Why being an Arsenal fan has given me an advantage in life

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I don’t exactly remember the first time I watched Arsenal play, neither do I remember actually deciding to be an Arsenal fan. But as far back as I remember, I have been an Arsenal fan. Ever since DSTV appeared in my house back in 2001, my family has been an Arsenal family. My father watched Arsenal, liked the football and became a fan, and one by one, my brothers and I became fans too.

Arsenal last won a trophy in 2005. I was 8 years old at the time. I only remember specific memories from that time, and unfortunately, Arsenal winning that trophy isn’t one of those memories. This means that I have never seen Arsenal win a trophy. (For more things that have happened since Arsenal last won a trophy, refer to http://www.sincearsenallastwonatrophy.co.uk/ ) This has led to me enduring endless teasing about the club I support, from strangers, friends and family (actually just my mother. She really dislikes Arsenal for putting her husband through such stress as a fan).

Being an Arsenal fan has made me know failure and disappointment firsthand (like the Carling Cup final back in 2011, when we lost to Birmingham. BIRMINGHAM!!!) and in my early years, I have had to learn to deal with it. Because I am an Arsenal fan, I have learnt not to expect too much and to be more realistic (like when I thought we would end our drought and we crashed out of THREE competitions in ONE week, also in 2011).

Remember how I said that my family was an Arsenal family? That was back in the good ol’ days. Now, my brother (Tonye) doesn’t watch soccer anymore, he was tired of the constant failures. Michael (the oldest) is an on and off supporter (mostly off) and my father is an Arsenal fan when he has the time to. I’m the only full time Arsenal fan left in the Ekine house! Because I am an Arsenal fan, I have learnt perseverance and patience. On the 30th of October, 2012, I was studying for my SAT Subject test exams. Arsenal was also playing a cup match and that very day. The game was against Reading, so I wasn’t particularly worried, until I saw a tweet saying Arsenal was down 4-0, after 35 minutes. I begged my parents to let me watch the game (I literally had to kneel down for permission). My father went to sleep, saying he was saving his heart by not watching, but like a faithful steed, I stayed by my T.V screen, prayers on my lips. That game ended 7-5 in Arsenal’s favor, I burst into my father’s room to tell him, he didn’t believe me. Being an Arsenal fan cultivated the spirit of patience and perseverance in me.

Now this season, Arsenal is doing well so far. 3 months to go to the end of the season, and we’re top of the table (for now). Things are rosy at the moment, but I’m not overly excited. If we end up with a trophy, I’ll be happy. If we don’t, I’ll wait. So even now, when my basketball team (Boston Celtics) are currently Riggin’ForWiggins Tankin’ForJabari rebuilding, I’m not worried, more lessons are on their way.

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