At Sportsvibe, we absolutely love the FA Cup Final. There is something about final day which makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Perhaps it's because the FA Cup is steeped in such history that there is a respect for it which is unparalleled by any other cup competition in the world. Perhaps it's because there is a certain romance which surrounds the competition, from the giant-killing to the hope that your team will be stepping out at Wembley.
But the one thing that we would salivate over, nearly as much as the actual match, was the build up. Back when we were bambinos, cup final day would bring the country to a halt, as everyone would crowd around the TV watching hours upon hours of build up. As we've grown up, that tradition has slightly waned, but this year we're safe in the knowledge that we can return to those halcyon days, thanks in part to ESPN and their mammoth coverage of the FA Cup Final.
The feast of football begins at 8am and runs through until 8pm. Now our maths isn't fantastic, but we've figured that's TWELVE hours of football. Absolute Heaven.
If you're interested in what the day will look like, then check out the schedule below:
8:00 – Breakfast at Wembley (Live)
Presented by ESPN’s Darrell Currie alongside guest Jason McAteer. Reports as the preparations get underway at Wembley, plus interviews and more.
9:00 – ESPNsoccernet PressPass – FA Cup Final Special
A special FA Cup edition of the football debate show with presenter Dan Thomas and regular pundits Steve Nicol, Frank LeBoeuf and Shaka Hislop
9:30 – Kings for a Day – Football’s Giant Killers
A special FA Cup documentary exploring the competition’s history and enduring themes
10:30 – FA Cup Final Brunch (Live)
James Richardson and guests with a light-hearted look at the build-up to the big game
12:00 – Pardon the Interruption UK – FA Cup Final Special (Live)
Quick-fire debate and discussion from Mark Chapman and Steve Bunce
12:30 – FA Cup – Talking Tactics
ESPN’s Craig Burley, Martin Keown, John Barnes and Steve McManaman discuss the pivotal battles ahead
13:00 – Talk Of The Terrace – FA Cup Final Special (Live)
Kelly Cates and Mark Chapman host from Wembley with special guests and a live music performance from The Enemy
14:30 – FA Cup Final Matchday Live
Rebecca Lowe presents from Wembley with Kevin Keegan, John Barnes, Craig Burley and other special guests. Plus, ESPN Technical Area, which provides 3D animated plays and players and analysis, with Darrell Currie and Martin Keown.
16:45 – 20:00 - FA Cup Final – commercial-free, in association with Wonga
Jon Champion and Chris Waddle commentate on ESPN & ESPN HD; On Sky 3D, Derek Rae and guest commentate
If that's not enough whet your appetite. Here's a few classic FA Cup Final highlights featuring this year's finalists Liverpool and Chelsea:
Michael Owen's brilliant strike against Arsenal in 2001
Roberto Di Matteo's 43 second opener against Middlesbrough in 1997
Ian Rush's final heroics against Everton in 1986
When footballers were tough. Chelsea vs Leeds United 1970
Steven Gerrard breaking West Ham hearts in 2006
Frank Lampard doing what he does best in 2009