To me it always be “New Highbury” rather than “Emirates Stadium,” but the name is far less important than what this place represents: the home of Arsenal.
Defiantly unlike the curated star lineup that is Manchester United or Chelsea, Arsenal is a scrappy, idiosyncratic North London soccer team that develops players and combines them with overlooked talent from around the world. They are more Dodgers than Yankees, more Lakers than Warriors, more Steelers than Patriots.
And for all of those reasons, they are more lovable, especially to people who have built their success on a mixture of heritage, talent, and determination in the face of adversity.
Maybe I am projecting, but I don’t mind. These are the virtues I admire, I choose my heroes accordingly.
Arsenal won this match, as it happens, a win that bumped them up from 6th in the standings to 5th. An incredible day for me, one that served as a fitting preface to my sabbatical that starts after next week.