It’s here again! The Saturday when football’s coming home! The 2016 Emirates FA Cup Final will kick off at 5:30pm on Saturday 21st May at Wembley Stadium. The finalists are Crystal Palace and Manchester United and it promises to be an exciting game, with more than 57,500 supporters of the two finalists occupying in attendance 80 per cent of the available seats in the stadium.
The 2016 FA Cup Final is in fact the 135th final! The FA Cup is the world's oldest football cup competition, dating back to 1871–72. It has been played every year since then, apart from being temporarily suspended during the first and second World Wars.
But aside from its history, there is something special about the FA Cup. Many people hold it dear in their hearts. But what is its allure? Why is it so popular? Even people who don’t normally follow football seem to have some anecdotal memories to share about the FA Cup Final.
We reckon it’s a very British phenomenon that has three main factors:
Brits love pure entertainment
The FA Cup Final is gripping stuff! It doesn’t matter whether you have followed the competition all the way through: the Final can be watched as a standalone match with no knowledge of, or interest in, the process of how each team ended up there. It’s simply a win or lose game that draws us in for those critical 90 minutes and then it is over. Bar the shouting of course - but you don’t have to get involved in that if you don’t want to!
Brits love a good party
We love any excuse to get together and have fun! But sometimes we’re not very good at organising that without a specific purpose so the FA Cup Final is the ideal opportunity. Get a few family and friends round the TV with drinks and nibbles and you’ve got the makings of a good evening. It’s also a perfect time to have a bit of a photoshoot while you’re all together and create some special memories to look back on in years to come; especially if your team clinch victory!
Brits love the underdog
We think this is the main reason that the FA Cup is so popular! There’s something eternally appealing about the underdog winning the match. It appeals to our innate sense of fair play in the same way as does a rags to riches story or a miraculous comeback in Monopoly! It also reignites our hope and optimism and has the feelgood factor in spades! So unless you are a firm supporter of the seemingly stronger team, you can back the underdog and feel that thrill of British pride and satisfaction if they do win!
So whatever you are doing this Saturday, make the FA Cup Final part of your day! We hope you get totally absorbed in it and enjoy every minute. Don’t forget to take those all important photographs of you and yours celebrating the occasion: this time next year you’ll be glad you did!