#NaBloPoMo: Romance of the Cup, FA Cup 1st round

Today has been dubbed Super Saturday given the assorted games being played today. As this was being handwritten, Liverpool were leading against Chelsea. The scoreline did actually change, but I won’t give that away. I love Jose, no one else comes close to that man and his swagger.

The FA cup (that’s the Football Association of England, and it’s not soccer) starts this weekend with the first round. There are a number of phrases associated with this tournament. ‘Minnows’, ‘Banana skins’ and ‘Giant killings’, all equate to the romance, drama and sheer brutality of ‘the cup’. It’s a rather nice piece of silverware.

If I remember correctly, this was one dubbed by The BBC as ‘The road to Wembley’. Wembley being the national stadium of England, and home of The Three lions. I have memories of The FA cup being the show piece ending of the season, a whole Saturday dedicated to it.  A proper three pm kick off.

The FA cup final is best described as being an epic. A showpiece. Beautifully mown grass, usually in the shape of diamonds. I wonder if that helped crosses go further. Players popping out onto the pitch in spiffy suits. Who can forget the Liverpool team of years gone passed with their white suits. Not quite Xavi Alonso, I tell you. A brass band, stirring into the tones of ‘Abide with me’ the other football anthem, other than you’ll never walk alone.

No one is safe in the Cup, and all teams are equal. Hence the banana skins, minnows and giant killings. The biggest of clubs, can fall to the smallest of teams who might be three leagues away from them. For smaller clubs, that’s a hell of pay day. There was of course the one episode, where one particular club decided not to participate, and chose to play in another tournament. Not a good day for English Football, the other was the lack of the 2018 world cup, I think.

I haven’t watched a Cup final in years. Even this year, I found it by accident, and then didn’t watch it. There have been too many changes since I last watched it.The shine, has somewhat disappeared for me.  Could be worse, we might still have those horrific FA Cup final songs that used to be released. Great for the charities that used to benefit, but less so for music aficionados.