Posted by: secretperson | December 2, 2007

The FA Cup – a Great English Institution

I am sat watching Harrogate Railway vs Mansfield Town on the BBC. It’s raining, and you can see this on the cameras. The players are covered in mud. People are standing under what are effectively sheds. The TV is picking up the chanting and shouting. I wish I was there.

Harrogate Railway are not even the biggest team in Harrogate. But if they win this game they go into the thrid round draw and could be facing Manchester United, Arsenal or Chelsea. Or Havant and Waterlooville. This is a huge day for the fans. Every manager knows and most fans know that the league is the real important thing. Promotion and relegation are what really matters. But you can’t beat the joy of the cup.

The fact that it is away from the stresses of league football, the fact it is all decided on the day, the chance for a trip to a big ground, to play the big team and beat them, the chance for small clubs to appear on tv, for players to be interviewed on Match of the Day, it all adds up to a special occassion.

I assume for fans of small clubs everywhere in the world cups provide similar oppurtunities, but it doesn’t seem to be as universally popular as the FA cup. Remember the fuss when the FA let Manchester United not enter to play in the World Club Championship?

It’s now 1-0 to Mansfield.

Anyway not a lot to say, just away from international incompetence and over-expensive spoilt Premiership rubbish it’s nice to see some people genuinely enjoying local football, getting behind their team and having a good day out. It’s not for nothing that the FA cup has been named as one of the Icons of England.

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