The last few days have seen a great deal written in reflection of Palace’s brief dalliance with the idea of FA Cup Final glory, including a wonderfully affecting feature from Ben Wilson attached below.
For those outside of our football club, the very idea of focusing in on what turned out to be little more than two minutes of unbridled joy between Jason Puncheon’s volleyed goal and Juan Mata’s soul crushing equaliser may seem slightly odd, but for a fan-base who have endured more than our fair share of suffering over the years, there was a huge amount of significance attached to those 120 seconds or so.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of reading the excellent David Peace novel “The Damned United” which centres around the incredibly brief stint Brian Clough had as manager of Leeds United, you will be familiar with the rat-a-tat style of his writing. It is a method of deeply claustrophobic and gripping storytelling which I couldn’t help but feel Ben was channelling when putting together the above feature.
There have been a multitude of eye-witness accounts of “that” Puncheon moment in the days that have followed the final, but each and every one has struggled to convey the magnitude of the event, not as a consequence of a lack of literary intelligence, but simply because there are no words in the English language which acurately portray the ridiculous kaleidoscope of emotions that each and every one of us experienced in that all too brief flicker of unparalleled ecstasy.
Time, as they say, heals all wounds, but thanks to the deep sense of despair we’ve all been forced to contend with since Saturday evening, there have been a huge number of beautifully worded accounts of the day itself and the countless memories it created for people of a red and blue persuasion across globe. It has, for many, provided a sort of therapy in getting over the immediate pain.
As we close in on a full week since Mark Clattenburg (my god I hate that man) brought the 2016 FA Cup Final to a close, this feels like as good a time as any to draw a line under it and move on, for our own sanity if nothing else.
With that in mind, read Ben Wilson’s piece at the top of the page with the aim of finding some much needed closure. It hurt like hell at the time, but our football club will bounce back from it, just like we always have in the past. It’s what we do.