callous to resort to punching and fighting fellow fans and stewards because you've been overserved and/or have let your frustrations reach a boiling point.

Let's hope that the win, for as messy and as tight as it was, gives some of the more hot-headed Gooners among us a chance to cool down and remember that it is, after all, just a game. For as much as we claim to love the game and this club, it seems ironic at best to express that love so forcefully, to the point of bloodying fellow fans and stewards. What would have happened had we lost? Yeesh. For as much attention as gets paid to throwing a banana on the pitch or making monkey-chants, I wouldn't mind it in the least if the FA or Arsenal looked into this, found out who instigated the violence, and had them banned.

In the meantime, we have an appearance in the FA Cup final to celebrate—our first since winning it in 2005—not to mention a clash with West Ham to prepare for. Let's set aside the feudin' and get back to some fightin'—on the pitch.

Victoria Concordia Crescit.