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FIFA 13. Its more than just a game.

Growing up, you hear a lot of jokes on Canadians thanks to the American media. But releasing FIFA 13 on 9/11 just makes me believe all those jokes I heard earlier. I mean what’s wrong in shifting the release date by a day? There’s your Aunt sobbing looking at the memorial services on television and you’re all six packed to celebrate, rubbing your hands watching the download bar.

Thankfully the game in itself is no joke. Far from it. Many improvements from 12 that you must have heard about. Its shinier, slicker and smarter. Sounds almost like the iphone5 ad? But you know all about that too.

The only disappointment is the apathy you see Arsenal are treated with. Thanks for having us on the demo dear Canadians. Really. What do you call it now? Soccer is it? Because if you think Jenks & Mannone are first choice in the team while Sagna & WS1 are in reserves, I am going to believe those Canadian jokes again, and finally understand the difference between football & soccer.

Every gooner knows their (team) injuries are now short-term and most absentees would be back anytime. But you had to go ahead and be clever about it and use recent team choice as it is. How clever! Gervinho in CAM position and no Cazorla in the team. How clever! Didn’t Cazorla arrive before RVP made the switch? You guys even had the time to record pitiful commentary about RVP’s departure and add tch tch to it. How clever! What now? I can do all the required 3-4 changes to get to the ideal team you say? And just please remind me again who is paying who?

Ok fine, may be I am a bit more pissed than I ought to be. But as a fan you just can’t tolerate such insensitivity. Our best defender last season by a mile and only second best (arguably) to Kompany in the league is rated 80!? and Vermaelen gets an 85? Are you even serious now?

Lots of gooners in the FIFA world are unhappy about it all, and have been complaining. Understandably so. It’s not the end of the world and it’s just a demo, but its worth crushing, tearing & burning your desk calendar (from last year). Some are quick to spit “Oh c’mon it’s just a stupid video game”. While some imaginary-monocle-wearing-ones profess “Oh dear lord! (imagine the wrinkles in the voice) how inane is it to even get emotional about such a puny little thing. Here I am cementing collective fortitude by unearthing the diabolical conspiracy to deliberately and unequivocally surrender club’s pre-enumerated commercial revenue prospects cowardly deposited beneath the burdens of lustrous ulteriors, yet all that affects you is absurdity of your virtual fickle game” Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Relax…. Now, I have 2 things to say to this. 1. You are wrong Sir. And 2. Who the fuck talks like that!!!? In truth you are as far away from Wenger’s job as that guy with the Xbox controller.

Psychology students among us know all about projection and why we love superman. (Should point out here, that I learnt all this just by watching one episode of Sopranos) Playing Fifa with Arsenal is exactly the same. These kids want to take the club fight to another ground and prove to themselves and others why their club is better. I have seen online players trying to carefully emulate what their flesh-n-bones team does week in week out on the field. They even take on player characters and pretend to be them. So a Scholes is taking every crack at the ball possible and a Walcott is always looking for a 1-2 & sprint. These kids research thoroughly about players and are equally upset when Arsenal don’t sign a world class striker of TDD. And just like you, this kid wants to beat City. Perhaps twice. Daily.

Forget those kids, because perhaps the logic of everything kids do is kiddish does not seem to leave many. Here is the news for you. All your football heroes are self confessed Fifa addicts. Rooney, Ronaldo, Wilshere & Ronalidinho and even (*insert small cry) Joey Barton. All of them.

And who decides who is a real fan. How is it measured? Would you automatically certify the guy with the season ticket over the guy with a 3 star team and a thread of hope to beat Barcelona. The fist pumping after a goal is exactly same. The disappointment at a wrongly awarded penalty equally painful. Street credit exists in both worlds. Real and virtual. So is it decided by how extended your vocabulary is in analysing a game. By the number of years of your affiliation, and the knowledge of the financial details about low commercial income?

Or is it just measured by that feeling in your heart. How strong it feels. How truly it hurts. How loud could you sing without even being tipsy. How quickly can you forgive an off day. How long will you remember Ryan Babel’s dive?

So don’t be too quick to judge a fellow soldier. He might be on foot and you on a mighty horse. But its the same war, same enemy and the same chant. He just wants his arms. So together we can all march.

PS: It took me a good 12 minutes to put together that stupid sentence in italics with the help of thesaurus.