C’mon you Gooners!

The English Premier League 2010/2011 season is almost upon us and the San Francisco Branch of Arsenal America AKA the Bay Area Gooners is gearing up for another round of match viewings at Maggie McGarry’s Irish Pub in North Beach.

If you’re an Arsenal supporter of drinking age (sorry kids!) living in the Bay Area, you owe it to yourself to come watch a match.  Gooners from as far away as Mountain View and Placerville, gather in the wee hours of the weekend mornings (typically matches start around 7AM) to root on the Gunners.

A typical crowd for the Arsenal matches at Maggie's

In addition to our regular group of locals, Maggie’s has become the destination for out-of-town Arsenal supporters.  Last season, we played host to not only numerous season-ticket holders from England, but Gooners from Jamaica to Germany.

And then there’s Patrick, the Gooner bartender. Born and raised in London, Patrick is the Bay Area Gooners’ talisman.  If things get a little too quiet during the match, Patrick is there to ensure they don’t stay that way, with his frequent bellows of GOONERS!, IT’S TOO QUIET IN THERE!, or some such.

There are also occasionally activities outside the pub, such as last season’s charity football match against SF Spurs, a Tottenham suppporters club, where the Bay Area Gooners emerged triumphant and helped raise over $2,500 for Haitian earthquake relief.  In fact, one of the regular Gooners at Maggie’s, Matt AKA Grimbo is organizing a weekend league team from our ranks.

Our new stone in Armoury Square outside Arsenal Football Club's stadium

Sure, you could watch the matches at home, on the couch, in your pajamas, but celebrating a goal with your housepet cannot possibly compare with the atmosphere at Maggie’s.  I’ve been told on more than one occasion, by visitors from London, that it was the next best thing to being at the match in person.

Hope to see you at the pub!  C’mon you Gunners!