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Hirshey: Going Crazy Over Arsenal (In A Bad Way)

David Hirshey writes regularly for Deadspin about soccer.

Listen, I shaved my head. I got a tattoo on my neck. And I checked myself into rehab. And then out. And then back in. Oh, and I also took an umbrella and smashed Will Leitch's car window — but that was just for fun.


It's been a tough couple of weeks. What's a man to do when the team he loves more than life itself kicks him in the sack three times in 11 days? In my case, I drank. I drank in the morning. I drank in the afternoon. I drank until I could blot out the image of Arsenal being dumped from the Carling Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League in approximately the amount of time it takes Fabregas, Baptista and Hleb to pull the trigger in front of goal. Last I checked, they weren't awarding style points for completing 17 one-touch passes inside the box. Maybe Arsenal's new motto could be: Where All The Pretty Passes Go To Die.

To which I say: Fuck the Beautiful Game, how about sticking the ball in the net once in a while? And I don't care if sound like Kornheiser, only with less hair. Thankfully, I still have my mustache, which is, of course, where all my strength derives from, so I blog on in the faint hope that I will be spared the ultimate indignity: Chelsea winning all the competitions that Arsenal has been knocked out of.

(more lunacy after the jump)

It just so happens that yesterday my loathing for The Special One and his overpaid vermin was put to the maximum test. Chelsea was playing Tottenham in the FA Cup quarterfinals, and no self-respecting Arsenal fan can root for Spurs without burning in Gooner hell. So I decided to appeal to a higher soccer authority, and I don't mean Sepp Blatter. "Please God, " I implored, "if Chelsea lose, I will never again shout 'Stand Up If You Hate The Scum' at an Arsenal-Spurs game."


But God, like Martin Jol, works in strange ways. For 70 minutes yesterday, He kept up his end of the deal. Chelsea were down 3-1, Drogba was limping, Essian was limping, and Mourinho was going all Matterazzi, shouting "son of a whore" at the ref. If ever there was an excuse to order a round for the Deadspin Drunkathlon regulars at Kinsale, this was it.

"Beers all around, " I said giddily to Caroline the bartender as Mid-table Mikey pumped his fist and sang "There's only one Dimitar Berbatov."


"Sorry, no can do," Caroline demurred, reminding us of the cruel New York State law that prohibits serving alcohol on Sunday til noon. "Besides there's still 20 minutes left." That's easy for Caroline to say. She's one of those smug ManU fans who know that no matter how crappy their beloved Reds may play this season, they can count on Lady Luck to pull out the game for them and blow the whole team afterwards. That — and the incandescent play of their Vogue model Christiano Ronaldo — is why they will be Prem champions despite Mourinho's pathetic bleating that there is still time for Chelsea to catch them. On the other hand, the Blues are still in the hunt for a trifecta of trophies — they've already won the Carling Cup and are in the last eight of the FA Cup and the Champions League — and Arsenal's season is over with two months remaining. Not that I'm bitter.

At any rate, with Berbatov's skill and Lennon's speed proving too much for Chelsea's Terry-less defense yesterday, what does Jol do? He takes off his two stars to rest them for Wednesday's UEFA Cup game and just like that, Tottenham becomes pedestrian in attack and jittery in defense. "Thank you Martin " says Deadspinner Steve Quattrocacchi, who, like his obvious idol Kevin Federline, has brought his six year old son Sam to the bar. Now I happen to like Q, but I can't say I'm sorry to see him to move to California next month. Having one less insufferable Chelsea fan in our midst can only make New York a better place. I mean, it's bad enough that Q has kitted out his son in that nauseating Chelsea blue; did he have to tattoo a 2006 Premiership Champions on his kid's ass?


When Lampard scrambled in his second goal to make it 3-2 , I turned to Mid-Table Mikey, who was finishing up the eggs he had all over his face, and said, "Cheer up, at least they're not singing anti-Semitic songs like the West Ham fans did last week."

"At this point," he replied, "if the ref would just blow his whistle to end the game, I won't care if the Spurs signed Hitler." Sure enough, the blitzkrieg continued, and in the 86th minute, Kalou lashed in the equalizer. To add insult to injury time, six-year-old Sam taunted 34-year-old Mid-Table Mikey with a spontaneous chant of " Chelsea rules, Tottenham drools."


As for me, I was pissed that Chelsea was still alive in the FA Cup, but the 3-3 draw meant I was off the hook with the Big Guy. In fact, I can't wait for Spurs-Arsenal on April 21 when I can once again bellow "Stand Up If You Hate The Scum."

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