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Five reasons why the FA Cup is still magical

988   //    10 Mar 2012, 10:30 IST

The general consensus when you ask fans about the FA Cup is that it’s lost it’s class, lost it’s magic. Some blame the colossal wages players now receive, some blame the Premier League and its corporate structure which has belittled the “childhood dreams” of being in the FA Cup final. Some say it’s simply because the biggest clubs have their eyes only on the Premier League. 

However, although the FA Cup has certainly changed since the legendary 1953 final when the late, great sir Stanley Matthews helped his side, Blackpool defeat Bolton 4-3, despite being 3-1 down in a final that was dubbed “the Matthews final”.  

There is still magic in the FA Cup and here are five reasons why.

The players still care

If you feel that due to the quite frankly ridiculous wages of top players in England that none of the players feel any love and admiration for the iconic tournament, then you are wrong. The sheer elation on the faces of Manchester City’s stars when they won the cup last season spoke volumes. 

Now, I’m not saying ALL modern players care just as much as their more modestly paid predecessors did, but I think presuming that every single one of them only cares about the Premier League and Champions League, is just wrong and harsh.

The fans

FA Cup games, regardless of who’s playing, have a truly unique build up. The idea that anyone can beat anyone still resonates with fans and most of them, they love it. 

Other than the World Cup, there is no competition, not even the Champions League, that is able to make non-football fans believe in the players and the managers who are on their TV screens. 

It’s just something that can’t be stopped, regardless of how much the players are paid.

The TV channels love it

Whether you like it or not, if it wasn’t for the interest of the TV channels, the FA Cup probably wouldn’t be around now. It’s just the way it is today. 

In the UK, terrestrial channel ITV shares the broadcasting rights, along with ESPN. In the USA, another major channel, FOX Soccer have the honor of showing the tournament. 

These are just some of the huge channels that broadcast the cup which has allegedly lost its magic. Throughout the rest of the world, many more well-known channels broadcast the FA Cup.

The excitement of the final

One of the criticisms of the modern FA Cup is that due to the sheer amount of matches being broadcast, there is nothing unique about the FA Cup final, which used to be the only match broadcasted live in England. 

However, when do you see so many balloons, flags and banners at Wembley other than on cup final day? 

There is even royalty on the day of the final at Wembley. I for one can’t think of any other games with all of that and more, can you? So that alone makes the FA Cup truly unique. 

Giant killings 

Wimbledon celebrate winning the trophy after defeating Liverpool in 1988…. one of the biggest upsets in English football history

Yes, it’s a cliché but the FA Cup always conjures up some exciting ties featuring teams at the complete opposite ends of the spectrum. 

For example, last season, we had Crawley, then a mere conference club facing off against the colossal Manchester United at the majestic Old Trafford. In the end, United won a tough encounter 1-0 and only the woodwork denied Crawley a last minute equalizer. 

When you see the excitement on the faces of the players who play for the so-called lesser clubs in English football, you appreciate why the FA Cup is still magical, albeit in a different sense to that of decades previous.

Written by Joshua Sodergren
Follow him on Twitter @chelsealad1365

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