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Monday, September 10, 2007

September 11th suggestion:
Do not wear clothing to the airport that Osama Bin Laden probably owns.

Last Friday I arrived at Ronald Reagan National airport across the Snakehead-infested Potomac River from Washington, DC, proudly wearing my Arsenal jersey. I was not flying to London to attend a ‘Gunners’ match. They weren’t even playing last weekend. I just felt like wearing it. Soccer jerseys do not go down to your knees like basketball jerseys and they are not constructed to accommodate a pair of shoulder pads underneath them like hockey or football jerseys, so it’s much more like a regular shirt than jerseys of other sports, with one key difference – at least with non-MLS (except the New York Red Bulls) club teams – being that they prominently feature the logo of the team’s major sponsor right on the front.

Walking to the security station, I was not thinking at all about the jersey being any issue, so I was caught off guard when the bearded security guy stood in front of me with a serious face and said “I have to ask you what your shirt means.” I explained that it was a jersey for Arsenal, an English soccer team, and that “Fly Emirates”, was just a message from Emirates, an Airline that sponsors the team. The guard was fine with this explanation and let me proceed through the metal detector. I didn’t even get a special search. I did, however, feel stupid for deciding to wear a shirt that has any kind of reference to the Middle East on it, as an airline reserves the right to remove anyone from a flight if any of its employees or customers are uneasy about him or her (note: I don’t really know if this is true, but it could be and there’s no fucking way I’m going to look it up to check). I also wondered if the guard maybe felt a little bit stupid for working at an airport and seeing “Fly Emirates” and not thinking “Emirates Airlines”. Although I wasn’t really bothered in any serious way for wearing this jersey, I will certainly not be wearing it at an airport again.

Yesterday I was catching up on some recent Deadspin posts, including A Day of Footie Atonement, by David Hirshey, who is an Arsenal fan who writes about soccer for Deadspin. Hirshey, in the column, points out a fact that – as a not-exactly-longtime Arsenal fan – I was unaware of: Osama Bin Laden is a “well-documented supporter of Arsenal”. So note to self, and note to other Arsenal fans: Do not, especially today – September 11th – wear a “Fly Emirates” Arsenal jersey to the airport, or you could end up with a fist of freedom up your precious cavity.

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