Embarrassment of footie riches this month, as our friend Fat Guy in a Speedo has been productive. The fifth round of the FA Cup kicks off this morning, with storylines to please the most discerning fan. We've got bigs versus littles, hooligans against champions, and probably an unavoidable thrashing or three. Fingers crossed that Fulham avoids getting completely throttled by a pissed off Tottenham side that's coming off dismal performances against Liverpool in the league and Gent(!) in the Europa League. Herewith the Fat Guy:
The two teams to surprise this year are Lincoln City and Sutton United, two non-league teams - which means they are mostly made up of amateurs whose day jobs consist of non-soccer related activities envisioned by the FA 120 years in the past. (Speaking of Fat Guy, Men in Blazers had an awesome interview with Sutton's backup goalkeeper, 280-lb, 46 year-old Wayne Shaw.) Put into perspective by the Guardian (and proving its reporter wrong), “You probably won’t read this anywhere else this weekend, but just nine non-league teams have made it to the fifth round of the FA Cup since the end of the Second World War. This season, two of them have done so for the first time since the establishment of the Football League in 1888.” So there’s that.
Unfortunately, statistical significance doesn’t equate to real-life excitement as prior girlfriends can confirm. Sutton United play an Arsenal team whose 5-1 midweek tonking in the Champions League by Bayern Munich should inspire them to victory in pursuit of the only silverware they might have a shot at this year. It’s actually looking like Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will finally part ways with the club he’s been at for twenty-some years this summer. I hope not, as the angst of Arsenal fans worldwide has provided the rest of us with huge amounts of schadenfreude over the past decade. Lincoln City vs. Burnley might be more competitive but I doubt it.
So, what’s worth watching you ask? Fuck if I know. Millwall plays Leicester City, and this might be interesting in that high-flying underdogs Leicester City won the league handily last season and are in danger of relegation this season, which would be a first in the modern era; paradoxical in light of the highly consistent Lester with whom we're all familiar. Plus, Millwall’s fans will chant “No one likes us, we don’t care” whilst hooliganing the shit out of the place as is their wont. Fulham – Tottenham has potential unless you follow oddsmaking.
It's supposed to be beautiful outside this weekend. Maybe just go for a walk.