And so it begins…

The Bay Area Gooners are no different from most Arsenal supporters.  Since the end of the World Cup, we’ve been anticipating the start of the Gunners’ 2010/2011 season with equal parts optimism and trepidation.

We’ve occupied our days cursing FC Barcelona over their attempts to dislodge our captain Cesc Fàbregas, using the most unseemly public campaign since McCain-Palin.

I suppose we should thank them for taking our minds off our Gaffer’s apparent inability to sign a defensive-midfielder and/or proper goalkeeper. F–K OFF BARCA! became the cry of the moment, but now that moment has passed and we’re force to wonder whether the soft goals conceded during the pre-season are firm indicators of déjà vu all over again.

However, loyal to a fault, the Bay Area Gooners, shall gather this Sunday, August 15th at 8:00AM PST, in Maggie McGarry’s Irish Pub, to watch our beloved club open the season against the Scousers at their Anfield fortress.

We’re expecting a good turnout since the group’s ranks have swelled well over the 200+ mark, and we garnered a nice bit of publicity after being awarded a Best of the Bay 2010 award from the SF Bay Guardian.

There will be new t-shirts on sale, printed by Ashbury Images, a tremendous non-profit organization, where 100% of their proceeds fund their social mission of employing and supporting at-risk youth.

Some Gooners (myself included) have committed to bringing some edibles for the troops as Maggie’s does not serve food. Best of all, anyone attending can have an altruism chaser with their pints, as we’re hosting a San Francisco Food Bank canned food drive.

There will be a barrel at Maggie’s all weekend (most of the rest of the Premier League play on Saturday) where people can drop off much needed non-perishable food donations such as:

  • rice & pasta
  • cereal
  • canned fruit & vegetables
  • tuna
  • peanut butter
  • canned meats
  • soups, stews, & chili

Hope to see the pub packed with Gooners and the barrel overflowing with food!

C’MON YOU GUNNERS!

You like me, right now, you like me!

Mrs. Gooner and I went down to the Mezzanine nightclub for the San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay Rock Party so I could pick up my award for “Best Goon Squad”.

The early part of the evening was just for winners, baby! I rubbed shoulders with the best and the brightest of the Bay Area, and sucked down complimentary beers!

Got to converse briefly with Senator Mark Leno, one of the few politicians I still have any respect for, groove to some fabulous freestylin’ by The Freeze, and did I mention the complimentary beers.

Big thanks to Bay Guardian culture editor, Marke B. and writer, Caitlin Donohue, who plucked the Bay Area Gooners from obscurity to be honored in the City Living category’s Editor’s Picks.

This is what a WINNER looks like!