A Day With Thierry HenryI have written this post over 50 times in my head and each time it comes out different. Where do I begin? Do I start at the part where I called practically everyone I knew in NYC trying to get silly pink wristbands that granted Chewy, Keith and me access to the "Meet the Red Bulls" event? Or do I start at the part where we waited in the freezing cold outside the Adidas Store on Broadway waiting to meet Thierry Henry? I guess it doesn't really matter where the story starts, but the story in and of itself is worth telling. I present to you all.... As a Gooner living in the United States I never got the chance to visit Highbury or the Emirates stadium to watch my idol, Thierry Henry, play for Arsenal. So when my buddy in NYC informed me of the "Meet the Red Bulls" event at the Adidas store yesterday, I quickly cleared my schedule for the event. Yesterday also happened to be my best friend's birthday, and being that he loves Arsenal as well, I planned to bring him along as a surprise. I kept the secret quite well until Emily, Keith's girl, told me that she let it slip...You're forgiven, Em. So at that point the pressure to pull it off was now greater. Up until 10.37 am I had no wristbands to get into the store, but I held faith like a boy on Christmas morning hoping for that shiny train set. My good friend, Dara King, who lives not too far from the store came through in the clutch like Thierry Henry's header against Man U (see what I did there?). She text me while I was slaving over my Structures exam that she had managed to snag three wristbands for free. (Others had to spend $50 on Red Bull gear to get wristbands). I wasn't surprised because Dara is the sort of person that can persuade you to sell your car and use the money to buy her shoes.
Chewy and I left Philadelphia on the trusty Chinatown bus headed for the Big Apple. Thanks to technological Android-wizardry we were able to watch the Tottenham shellacking on a bus with no Wi-fi. Thierry would've been proud. After arriving in the city we link up with Dara to get the wristbands and get in line around the store. It's freezing cold, but the Red Bull folks were kind enough to offer us copious amounts of ice cold Red Bulls to keep us warm. Well played.
After being in line outside for almost two hours the folks in the Red Bulls jackets and walkie talkies came out with some bad news. The folks who were unable to secure a wristband earlier in the day would not be able to get in. How unfortunate. These folks had endured the cold for two hours and you just now tell them they won't be able to get in. Unbelievable. The lines finally moved and we inched closer to meeting the man who inspired me to wear the number 14 even though it sits somewhere at the bottom of my favorite figures. Oh shit. That's HIM. The one that scored 226 goals for Arsenal. Made Real Madrid look like school boys at the Bernabeu; the man who God sent to be a thorn in the side of Tottenham Hotspur. The man who went an entire Premier League season unbeaten. That man is ten feet in front of me. While we stood outside, each of us came up with awesome questions we were going to ask him. But naturally, when I got up to him, I could not even think of saying anything. I was just grateful that I was fortunate to be in his presence. Then the unthinkable happens. LBF's resident photographer, Chewy, pulls a Yakubu at the worst moment. Henry gets up to take a photo with me and Chewy is fondling with the camera and says "no more memory." The moment I had been waiting for; the moment I'd dreamed I would share with my children when I am old and gray would not be captured. No sweat though, because Birthday Boy got his picture AND told TiTi to sign his Arsenal jumper, "Always a Gunner" which he did. You have to respect someone like Henry. There were cameras next to him, a smug reporter who was constantly barraging him with the same old questions, and countless flashes going off in his face for hours and he smiled each time and took it all in stride. What a class act. God bless you TiTi. I don't like the Red Bulls (I'm a Union fan) but I spent $20 on RB Jabulani just to get it signed. Money well spent. We exited the store quickly and ventured onto the streets of Manhattan in search of good dinner. Remember this post? Yeah, it's becoming a habit to find good spots to eat after football-related outings. It's the LBF Life I guess. Emily recommended Max Brenners for Keith's birthday dinner, and so we went. Hilarity ensues... I had rewritten this post 50 times in my head, most words were forgotten. More clever quips and anecdotes as well. These images give you an idea of how epic it was. Oh, after stuffing our face with Max Brenners, Chewy and I had to sprint a mile to catch the last bus back to Philadelphia. Hilarious. Video coming later on. I have class now so I must run. Au Revoir! EDIT: Here's that video