diamond geezer

 Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Cup Final returns to Wembley

08:30 Wake up in hotel room in Cardiff. Damn, should've been a little more optimistic when booking pre-final accommodation this year.
11:39 Arrive at Paddington. Wave scarf aloft and chant like a monkey.
11:48 Pay £4 to sing drunken songs in squashed carriages on the way to the new Wembley Park tube station.
Heavenly Hotdogs, Wembley Way12:31 Join massive crowds pouring (very slowly) down Wembley Way towards the new stadium. Resist buying a Heavenly Hotdog.
12:46 Finally enter the hallowed portals of the vastly-expensive over-budget ridiculously-late New Wembley Stadium. Try to ignore these facts and look to the future.
13:16 A trained snifferdog pokes around inside your rucksack and confiscates your illegal packed lunch.
13:19 Someone semi-official rips the stub off your £95 ticket and points the way through three concrete tunnels towards seat QQ43A-21b.
13:30 Ooh, just in time, the entertainment's starting. Some old men walk across the pitch and wave.
13:50 Some more old men walk across the pitch and blow trumpets. Maybe this would be a good time to go and buy a souvenir programme and a burger.
13:58 Ah, maybe now wouldn't be a good time to go and buy a souvenir programme and a burger, not without taking out a mortgage first.
14:05 Prince William walks across the pitch and waves. He introduces a "lost child" public information film on the big plasma screen, and then ties a yellow ribbon to the FA Cup so that the News of the World can take photos.
14:15 Next on the big plasma screen are edited highlights of this season's FA Cup qualifiers. It's just like watching Match of the Day at home, only further away and considerably more expensive.
14:45 The Red Arrows fly over the stadium, drowning out Abide With Me. One of the planes flies underneath the arch, just for a laugh.
Wembley Stadium15:00 The football match begins. Two dull over-rated teams are playing, so we'll not go into detail here.
15:49 It's half time. Quick, make your way to one of the extensive banks of urinals before the queue builds up. The queue for the single hand-dryer, that is.
15:58 Microwaved pie and a plastic cup full of frothy pumped lager? For £8.50? Er, no thanks, I think not.
16:05 Second half. There's a red goal and a blue goal, but maybe not in that order. Grown men yell and scream. Jose and Sir Alex glare at one another.
16:56 Extra time. Well, at least that's 33% better value for money.
17:33 Penalties! Somebody in the royal box turns to the person next to them and asks what the rules of this bit are.
17:47 We have a winner! Grown men cry. Doctor Who is going to be half an hour later than scheduled now, you bastards.
17:53 The winning team are still climbing the steps to the royal box to collect the cup. Come on, hurry up! Jose and Sir Alex are throwing clods of pristine turf at one another.
17:58 The winning captain runs up to the nearest block of spectators, puts the cup on his head and grins. Like nobody's ever done that before.
18:37 Still trying to get out of the stadium, through hordes of drunken cheering beer monsters. Which is a right miserable thing to have to do when your team just lost.
22:00 The Chairman of the FA smiles, locks the takings in the safe and drives home. At last, the new Wembley Stadium is truly open for business.

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