Gooner of the Month: Chris Kilzer
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.
Our January Gooner of the Month, is our satellite in-spirit-brethren, Chris Kilzer.
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Northern California originally. Born in Santa Cruz, grew up in a place called Carmel Valley. Moved to Orange County in 2001.
What got you interested in football?
As a young lad my parents signed me up for a team with most of the other boys in my neighborhood. We had this Czech-American guy in our town that really was pushing soccer for the kids around my area. Great guy.
Growing up did you play football?
I did, see above.
At what age did you start playing FIFA?
Growing up I wasn’t really ever huge into video games. FIFA ’98 was probably the first year I really got into the FIFA series and then it was just a downward spiral from there. I still can remember World Cup 2002, first year in OC staying up all night with buddies watching the games and playing FIFA, what a great summer that was. To this day there are still arguments that go on over some of those games and the cheating. Full power shot from kick off with a right or left button swerve would result in a goal probably 40% of the time. Friends would be furious.
Did you play or watch sports other than football growing up?
I did, pretty much all of them. I’m sort of all over the place with my sports teams. My dad went to Notre Dame so I was a massive fan growing up and living in Nor. Cal I was a huge SF 49ers fan but when my dad and mom moved to LA after the army he became a Dodgers fan. ND, 49ers and Dodgers has always been an odd mix to people but sometimes you don’t choose your teams they are chosen for you. Growing up, other than soccer, I played Baseball and Golf.
At what age did you start watching Arsenal?
Probably around 1999. That was right about when Fox Sports World (which turned into Fox Soccer channel then Fox Soccer) started showing EPL matches. Before that you would get to see the bigger games in the CL and the World Cup but not much else. I still remember the first Arsenal game I saw on FSW and Pires was doing this amazing step over/ball roll on the side line against, I think it was either Ipswich or Birmingham City and just going holy shit this is amazing.
What about Arsenal caught your attention?
From World Cup ’94 I was a massive Bergkamp fan (That goal against Argentina at World Cup ’98, holy shit.) and being a young boy playing on my team our coach always told us to defend like Tony Adams, of course at the time none of us had any clue who he was talking about, but it always stuck with me. From those points it just was destiny. Oh and because of the 49ers red has always been my favorite color that helped a little.
Who is your all-time favorite Arsenal Player? What about this player stands out for you?
Bergkamp; main reason I’m an Arsenal fan. His play was just magical; he could do things with the ball other players only dreamed of. I could use all the superlatives in the world to describe him and it still wouldn’t be doing him justice. Henry and Pires are both closely tied for 2nd.
Who is your favorite current Arsenal player and why?
Really changes all the time. Don’t think I could pick one. I love them all. Mertesacker for his amazing leadership and his hilarious German sense of humor. Poldi because he just seems like the guy that makes every laugh. Szczesny for his trolling of the spuds. Sagna for his hatred of the spuds and love of the Arsenal. Jack because he’s our little cunt. Ramsey because he shut all the haters up. Tomas, Santi, Ozil Etc. I could list things I absolutely love about each one of them.
Are you superstitious? Do you have any pre-match rituals?
Nope and nope. I try to steer clear of that stuff.
How did you first find out about the OC Gooners? When was your first time to The Olde Ship?
My boy Danny Z. We knew each other through the music scene and he let me know he was starting an Arsenal supporters group with a few guys. Honestly don’t remember my first time to the Olde Ship. Nick or Danny honestly probably knows better than I do.
What were your expectations the first time watching a match with the group? Did you feel welcome?
My expectations were that it was going to be amazing to watch a match with people that loved The Arsenal as much as I did. I felt welcome from the second I walked in that door.
Did you feel the emotions and begin to chant?
Definitely. I’d always loved that aspect of football from the get go and thought it made it stand apart from American sports. I had been over to Highbury before they moved and the signing makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Fuck any opposing fan who called it Highbury the library or that Arsenal fans are quiet. It was loud as shit. An amazing experience.
What do you enjoy the most about the group?
That even though we can bicker from time to time on Facebook that it is a big family. I can’t make it out as much as I’d like to anymore due to school and whatnot but when I do its like I was there every week. It really is like a big family.
What is your favorite OC Gooner moment/memory?
That’s a tough one. The games against spuds are always amazing. Both the 5-2′s and the 1-0 this season were great. Even though we lost the Gooner on the Road game against United was amazing.
Do you have a favorite activity outside of the pub that you enjoy with individual OC Gooners or the entire group?
Because of school and other obligations I don’t get to see the boys outside of the pub as much as I’d like to unfortunately. As far as shit I’m into I love motorcycles/dirt bikes (my wife hates it), backpacking, fly fishing and cycling.