Friday, 2 January 2015

FA Cup Drinking Game

a typical goalmouth scramble, borrowed from google images.
I don’t tend to like rushing posts out but on conceiving of this idea it occurred to me that if I didn’t get it out in early January it would be almost a whole year before it would be relevant again. So what it is, I’ve devised an FA Cup highlights drinking game; inspired by the monotonous regularity with which certain stock phrases are dusted off and presented during the marathon and legendary early rounds when non-league clubs are still a part of the mix.

If you’re British, you’re going to know exactly what I’m talking about. Also, given the way we’re always told the FA Cup is popular around the world being, as it is the World’s oldest association football competition, you might know what I’m talking about if you’re from elsewhere. If you don’t, here’s a brief description.

The FA Cup is a simple knockout competition where teams are randomly drawn against each other. League and non-league teams are allowed to enter (subject to certain criteria) and a number of preliminary rounds eventually bring us to the First Round Proper around November time when a dizzying array of fixtures take place. The weather can be really bad, there are a variety of different skill levels on show, there’s a whole romance thing where a bunch of nobodies with day jobs can get their 15 minutes of fame and their club a much needed cash injection by being drawn against a league side, big sides can routinely lose to small sides… really, I could probably write a whole post about the FA Cup – but that wouldn’t be booze related.

I’ve had a think then, and I’ve identified some things that seem to happen with predictable regularity. Feel free to add your own, but I think I’ve covered enough bases here.

The upshot of this then is that you should drink any time:

  • the commentator says “not bad for a centre half”.

  • A team is referred to by its nickname (drink twice if it’s Chesterfield being referred to as The Spirewrights).

  • There is a comedy goalmouth scramble (drink twice if it doesn’t result in a goal).

  • A player’s on loan status is referenced.

  • Poor league form is mentioned.

  • The post-match interview involves a scouse manager.

  • A non-league player’s day job is mentioned (unless it’s during the lineups at the beginning, as you’ll probably have to drink 11 all in one go).

  • An unlikely victory is greeted with a pitch invasion.

  • Someone mentions “giant killing”.

  • There’s a match where you can’t see the ball because there is so much fog.

  • Someone refers to whether or not the FA Cup has lost its importance in recent years (drink twice if they refute that supposition).

  • A period of time greater than your age is mentioned eg: “it’s 37 years since Mumbum Town United last qualified for the FA Cup’s third round…”

  • You zone out at the sheer volume of meaningless goals (maybe not that last one; this was always going to happen and will only be more frequent due to the addition of alcohol).

Now, it’s a bit late for the very earliest rounds that get a TV highlights show, but this weekend round 3 starts (that’s when the Premier League clubs enter) and there’s still a big enough fixture schedule to make this worth doing, so get together with some friends and watch the highlights show with some drinks. It might even be worthwhile trying it for one of the live Sunday afternoon matches, or even the draw for the next round – it’ll certainly make that more interesting.

Let me know how you get on.

red hot image, borrowed from

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