Arsenal America: Where are you from? How and why did you get to where you currently live?
Joe Meloni: I’m from Stoughton, Massachusetts, originally, about 25 minutes south of Boston, and I currently live in Brookline, Massachusetts. I moved to Brookline because it’s basically a part of Boston without being directly in the city. There are elements of it that feel like the good parts of the suburbs. Still, my apartment is about a mile from Fenway Park, so I still get the feeling of living in the city.
AA: Why did you become an Arsenal supporter? What was your first live Arsenal match?
JM: In 2005, I was in my dorm at the University of Massachusetts, watching Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO. One of the interviews they featured in that edition was with Thierry Henry, discussing racism in soccer. The spot was ahead of the 2006 World Cup and Henry had just collaborated with Nike to start Stand Up, Speak Up. At first, Henry’s stories about the racism he experienced on and off the pitch served as just another reason to ignore soccer altogether – as I had to that point. However, as Henry’s story progressed, it dug into his work in trying to end racism in the sport and his place as one of the world’s best. The highlights they showed of Henry and Arsenal showed me a style of soccer I’d never seen before. It was fast. The players moved. They worked so well together, and I immediately started looking up clips of Arsenal and Henry. The highlights and other stories about his efforts to educate the public about racism in the game made me admire him even further, as a player and a man. Part of my focus in college was sport sociology, and soccer provided some great subject matter for papers and research. So I suppose I became an Arsenal supporter because of Thierry Henry, a great soccer player and an even better man.
Back in 2007, Arsenal America profiled SSgt Jared Dugger while he was starting his second tour of Iraq. Arsenal America followed up with Jared in order to find out more about where he came from, where he is now, and how Arsenal continues to impact his life on a daily basis. Read More …
NYC Arsenal Supporters Holiday Party . . . food, beer, cupcakes and more!
Week in and week out the Blind Pig in New York City is filled with Gooners singing the songs of our beloved Arsenal. Given roller coaster ride we’ve all been on lately fans everywhere were looking forward to restoring a bit of normalcy into our game and beating Fulham at home. Thanks to Super Sam’s fantastic afternoon, we had reason to celebrate. Read More …