...But A FA Cup Semi Aint One (Yet)!
Act I – The End Of February Blues
What a peculiar week it’s been in life and supporting Bradford City.
The Swindon fixture was an instant wipe out after suffering a bout of the newly named virus “Crann-Flu”, that was mixed with drinking numerous mugs of ghastly Lemsip which was about as appetising as drinking brake fluid – not to mention the 2-1 defeat to the hands of a team who tactics are to score and time waste immediately.
Then came “Disaster-Saturday”, the final dregs of the flu, unhappy text-message exchanges and a game against A’Macs Peterborough United was not something I want to experience again, it was freezing and like myself, hardly any City fan was in a joyful mood, it was one of those days to rival that disappointing trek to Yeovil.
Act II – 99 Not Out
As I write this, it’s the morning after the victory against Crawley Town, my fall back favourite Francois Zoko scored the winner - the sun is streaming through my office windows and any remnants of the nasty virus have gone – life seemingly can’t get any better.
So, here we go again, another huge day for the Club this Saturday after so many years of struggle, supporting Bradford City is like having a girlfriend or wife, you have to be loyal, you know there will be incredible times and you will also experience times of teary frustration - but one thing is for sure, you will remember those good times for the rest of your life.
This FA Cup run has been just that, incredible times and memories, moments in time that have been recorded in Podcast form and as this weekends’ Quarter Final against Reading signifies a landmark for the football Club, it’s also one figure away for Bantams Banter who will be recording Episode #99 – but ultimately Podcast #100 *COULD* be from Wembley Stadium. Is it written in the stars?
It seems unthinkable that the Podcast started during some of the darkest times of watching Bradford City, the short lived Peter Jackson spell was one to be forgotten which then sparked the Peter Taylor era which was truly horrifying, it was like watching an episode of Hollyoaks whilst ploughing your mouth with Jacobs Cream Crackers – it was a whole new level of dry, x-rated boredom.
Throughout the Sir Phil Parkinson reign though have we seen some of the biggest heart-warming, emotion stirring performances in the history of Bradford City. As the BB Podcast gathered pace and the extra listeners piled on board, so did the PP influence on the squad, we saw fans wanting more, the enthusiasm was back which saw the medium of Bantams Banter pick up pace – albeit with the word “Banter” been overly used in modern student culture!
The beauty of the Podcast is that there’s no script, it’s completely naked, strip off the City shirts and you’re left with two chaps with fine beards and extreme passion for Bradford City which is recorded live in that very moment.
It’s been throughout this glorious spell of fixtures which has mirrored the feelings and emotions of everybody connected with the Club and it all started at a bitterly cold Shay stadium in Halifax on a Sunday morning, Live on my favourite sporting channel BT Sport (I haven’t even got it) and we have found ourselves in the Quarter Final with the chance to visit Wembley yet again.
Act III – The FA Cup Conclusion?
What a journey, from Sunday 9th November 2014 all the way through to 7th March 2015 – will it end in absolute heartbreak or could it be an historic return trip to Wembley?
It’s come to one day, Saturday 12:45pm, every other team’s game in Yorkshire put on the back burner as the full focus is on this hugely winnable Quarter Final Cup tie against Reading.
No matter what happens there’s going to be tears or failing that there will be plenty of “hot eyes” up in those stands, having been pushed close to them myself against Chelsea this is the one fixture that could absolutely break hearts.
One thing is for sure, backed by around 21,000 City fans and a stadium full of claret and amber scarves held aloft, it’s going to be one special and emotional day which will all be recorded for the extra special 99th episode of Bantams Banter – let the boys’ luck continue.
Match pictures used in this article are taken by Thomas Gadd Photography.
View the full match gallery HERE