Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Thierry Henry's Return

Thierry Henry celebrates in front of his people.
I was going to write about Thierry Henry's return about sports really delivering a moment. Then I saw many people beat me to the punch. I'm glad there was such praise for the moment itself. A historic clubs all-time leading scorer returning to his club only to net the game winning goal after being on the pitch for 15 minutes.

What makes this great, and really what makes being a sports fan so great is when moments like this fulfill expectations. Your thought goes from "Wouldn't it be great if..." to "No he couldn't..." to the rapturous moment of "He did!" Nothing can really rival that feeling as a sports fan. It can happen in every game, but some times it happens on grand stages that are remembered forever.

Henry's return in the FA Cup probably falls somewhere in the middle, but in the game of soccer where there are so few goals scored, so few opportunities to make a difference, for the "over the hill" Henry to return and emphatically mark his return (on loan from MLS' NY Red Bulls) surely gave all the fans watching chills. 

Sadly, my history with Henry is short. I knew of him before I began getting really into European soccer, but no sooner did I proclaim the team I would follow would be Arsenal, they shipped him off to Barcelona. Seemingly ending the greatest career of any Arsenal player ever. For many Gooners, they will have many different memories of Henry that spans any one of his 226 goals, but goal 227 was my first experience. Knowing what I know about the moment, on top of the situation within the game, made it something I will remember as a great example of why I love sports.

Fans don't get to play, they don't earn millions for watching teams day in and day out, but what fans do get in payment are moments like this that make watching sports so worth it.

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