Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Make no mistake - being able to identify a football ground (by any means) while watching on TV gives the viewer a sense of place and more fully engages them with the match being played.
It has been argued that so much of that which is boring about football today is due to the McDonaldisation of the sport and its rendering of the game as a placeless spectacle for those watching on TV.
The goal nets - or more accurately, the hardware clubs formerly employed to support their goal nets - were a major on-field differentiator for those watching football on TV.
FA Cup Semi Finals played on neutral club grounds were at once a novelty and TV quiz - a novelty to see two sides playing between hardware neither employed to suspend their goal nets at home; a quiz of venue that could be solved only when the TV cameras panned to the goals.
Can you guess where this Semi Final (third replay!) was played?
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Though the FA Cup Semi Finals of today are played at Wembley, they used to be played at a neutral club ground.
Before the mid-nineties and the takeover of the homogenous box-nets, the FA Cup Semis made for perfect petri dishes in experimenting with identifying a ground by the goal nets.
Watching on TV - or on YouTube at a distance of nearly 50 years - you may recognise the teams playing but the part of your brain acquiring and processing that information suddenly scrambles when trying to place the game.
Try these two - can you recognise the venue by the goal nets?