Sunday, February 19, 2006

Don't Mess with Texas

I'm currently writing this from Austin, Texas where we are spending the President's Day weekend.

Talking of Presidents, George W Bush spent a number of years here as the Governor of Texas (it's the state capital, despite only being the fourth largest city). I can't imagine he liked it too much because it's a very liberal place and the self-proclaimed 'live music capital of the world.' The Yanks do an awful lot of self-proclaiming, but in this instance they may have a point judging from a stroll down Sixth Street, the main nightlife hub where music blares from literally every venue. Indeed in a few weeks time, many of the top British indie bands will be here for the annual 'South by Southwest' festival, perhaps the largest event of its kind in the world.

Later today we are heading to San Antonio which is surprisingly perhaps the 2nd largest city in Texas (ahead of Dallas, but behind Houston) and the 8th largest city in the US. The seven largest (in order) for those stattos amongst you are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and San Diego.

Unfortunately it's unseasonably cold here (below freezing) which wasn't what we had in mind when we chose to come here, but at least I'm warmed by the thought of an FA Cup quarter-final for only the third time in my lifetime. I'm even tempted to fly back for it (I'm due back in the UK on Mar 24 anyhow), but my current thinking (even for a semi-final) is 'if we win, I'll go to the next round, and 'if we lose I won't care that I missed it'.

I've no wish to tempt fate (though us foreign-based fans do need to plan ahead) but it would be helpful if the FA could make their minds up where the final will be played. My schedule won't allow me to leave NY any earlier than the Friday prior to the final, so it would be nice to know whether I should book a flight to Bristol (for Cardiff) or Heathrow (for Wembley) - both would be fully refundable of course.

The draw has been incredibly kind to us up until now (and for once we've dispatched the minnows) and thus it would be hard to get too annoyed if we drew either Liverpool or Chelsea, the only heavyweights left in the hat. Obviously the dream would be for those two to play each other for the umpteenth time this season, and thus leave the way open for a lesser team to reach the final. The best we can hope for I guess is a home draw which would (I trust) ensure a full-house and a special floodlit atmosphere which might just spur us on. If we are drawn away outside London, it would be nice to think our missing away support would return to the fray and give the lads some decent vocal backing.


At 6:35 PM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Is the state capital 'despite being the fourth largest city'. American state capitals are rarely in the largest city, hence Sacramento, Ca., Springfield, Illinois, and Albany in your own home state of NY.

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Big Al said...

Check out this story about the Final and where it will be staged,,1713201,00.html

Book for Bristol against Chelsea and Charlton winning on penalties :)

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Yes, I'm sort of juggling dates without trying to tempt any fate.

I've heard good things about Austin, TX - big college town isn't it?

Wyn, a recent drunken evening was spent guessing State Capitals - it's not easy as rarely are they as you'd imagine.

At 1:36 AM, Blogger New York Addick said...

Austin is a nice city albeit ridiculously cold right now - it hosts the main site for the University of Texas with 50,000+ students. Given how much university costs in the US, you can't really call them 'tax dodgers' as Tim Lovejoy likes to on Soccer AM.

With regard to state capitals, it's also strange perhaps that (like the UK) many of the best universities are in smaller towns eg. Harvard (Cambridge), Yale (New Haven), Princeton (Princeton), Cornell (Ithaca), Brown (Providence). Of the Ivy League universities, only Columbia (New York) and Penn (Philadelphia) are exceptions.


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