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Thursday Cannon Fodder: Young Guns

Ethan Nwaneri’s debut has us waxing nostalgic.

Brentford FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

15 years, 181 days.

If you haven’t already heard for the umpteenth time, that’s how old Arsenal player Ethan Nwaneri was when he made his Arsenal debut on Sunday at Brentford, becoming the youngest player to feature in Arsenal and Premier League history.

Following Arsenal’s match, I was listening to The Athletic’s Handbrake Off podcast and they were ruminating on that age, eventually leading to the hosts asking one another the question - what were you doing when you were 15 years, 181 days old?

It’s simultaneously a fun and terrifying question. Time is, after all, the one true invincible, and boy does it fly by in the blink of an eye. 15 feels so long ago, but not quite long at all. And while some of us might have been overachievers, approximately zero of us were about to play for a Premier League team for the first time.

Like many others, I started thinking about that question and realized that, due to my birthday being almost the dead center of the year (July 1st), I was a day or two away from celebrating the turn of the millennium when I was Ethan’s age. Y2K fever was running rampant, and everyone was equal parts eager and nervous to see what would happen once the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 1999. Spoiler alert: everything was fine. But it was a weird and funky time that became a bit of a minor pop culture blip in the late 90s/early aughts Zeitgeist.

So, while Ethan was making his professional soccer debut, what were YOU doing when you were 15 years, 181 days old? Feel free to take a foggy trip down memory lane in the comments!

Warning: We are not responsible for any nostalgia-related feelings of old age or decrepit-ness.