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Hey, My Celebration Looked A Lot Like That

Michael Bertin writes regularly about soccer for Deadspin. There's only one person to blame for ruining Arsenal's 2-1 victory over United on Saturday: Wolfgang Puck. The catering arm of his food empire served the conference I was at last Thursday, the pains in my stomach a couple of hours after lunch blossomed into a wonderful case of full blown food poisoning sometime while I should have been asleep. I don't know if you've ever had serious food poisoning. I hadn't. I always thought it was just a euphemism for "pussy." No. Well into day three, I wanted someone to kill me just so I could get some sleep. I involuntarily tried to do it myself by not eating. Even water tasted funny. The one thing you need to survive, because you're body is dehydrating, and it tastes fucking weird. How is that possible? It's water. It's refreshing. So instead of being at a local, with my mouth under an open tap so I could make lifelong friends with complete strangers, I had the shakes, the chills—underrated band, by the way—the sweats, cycling fevers, a space heater, and, thankfully, a pretty good pirated stream of the match coming from Greece. I also had the run to the bathroom down to about seven steps. No Linda Cohn, no figs, just the exploding diarrhea.That's where I was when Samir Nasri scored the Gunners' first goal in the 22nd minute. And that's where I was when Nasri scored his second goal in the 48th. For something that was going so well, this was kind of going shitty. I did get to see Rafael do the seemingly inevitable and turn the six fucking minutes of stoppage time—an amount that can only be described as Tratfordian—into a marathon of anxiety. I swear to God, I've worked off a large chunk of my stint in purgatory just having to watch the closing minutes of Arsenal matches this season; and I don't even believe in God. I did consider running to the toilet just to see if I could cause Nasri to score again, but hey, apparently I'm in this for the masochism. After the final whistle, I did the only reasonable thing. I went and dry heaved. I don't know if it was from the tainted chicken or from the stress of watching Wenger again make time-wasting substitutions that were destined to backfire and almost did when Kolo Toure opted yet again not take the ball to the corner flag to kill some clock. Happy as I was that Arsenal hung on, kind of bummed I was so sick. Not because I couldn't enjoy the match—and it was fucking excellent fútbol from both sides—but because I couldn't enjoy it with other people. Doesn't matter if it's with strangers at kick off—and I'll be the first to admit that a disproportionate number of American Arsenal fans have a "He was such a quiet neighbor" look about them—watching sports is a little like sex. It's a lot less satisfying when you do it alone. For all the positives to take away as an Arsenal fan—shit, we beat United with Nicklas Bendtner as our only healthy striker—the best harbinger out of this might actually belong to United. In fact the Mancs should be ecstatic about the loss (and this little bit of tid is just for commenter Wandering Bear). This is only the third time under Fergie that United failed to pick up at least one victory in any of its trips to the other three of the so-called Big 4. The previous two times they failed, they won the league. So, yeah, I'd still put money on it coming down to Chelsea and United for the EPL (suck it, Barclays), but at least a Champions League run seems a little more of a possibility. And I'd trade being club champions of England for being club champions of Europe. Who wouldn't? Save maybe a Tottenham fan, because, well, that option isn't ever available to them (how's the European NIT going, kids?). Hey, I'm still weak. Cheap shots are all I have the strength for. But the irony wasn't lost on me that food poisoning was fucking up my enjoyment of Arsenal's biggest win since maybe the 2-0 victory at Milan last March. Revenge is a dish best served undercooked. Arsenal Defeats Manchester United [International Herald Tribune] Spurs Dealt Devastating Blow by Food Poisoning []


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