Today’s the day. Arsenal are back. They’re away to Manchester City and things probably won’t go all that well, but the Gunners are back. When that opening whistle echoes around an empty Etihad, they’ll have a chance at the points — something they’ll have only because THE PREMIER LEAGUE IS BACK. There are zero days until it returns. We made it.
Players from both clubs will be wearing patches honoring the National Health Service workers and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead of player names, “Black Lives Matter” will be across the back of the kits. It’s a much-needed reminder that there are things way more important than football. That hundreds of thousands of people have died because of coronavirus and countless others have died because of systemic inequality, police violence, and other pernicious effects of racism. Before you get absorbed in watching the match, think deeply and seriously about those things. Don’t write it off as a performative gesture, let it mean something.
There’s no good way to transition out of writing about real, serious topics back into the light-hardheartedness of CF, which is in and of itself instructive. There’s not much easy about having these conversations and trying to fix these real problems that our world is facing. But like the return of football can provide a temporary distraction from the not-so-great world around us, I can shift your attention elsewhere, at least for a little.
I still owe you a fact and a Sporcle quiz, and I think you can guess where I’m going with “zero.”
The Invincibles lost zero Premier League matches en route to the only unbeaten season in modern history.
As that iconic banner depicts: Champions 03/04 P38 L0 Immortal
Your Sporcle quiz today is to name all the players from the 49-match unbeaten run.
Once more, with feeling. We’re back. Up the Arsenal. #COYG