It would be a missed moment if I didn't mention the monumental change in football over the weekend. If you didn't catch it, the name of this sight, Icon United, while photography and art centered, is a direct nod to football. When I made the full leap into photography and multimedia, circa 2006, I also began to also heavily follow Arsenal F.C. out of Highbury, London.
Around then the Premiere League started to broadcast games here in the states more predominantly with the hope to widen their audience. And it worked, at least here. I found myself watching a match here or there, late at night or on the weekend...and before I knew it, I was interested. And as anyone does, when they are interested, they seek to learn more. To follow it more closely I felt I needed a club. After looking into a few clubs...their names, places, and probably most important in 2006, who had an online presence in which I could read about them, follow them and learn though them...I found The Arsenal. I learned about their history and I learned about the game. I learned about the rules. And about the other teams. And in the end, I learned I really enjoyed soccer. For someone who grew up with sports on the peripheral view of life, football caught fire in the mid oughts and has been part of my life since. More specifically The Arsenal caught fire and has been a part of my life since.
And yesterday that drama was in full force. A man I have been following for the last 12 years, the manager of Arsenal F.C., stepped down. Arsen Wenger managed AFC for 22 years, overseeing 1235 matches overall, and the only manager I have known. The lead principle in a drama I have keenly followed over the years. When this site was created, the "United" comes from so many football clubs that share the same unifier. I found it hard to work in an "F.C." in a way that might relate to photography and multimedia, so I went with united. I felt at the time, and still do to this day, that between a United group of creators, great content can be made. I've also found that to be true. I have been fortunate enough to partner with so many talented creators over the years.
In the world of soccer, it's a title attribute many clubs share. And while not a direct nod to Arsenal, the United here itself has been, and will continue to be, a fun nod to soccer in my life.
As change seems to be constant, this is a new form of it in a place that hasn't seen a lot of it. Arsen leaves this season behind and a new chapter begins begins for the club. He will be missed here. He's been the only manger I have known at a club that I have come to follow religiously. It makes for exciting times. But as football clubs go, I'm happy to have fallen in with a club who's manager believed that football could be an art form. I'm happy that this club is from a district in North London, so far away from the mid-west, but close with friends and family. I'm also happy that Arsenal show up in one of my most favorite works, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy - random but true. Arsen Wenger's last match managing Arsenal F.C. was yesterday and it would be amiss if I didn't note how much fun it has been to follow The Arsenal. I look forward to more drama full of highs and lows, a sport shared by the world, and how it's left an impression here. When I tell people, "Don't remember how to spell my name because it's furitless, it's tough to spell on the fly... just remember Icon United, it's easier." I usually get a smile as I hand them a business card and some even get the reference. Thanks for the memories Arsen.