"I have more in common with the people I don't know on Twitter than the ones that I do know on Facebook." I can't remember where I heard this quote but in the case of Arsenal and the club's loyal fan base of Gooners I can confidently say that this is very true.
I never really thought much of Facebook and seeing the type of idiotic and self centered things that most of the "friends" I am connected to on Facebook often post, I almost never look at it. It's always filled with the right wing political rantings of former co-workers I haven't spoken to in years or photos of a new pair of slippers or the baby of a friend's third cousin's step brother. Facebook has basically helped me redefine the meaning of the word friend....those that I speak to or see in person on a regular basis...not acquaintances or folks I once knew back in sixth grade on Facebook.
Based on my feelings about Facebook, I approached Twitter with skepticism. That didn't last long as I have been a believer in Twitter ever since. It's great for keeping up on professional information, various news outlets and other areas of interest. One particular interest that has made me a true Twitter believer is Arsenal Football Club. Being a New York based female supporter of a London "soccer" team is not a common thing. Through Twitter, I have been able to connect with knowledgeable Arsenal fans both in London and the U.K. as well as all over the world. While these connections may be strangers, our common interest and love of Arsenal have created a bond based on a strong mutual interest. In fact, the hashtag #GoonerFamily is often used by fellow Arsenal fans on Twitter to signify the common connection between fans of the team.
When I decided that I needed to take a break from the never ending recession in New York, my first thought was that this would be a great time to finally see Arsenal play at their new stadium. It had been six years since I had last seen Arsenal play at Highbury and I had been wanting to check out Emirates Stadium for quite a while. I looked on line and only saw over inflated ticket brokers and potential ticket scammers. It was then that I decided to take to Twitter to see if any members of the Gooner Family could possibly assist me.
Here is the Tweet that I sent out just three times between September 6th-7th:
That was all it took. I immediately got responses from several of my Arsenal connections offering help or suggestions on where to get tickets. I also received responses from two particular Gooners (their names have not been printed to protect their Gooner identity) offering tickets at face value. One was from a season ticket holder who would be out of town for the games that I was interested in and the other was a fan that shares a group of tickets with friends and was willing to sell me two of his tickets.We exchanged DM's and then e-mails.
His seats were in the North Bank and despite the game versus Schalke being a total bust, my first trip to The Emirates was fantastic.
In addition to the Gooners that were kind enough to assist me in obtaining match tickets, I also met up with another Gooner from Twitter for a pint at The Junction prior to the Schalke match. Not only is this Gooner an Arsenal fan, he's also a UK based Mets fan (yes there's at least one actual UK Mets fan). Gooner number three was awesome and led my friend and I to the match.
|The legend in bronze|
One small side note...ever since hearing that Fulham owner Mohamed al-Fayed had a statue of Michael Jackson installed at Craven Cottage I've wanted to see for myself what exactly this looked like. So, one afternoon I took a walk along the Thames to find Fulham's ground and this ridiculous statue.
|Photograph: Nick Potts/PA|