England's F.A. Cup may be one of the most unusual sporting tournaments in the world. It is "open to all teams who compete in the Premier League, the Football League and in Steps 1 to 5 of the FA National League System, as well as selected teams in Step 6."
Which is well more than 100 football teams, from all levels of the sport, including the behemoths of the Premier League, with their multi-hundred-million-dollar annual payrolls, but also including teams, from, well, Bradford.
Bradford, which is somewhere near Leeds, which is just sort of in the middle of England and not really near anywhere, have a team: the Bradford City Bantams.
Who are, this weekend, famous:
- Mourinho bemoans Chelsea's disgraceful FA Cup drubbing
A bemused Jose Mourinho described Chelsea's performance as unacceptable and a disgrace after the Premier League leaders slumped to a 4-2 home defeat against third-tier Bradford City in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
It was an old-fashioned Cup tie, full of noise, tension, rip-roaring goals and a thrilling comeback victory for the brave underdogs on a chilly afternoon in west London.
And yet, Bradford City wasn't even the best F.A. Cup story of the weekend:
- Soccer-Cambridge flush with cash ahead of Man Utd replay
Cambridge United are flush with cash after securing a lucrative FA Cup fourth round replay at Manchester United and will spend their Old Trafford windfall on new toilets, the fourth tier club's chairman said.
Cambridge, promoted from the minor leagues into the professional pyramid last season, held Louis van Gaal's expensively assembled squad to a 0-0 draw on Friday.
The club are set to earn upwards of one million pounds ($1.50 million) from shared gate receipts and TV revenue from the replay on Feb. 4.
Cambridge chairman Dave Doggett said they will use the money to update the run-down Abbey Stadium, which has been their home since 1932.
"Hopefully we can get the stadium done and start putting in some proper toilets," Doggett told The Sunday Mirror newspaper.
Ah yes, let's see: Abbey Stadium. Indeed, it looks like it would benefit from a bit of a spruce-up.
Well done, Cambridge; well done, Bradford!
Now that is why sport can be fine entertainment.