Yep, I hear you. And you’re right. This is, without doubt, one of the weirdest titles to a post about Arsenal, football, and the FA Cup. But if you bear with me you’ll see what it all makes sense. Kind of. Maybe. Whatever.
It was December 31, 2011, and I was in London on holiday. As a surprise for my birthday a few days earlier, my sister bought me tickets to Arsenal vs QPR. It was a dream come true to watch Arsenal at The Emirates. We got there way before kickoff (I was excited, okay?!?!) and soaked up the atmosphere. I was like a kid experiencing the joys of a bicycle for the first time, complete with a cheesy grin that I couldn’t wipe off my face.
And here’s where the scarf comes in.
As we approached the entrance, Wends decided she needed to buy me a souvenir to mark the occasion. She bought me a red and white stripped Arsenal scarf. I took the scarf I was wearing off immediately (before she’d even handed over the money, if memory serves) and replaced it with my Arsenal one.
Arsenal were awful that day. The team got booed off at halftime. Theo Walcott was regularly sworn at. But thanks to Robin van Persie and a 60th minute goal, the mighty Arsenal won 1-0. Scarves were waved, chants were chanted, hugs were hugged, high 5’s were high 5’d. It was a great day.
Nine days later, with the same scarf around my neck, I watched — on TV, not live, sadly — Thierry Henry make a dream Arsenal comeback, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 FA Cup victory over Leeds. I might actually have cried a tiny man-tear.
Today, sitting at my desk, I’ve got the same scarf draped around my neck. Make no mistake, today is a big day. Arsenal can end a nine-year trophy drought with a victory over Hull City in the FA Cup final. It’s huge. My neck is sweating, but I’m not taking this scarf off.
Why? I’ve never watched Arsenal lose while wearing it.
Now I’m not superstitious at all. Not even in the least. But I’ll take any good omen I can get right now. And if this scarf is it, then I shall wear this scarf. Several Arsenal fans have spoken to me this morning while I got a cup of coffee at the petrol station, and there’s a general positive feeling about Arsenal’s chances today. Personally, I’m excited. I think Arsenal will win this.
If they do, this scarf will be upgraded to legendary status. And I might never take it off again.