While many of Arsenal America's branches are concentrated on the coasts, the Club's popularity is growing by leaps and bounds all over the country. And Tennessee is no exception. Our latest stop is 'The Home of the Blues', the home of Beale Street and the home of The King. And more recently the home of a group of Arsenal supporters who decided to go all official. As branch manager Chris Lareau says:
"We got our start when several members decided it was time to move from the living room to the local pub. Please join us at the Brass Door -- we love meeting new fans!"
Group Name: Memphis Gooners
Location: Memphis, TN
Year established: 2010
Number of active members: "We have 25 active members. Around 20 show up on a weekly basis, but we had around 40 for the Barca - Arsenal CL matches last year."
Normal match start time: "We are in the Central Time Zone -- so most games start around 7:30am CT."
Where we watch matches: The Brass Door, 152 Madison Ave., Memphis, TN, 38104. (901) 572-1813
Where our members hail from: "We are primarily from the Memphis metro area. Seamus Loftus, the proprietor of The Brass Door and spiritual leader of the Memphis Gooners hails from County Mayo, Ireland. We also have several Euros who work in the local medical community."
Group's favorite Arsenal moment: "First leg of the CL verse Barcelona in 2010. RVP ties in the 78th minute and our Russian mirthful magician, Arshavin tallies five minutes later for the win. As the late Joe Strummer sang, "Beale Street didn't have no prayer" that afternoon. The Gooners burned Memphis to the ground. More recently, we reveled in Gervinho's performance against Stoke, scoring for himself and feeding RVP twice. As we continue to support the club in these difficult times, it is good to see new signings clicking with our established leaders."
Group's favorite players: "We love them all."
Why we are Gooners: "Because the cannon is heavy, and there are few with shoulders big enough to wear it."
How big is Arsenal/English football in your area?: "English football is probably most well-supported on the coasts, but the South is slowly coming along. I am certain there are no supporters clubs in Memphis for Man U, Chelsea or Tottenham. I will admit, it was disheartening to allow a lone Spud jersey into our bar for the most recent North London derby, in which we did not show well. We were gracious to the young man. We let him stay, but we didn't let him drink."
Why Americans should be Arsenal fans: "Pragmatically, because if you are going to support an English club, it should be a team which you can see on television on a regular basis. But most importantly, Americans will find in Arsenal a club rich in tradition, class and spirit. Arsenal are a club that have been able to remain competitive with European elites despite a smaller balance sheet. In the last ten years, Arsenal have developed an entertaining, attacking brand of footy."27 Oct 2011