The Arsenal Bond

Those of you who turn up at the pub to watch Arsenal with the Bay Area Gooners even occasionally, are familiar with the almost instant camaraderie that ensues.  All it takes is an Arsenal kit for people who have never met to become instant friends.  A single goal can result in complete strangers high-fiving or hugging one another.

The benefits go beyond simply having a good time at the pub. Recent research suggests that watching sports is good for the brain.  If that is true, then watching Arsenal must make you a super-genius.  Not only that, but it could help you live longer, and (despite a lack of recent silverware) can make you really, really happy.

The Arsenal bond transcends race, gender, socioeconomic status, and in many instances is multigenerational. During our first season at Maggie McGarry’s, I watched many games with Rachel, a Londoner studying abroad in San Francisco. Her father not only introduced her to the club, but had saved her from a fate worse than perhaps even death.  Prior generations of her family all supported Tottenham, but her dad, understanding the depths of despair involved with that, wanted something better for himself and his family, and they’ve been Gooners ever since.

In our season-end members poll, many Gooners expressed an interest in bringing their little Gooners to the pub.  We also heard from folks not yet 21 who want to share in the great atmosphere we’ve created.

Beginning in September, those Bay Area Gooners with kids, will have an opportunity to provide a better life for their children as we are holding the first of 6 (maybe more) ALL-AGES Arsenal match-viewings throughout the season. As Maggie’s is 21-and-over only, we’ve had to seek out an alternate venue for these matches.

Wait, how did he get in here!

The Irish TImes pub, located at 500 Sacramento Street (corner of Sansome) has graciously agreed to host these all-ages matches.  They have a full kitchen and will be offering Bay Area Gooners food and drink specials. The first of these is September 15, 2012 at 7AM for Arsenal v Southampton.

However, in order to ensure the Irish Times as a viable alternate venue for our gatherings, we need a good turnout, so I’m encouraging Gooners young and old, one and all to turn up.

Hope to see you at the pub!