Gooner of the Month: Armine Parsaeian
Since we’re more than just supporters, we share a passion and a history of the club that we would like to highlight once a month. Something that really speaks to who we are being a Gooner week in, and week out.
Sorry for the delay but due to the holidays, matches, yadda yadda, we were delayed for our December Gooner of the Month. Without further adieu, our Gooner for the month of December is our LA transplant, Nasri shirt burning friend, Armine Parsa.
What is your name?
Where are you from?
French born, Persian blood, and American raised is an easier way to think of it.
What got you interested in football?
During my early teen years in Iran, football was the main thing to do after school. It was hard not to want to get in a pickup game going on in the neighborhood on a daily basis.
Growing up did you play football?
I didn’t really start playing traditionally until I started living in Iran. By 14, it had become an everyday part of my life.
At what age did you start playing FIFA?
I remember FIFA ’98 on N64 very well as it was my first FIFA game. It’s a shame you can’t tackle the goalkeepers like you used to. I’ll also use this opportunity to voice my opinion by stating that I think it’s bullcrap that Iran isn’t in FIFA 14. How can they leave out a World Cup team?
Did you play or watch sports other than football growing up?
Is skateboarding a sport? I loved playing roller hockey and basketball during my childhood years. The San Francisco 49ers are the American football team I started following in elementary school. Never looked back!
At what age did you start watching Arsenal?
Back in Iran during the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I started watching the Premier League more consistently. The PL and Serie A were the two most popular football leagues that were always broadcasted. I was amazed by Arsenal’s passing, and Henry’s tempo really caught my eye. In 2001 when Titi scored the single winning goal against Villa, I felt a genuine relief and joy. Although I didn’t know or understand the history and tradition of Arsenal, I just came to realize that this may be the club that captures my heart; however it would take a few more years for the love grew to infinite measures.
What about Arsenal caught your attention?
This may sound cheesy, but the red and white was the first eye catcher for me. My beloved Persepolis FC wore red and white that year as well, so the colors were convincing. In a nutshell, my favorite color has always been red, Titi was my favorite player growing up (outside of the Persian Gulf League), and not to mention the handful of French players that wore the crest were all convincing reasons to start following the Arsenal.
Who is your all-time favorite Arsenal Player? What about this player stands out for you?
This is a difficult question to answer, but if I have to narrow down to my all-time favorite, it would have to be Pires. The guy was an idol of mine. For a
sex God footballer to possess those looks, that hair, that caliber of passing and his shooting techniques all into one, just makes it impossible not to question your sexuality. Especially that goatee. Kidding aside, I deeply admired and idolized his role for the club. If I could choose to be one of the Invincibles, I would definitely pick kamasutra master Pires.
Who is your favorite current Arsenal player and why?
Another tough answer…but I love some Gunner aggro. Dudes like Kos, BFG, and Flamini tickle me silly. I love watching an Arsenalist motivate and demand greatness from his teammates, and at the same time boss the opposition by chopping them in half. This stuff pumps me up to unhealthy levels.
Are you superstitious? Do you have any pre-match rituals?
Not necessarily superstitious, but downing a pint before sunrise has become a ritual. This is the best advantage we West Coast Gooners have over the rest of the Gooners around the world.
How did you first find out about the OC Gooners? When was your first time to The Olde Ship?
My old roommate’s boyfriend (who is a United fan) told me about an Arsenal supporters group that his friend (Daniel Zarate) had started up with some other friends. He told me that this supporters group is pretty new and he gave me the address to the Ship. I still owe that man a beer for introducing me to my long lost biological family.
What were your expectations the first time watching a match with the group? Did you feel welcome?
To be honest, I felt a bit nervous as I was on my way to the Ship. Sadly, I can’t remember who Arsenal was playing on my first visit, but the vibe was everything I had expected. A dedicated and legitimate band of brothers and sisters who were on their feet, it almost felt like we were a part of the club and its grounds. Then I realized we ARE a part of this club, and that’s when it really sank in….I found a new home, a group of people I can call family, with no funk to fake. I fucking love every minute of being aboard this Olde Ship with these OCG’s. Can we say fuck on here?
Did you feel the emotions and begin to chant?
Right from the start. It’s impossible not to express your emotions from the *stands*. I mean, who doesn’t want to pound a couple pints and sing off the top of their lungs? It’s really as simple as that.
What do you enjoy the most about the group?
These dudes are a solid group of fans. Respectful and witty; most of these Gooners are not afraid to dish a couple responses to the rivals that hop on board the Ship. These guys are a class bunch right here. Personally, I love when other supporters come in bunches, because a bit piss taking never hurt anybody.
What is your favorite OC Gooner moment/memory?
I will always remember those early 4:45am kickoffs back in the early years, there was something special about it. But the first 5-2 win against the spuds in 2012 was probably one of the best atmosphere’s I’ve ever experienced. Also, the United match at Old Trafford this season was a spectacular atmosphere as well.
Do you have a favorite activity outside of the pub that you enjoy with individual OC Gooners or the entire group?
Dial Square FC Till I Die. If they allow, I will sign on a free when I move back to the OC. Many of us keep in contact on a regular basis, and many of us are like brothers. It’s been a bit difficult for me to participate in OCG pickups games, picnics, and other get-togethers like I used to, but this lot is always in the talks for some sort of event outside of our Ship. I genuinely love hanging outside the pub this group.