Don’t be fooled by the picture, this post really is not all about Robbie. Today is MY day and this post is all about me!
For those that do not know me or don’t follow the beautiful game, today is the FA cup final and amazingly my not so mighty Arsenal are in it. This makes today more exciting for than Christmas and my birthday rolled into one. This day has some serious history.
Of course this year things will be a little different. I won’t be visiting the pub to share the feelings of either jubilation or humiliation with friends and other drunken strangers, nor will I be making a big deal of it (Aside from this post!) as life with a toddler hardly allows for a self obsessed day. Once kick off comes though, I will not be leaving my armchair for any reason other than to scream angrily and pointlessly at the television.
The FA cup and I have serious history together. As a child and all the way up to around age 18 I would always dye my hair red for the final, wanting to ensure everyone who saw me would know exactly which side I was cheering on. Not a bad idea if things go well, but as my team and certainly my confidence in them to win began to decrease, I’ve found a more subdued approach slightly better.
The big day would always begin with watching football focus in the morning, then a little lunch before heading to pub to watch the 3 hour build up with friends and family accompanied with a few beverages which will have changed from squash, to cola, to lager, to bitter as the years have rolled by. The game itself is 90 minutes of pure pain and anger yet amazingly, Arsenal have a habit of winning these games and leading to long nights of celebration.
Often the game itself just becomes a very small event within an amazing day, with me struggling to even remember the score by the end of the night.
On to today. My usual partner in crime, my Brother, won’t be watching the game with me as he has to work. I’m not one for stats and he may correct me but i believe this is the first final we have not suffered together and should lead to a few less celebrations and a slightly reduced hangover tomorrow.
There are other little differences too. The game usually takes place in early May, around the time of my Mum’s birthday but although she will be joining us there won’t be any cakes or presents today. Sorry Mum.
So it is time to start new traditions. For one special little man it will be his first experience of cup final day with Dad. We’ve already started with a kick about in the garden together and he’s gone off for his nap happy in the knowledge of a visit from nan and a promise that he can stay up late tonight. This is not so much a cup final treat, just a nice way of avoiding the inconvenience of bedtime falling halfway through the match.
He has no idea, but today is just the beginning of his FA cup adventures. Robbie actually really enjoys it when Arsenal are on the tv. He has no idea about football or what is going on and even I can’t convince myself he is a fan just yet, but that doesn’t stop his enjoyment. Every time I shout, jump up or fall to the floor in despair Robbie bursts out into fits of giggles. It’s all just a game to him, but not in the same way it is to me.
One particular game this season, which I will not mention further, ended with me banging my hand against my head. Robbie, being the helpful guy that he is, was happy to join in and began pounding my face too. It kept him happy in my time of need I guess.
There is no doubt that the time for old beer soaked traditions is over and hopefully next year all the family will be together, even bigger and better, to bring on the next generation of Arsenal sufferers. I can’t wait!
It’s FA cup final day and will be Robbie’s first experience of watching Dad suffer the occasion…
I’m still working on convincing Robbie of the importance of football. Though many would argue that there are far more important life skills to be teaching a one year old boy, my focus on prioritising such aspects has always been a little off key.
It’s a pretty big week for me. Though it may seem that very little is actually happening, I have two major landmarks in my life this week.