Occasionally here at the SBNation empire, our sponsors give us the opportunity to write a targeted post that fits into a campaign they are running across the SBNation family of blogs and properties. This is the first of these campaigns that Never Manage Alone has been a part of but we're excited about it for a few reasons:
- We're allowed (and encouraged) to tell you that this is why we're writing the post so it never feels like we're trying to put one over on you and sneak in a word on behalf of a sponsor (in this case, the nice people at Samsung);
- The activity is optional so if we don't like what is being asked of us or we don't think it fits in with the spirit of our blog, we can choose to ignore it;
- We get some extra money for participating; and
- The posts (at least the ones we'll say yes to) put us in the position of writing something that we'd enjoy writing anyway. We don't have to write something contrived about the awesomeness of Samsung products (although I do have one of their TVs and like it very much).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVMaIUSeRxA (unfortunately embedding has been disabled so you'll have to go to YouTube)
It is a snapshot of why I will never regret choosing Spurs. Yes, Arsenal won the league that season but this was our day and we went on to win the FA Cup vs Nottingham Forest in the final - the first trophy Spurs had won in my young lifetime. I was 8 years old but I can still remember Barry Davies' commentary word for word. It's slightly scary that this clip is 21 years old and to be honest it's been a fairly miserable 2+ decades in terms of trophies (especially considering our rivals' success under Arsene Wenger), but special moments like this have been scattered through time and they keep me in love with the club. It's also the way I like to remember my boyhood hero Paul Gascoigne - he really could've been one of the greats.
After having to watch that little bit of misery heaped upon my favorite team by their North London rivals, I have to bring things back to a happy place. For an Arsenal supporter of my age, I'm not sure there could possibly be a better choice than the one I've selected. It captures the greatness of the team - the elegance, the skill, the entertainment, and the ability to use players to the best of their abilities when they may have struggled elsewhere. Knowing some of the context around the player though, it also points to some of the downside of our favorite club - the feeling that the results could have been better, the occasional elevation of style and elegance over results, the neurosis of not flying, etc. Still, that is what we've signed up for by supporting Arsenal and this goal is perhaps the platonic ideal of the Wenger era.
http://youtu.be/eVLRMWjHa0U (embedding disabled here as well).
Unlike Nik and myself, Jeremy isn't as insane a follower of a specific Premier League team (he supports Newcastle but doesn't really live and die with them). As a result, his contribution is much more topical and recent and who can really argue. Even with more than a month to let the modern media hype machine fade from the conversation I can honestly say that there has never been a more important goal in Premier League history. There have been more impressive feats of skill. There have been other crucial goals in the course of league races but the combination the quality of the goal, the time in the match, the storyline of the entire day, and a team winning the league title for the first time in a really long time makes this just unbelievable. Even Hollywood wouldn't be so brazen as to write it this way:
So, those are our favorites. Feel free to post yours in the comments section along with why they are important to you. They don't have to be from the Premier League (I considered something from one of DC United's first MLS Cup wins because that felt like such a turning point in soccer here in the States and my team was at the center of it all) but that's certainly the topic we cover the most here.
Cheers - Neal