RUFC - What does the FA Cup Final Mean to you?
After just watching Premiership Pompey beat Championship Cardiff one-nil in this seasons FA Cup Final it got me thinking about Finals of yesteryear.
It was the one afternoon of the year that me and my dad used to sit together and watch live football on the telly. We locked the door and sat from mid morning until tea time living on crisps, pop and mars bars so we didn`t have to move away from the screen. It was our religion just for that one afternoon. We used to watch FA Cup specials of Mastermind, Question of Sport and the Road to Wembley. We watched the teams leave their hotels and arrive at Wembley and the interviews on the pitch and listen intently to the studio guests. It was an exciting day, even if we didn`t particularly like either of the two teams who were in the final - it was an institution.
It`s just not like that these days is it? The days of those finals in the 60`s and 70`s are just a distant memory. The FA Cup day was just that, FA Cup day. No other football on (except Scottish FA Cup Final too) - so when did it change?
For me, it was when teams started to put out their reserve sides in the rounds against lower placed teams. This season, Reading`s Dave Kitson actually came out and said he found the FA Cup an inconvenience and I suppose there are a lot more players and managers who think the same. It happened to the League Cup but I never thought it would happen to the FA Cup.
Just when did 'a good cup run` stop being important? When did ten year olds stop dreaming of scoring the winning goal in the last minute of the FA Cup Final at Wembley? When did captains of teams stop dreaming of climbing up the Wembley steps and picking up the Cup, kissing it and showing it to their fans?
Whenever it was it killed the romance and tradition of the FA Cup forever.
What a shame.