The one and only

Stateside Gooner

By Chris Toronyi

This past weekend Arsenal Football Club unveiled a statue for the one and only Dennis Bergkamp. A player who embodies where the Club was and where it was going. His skill on the ball was magical and his vision was just as inspiring. But we also must mention what he meant to us as well.

The name Bergkamp is synonymous with grace, skill, professionalism and respect. I don't know of player in modern times that delivers consistently across all of these attributes. Many footballers have one skill they can ride, but do they possess the skill that brings such emotion, such pride?

Most importantly his name brings a smile to all of us - making us wonder away to yesteryear watching him score Oscar-worthy goals against Newcastle, Bayer Leverkusen and even his version of the "Star Wars" trilogy (episodes 4-6 for those keeping score) at Leicester.

I say Oscar-worthy performances as they were performances forever remembered for their moments, their skill, their emotion. It's kind of like what you feel when see performances on the big screen. The emotion or the escape they bring when you see something magical.

But this past weekend was the celebration of everything Dennis meant to us and the Club. His total body of work celebrated with a lifetime achievement award for this work and service to the Club. It's more than an Oscar, it's like the Irving G. Thalberg Award that is sometimes given during the Oscars - which will take place less than two miles from where I'm currently sitting.

The Thalberg isn't given out every year, but when it is, it's to an individual whose body of work has changed the industry through their way of storytelling, creating. Past winners that you may have heard of are George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, Dino De Laurentiis and Steven Spielberg.

Those are some very heavy hitters in the entertainment industry. Names that have delivered incredible performances and stories. These individuals delivered transformative films. They brought us joy in a far off universe, gave us Indiana Jones and "The Godfather." These works of art brought us sadness, but most of all gave us an escape into a new, amazing world.

I think Dennis did that as well. When you think of Dennis' work, it's from the goal scoring side of the game as well as the inspiring, "producing" side where he would assist with such precision.

Dennis' statue, like the Thalberg will live longer than just a single Oscar award for one film or one performance. It celebrates everything that a person represented and delivered. Dennis is forever enshrined, forever remembered, he is forever.

He's a Gunner.

ArseAmerica Podcast returns this week with Jim van Wijk of the Press Association, Tim Stillman and Andrew Allen of Arseblog. We discuss the bounce back against Sunderland, midfield depth and strength, contracts and the Bergkamp statue unveiling. Please click here to find the show, or subscribe on iTunes, and you can always grab the RSS Feed.

Thanks for listening. 


'Stateside Gooner' Chris Toronyi is a longtime Arsenal supporter and the host of the ArseAmerica podcast. You can read more of Chris' thoughts on Twitter

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.

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