We thought it was best to awaken from our close season slumber for English football’s showpiece game. No, not Sunderland v Southampton but the FA Cup Final. Who cares about the rubbish kick-off time, the fact that the Premier League season still carries on around it and that our experiences of this year’s tournament were fleeting? The FA Cup – particularly for teams like us in the lower leagues – still has its allure.
It’s something that lead sponsor Budweiser has sought to tap into with a unique advert that will be screening during the final this arvo on ITV (sigh) and ESPN (no contest). It will be two minutes comprised entirely of fan photographs taken during the competition this season and submitted via Twitter and the hashtag #tothedream. Will Boro’ feature? It’s pretty unlikely given we lost. And it was in Rotherham.
It may well seem overtly corporate but the intention is a sweet one really. As Boro’ fans, don’t we all dream that we can achieve something special in the FA Cup each year? And haven’t we already achieved something special – Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Hereford United (if you count the first time we made the ‘proper’ rounds of the cup). It’s those moments we cherish as any others in recent history.
There was a time we had to trawl through the whole qualifying process just to earn some away day at a lowly Division Three side. Now we start in the proper stage as a reward for league successes. You might not take the time to watch the Budweiser ad (apparently this is something they normally do for World Cup or Super Bowl campaigns), but remember it all about daring and dreaming. And with Boro’, about achieving too.