If I hear one more person bang on about the “romance of the cup” I’ll be forced to grind my teeth and shake a clenched fist in rage, God help you all.
I do all-action-no-plot, not romance. My favourite romantic film is Die Hard (the whole Ms Holly Genaro/Mrs Holly McClane sub-plot has me choking back the tears). Come FA Cup 3rd/4th round weekend each year I’m forced to chop down the nearest tree, turn it into a paper bag and vomit into it, as pundits, commentators, ex-pros and even ex-blinking-amateurs go all dewey-eyed at memories of Tesco AFC of the Salted Peanuts Division South knocking out the mighty Aldershot on a muddy bog in January 1972, accompanied by Motty’s tedious screeching.
I guess it’s nice if you’re the lad who scored the winner for the non-league lot back in the days when Martin Jol (blessed be his name) had hair – and a kick-ass beard as it happens – but I’m not that lad. Nor am I a member of his family, or anyone else who cares.I’m a Spurs fan. Therefore, come the FA Cup I want to see all the big teams knocked out, thus smoothing our progress so that we play Burnley in the semi-final, rather than Man Utd in the 4th round. However, if Spurs have already been knocked out I want to see all the big teams left in to play each other in the final stages, free and accessible on terrestrial. Last year’s semi-final line-up comprised Pompey, Cardiff, West Brom and Barnsely, and was consequently watched by eight people across the country. I watched the final between Pompey and Cardiff, and it left me yearning for a flux capacitor which would enable me to go back to my settee at 2.59pm and stick on a dvd of 5-1 vs Germany instead.
The Champs League final between Man Utd and Chelski, by contrast, was a game of cracking quality. I realise that two top teams can play each other and produce a rubbish game, and having caught the Gillingham-Villa game on Sunday I realise that lower-league-vs-Premiership can provide some excitement. I realise too that the windfalls from such glamour ties can keep the rubbish teams going, and that I sincerely support.Indeed, if I were trying to construct a logical, scientific proof that the romance of the cup is worthless and moribund, such counter-claims would be pretty damning – but I’m not trying to do that. I’m just venting my spleen, in a fit of uncontrollable rage, and communicating to the all-action-no-plot world my hatred of the sickening notion of the “romance of the cup”. I’m rallying against those who seem to assume that I should go weak at the knees at its mention, in much the same way as it’s assumed that I should love Nelson Mandela purely on account of my membership of the human race. To quote Rodney Trotter, no way Pedro. Read my lips – I LOATHE THE ROMANCE OF THE CUP, AND MR T IS MILES BETTER THAN NELSON MANDELA.