Your Guide to the Wonderful World of English Footy
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The Yankee Groundhopper

ISSUE #3 – MARCH 9, 2017

What, So Soon?

Normally, I will send a Groundhopper every couple of weeks, but this one is a bit special. I wanted to get this to you in advance of the FA Cup quarterfinals this weekend.

And Just What is the FA Cup?

FA stands for Football Association, and its Cup tournament is one that includes just about every football club in England – more than 700 of them! It has no bracket, no seeding, and every round is one-and-done, starting in the summer and culminating with the final at Wembley Stadium in London every May.

For you Americans, imagine a tournament that included every single college football team in America, from community colleges to NAIA schools like Illinois Wesleyan, all the way up to Alabama and Ohio State – with the possibility that Alabama might have to play at Illinois Wesleyan, Oklahoma City Community College could play at Ohio State, and, in the case of this year’s FA Cup, a 46-year-old reserve goalkeeper, who sleeps in his semi-pro club’s office three nights a week, could get fired for eating a meat pie on the bench during a nationally-televised home game against a giant club from London.

I didn't make that last part up, by the way.

Every country has one of these, even the US, where it’s called the Lamar Hunt Open Cup. To learn all about England’s magical tournament and get studied up for this weekend's quarterfinals, read on at


Meet a New Club: Bristol Rovers

I will introduce you to a new club each in each issue – “new” based on the assumption that you don’t follow, this week, League One. That would be the third tier, or Single-A for the baseball crowd.
Rovers, with the odd nickname The Gas, are in Bristol, southwest of London near the coast, in what is pretty much the Portland, Oregon of England. It's the kind of place where you can buy pickles from a food truck and see a DIY box on a vintage bike parked on the street.

Rovers have never made the top tier of English football, and they are perhaps best known for their fans singing “Goodnight Irene” at games.
Head over to my site to get to know Rovers a little better:

From My YouTube Channel

Every issue, I dip into my Youtube channel for a video from my travels. This is from a January 2017 FA Cup match, when tiny Plymouth Argyle took 9,000 fans to mighty Liverpool and earned a hard-fought draw. This is their horde of fans celebrating the fact that now Liverpool has to come play at Plymouth. Enjoy!
Plymouth Fans Applaud Their Team After 0-0 Draw at Anfield, 2017-01-08


Reviewing My Last Tour

I just returned this week from a 10-day, five-game, five-city tour in England. For once, I never saw the home team lose! In the last Groundhopper, I told you about my games at Burton Albion and Barnsley.

So, to finish off that tour, I …  

Trip Planning Tips

I love planning these tours, and I really love helping others do the same. Here are some resources I have posted recently: I have a page of Frequently Asked Questions, but I also offer consulting services; we trade some emails, we jump on the phone, I put together a suggested itinerary along with background info, we talk some more, and I keep you updated as things change.

I have already helped some other folks, and I would love to hear from you.
Copyright © 2017 Second Cup Productions, All rights reserved.

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