Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The world's scariest football club

The timing wasn't very good. The New York Times had declared the Arsenal Football Club the worthy successors to the Fashion-Football synergy that had been surrendered by Manchester United with the departure of David Beckham. Sunday's Mens' Fashions of the Times featured a glowing article about the club's Swedish wizard Freddie Ljungberg, who has a new sideline as the underwear model for Calvin Klein.

But on the very same day, Arsenal were putting on a most unfashionable display of screaming, yelling, and taunting in a very ill-tempered conclusion to their match with MU. While Freddie had an excellent match, the dominant story after the game was the team's taunting of MU striker Ruud van Nistlerooy when he missed a penalty; this had followed upon Ruud's role in getting Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira sent off.

We had this sense looking at one of the pictures, of Arsenal defender Martin Keown screaming in Ruud's face, that we'd seen that look somewhere before...and eventually we remembered where: in Lord of the Rings. Compare Martin's scream and that of an orc. Not the kind of look that makes it to the fashion pages.

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