The Joyous Unpredictability Of Sport

Soccer, as is the case with most sports, has the ability to entertain and bemuse in equal measure. Sometimes this is even over the course of 90 minutes.

Take Chelsea versus Bradford City, for example. Few in the UK or the sporting world could have predicted what would happen at kick-off, and ever fewer could believe what did happen when the final whistle sounded.

We are talking about David versus Goliath stuff here, with the fabled ‘magic of the FA Cup’ in plentiful supply at Stamford Bridge.

The visitors were to be the beneficiaries of that as Bradford claimed the most notable of scalps and ensured that their name will forever be brought up when underdogs lock horns with prestigious foes.

The FA Cup has a proud history of producing such results. This is a competition where form, league standings, bank balances and logic often goes out of the window.

Giant-killings are a common occurrence and the history books are littered with tales of results which make little sense but prove that anything is possible on a one-off occasion.

This, though, is what sport is all about. It is the glorious unpredictability of it all that keeps us coming back for more.

If we all knew what the result was going to be before a ball was kicked, hit or thrown, none of us would bother to turn up. We would not need to.

It is performances such as that produced by Bradford which keep us clinging to the belief that one day it will be our chosen troops that get to enjoy a welcome 15 minutes of fame.

There will always be heavyweights or those who are ready to be knocked off their perch.

Following such sides brings with it obvious rewards. Challenges are mounted for major honours on a regular basis and tickertape parades are commonplace.

It is, though, the delight taken in seeing such teams toppled that helps to preserve a sense of drama and intrigue.After all, without upsets what would we be left with? There would be no competition, no rivalries and no interest.

We nail our colours to a mast, possibly of a less-than-glamorous outfit and hope for the best.

Bradford fans have experienced their fair share of lows in recent years, so why should they be denied an opportunity to wallow in the warm glow of success? The reward is to host Sunderland in the next round and you can check out the football betting for their odds.

Those that made the trip to Chelsea will have done so with a sense of trepidation. So-called experts gave them little hope and even those who have followed the club their entire lives probably gave them little hope.

They will have arrived in the auspicious surrounds of west London to find themselves strolling along the Kings Road, rather than into the King’s Arms. In front of them was the home of Premier League and European champions and a side pushing hard to once again by crowned kings of England.

At Chelsea’s helm was a billionaire owner in the form of Roman Abramovich and the most decorated manager of the modern era, Jose Mourinho. The latter is a man with an expensively-assembled roster of players with world-class talent.

Turning attention to themselves, Bradford were putting their faith in a team which included former supermarket shelf-stacker James Hanson. This is a club chaired by Mark Lawn, who is a jolly figure who would not look out of place on the front of an English seaside postcard.

The have-nots toppled the haves, though, and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will not be the last to achieve such a feat. Top-level sport is only ever one round of fixtures away from producing results which leave us wondering whether what we witnessed really did happen.