It's midweek League Cup semifinal madness, sponsored by Capital One or some other random entity. Chelsea contest the first leg of semifinal #2 tomorrow, so today (2:45 P.M. EST) it will be the uber-exciting semifinal #1 between Arsenal and Aston Villa. Oh, wait a minute. I mean Bradford City and Aston Villa.
You may remember Bradford City from their two-minute cameo in the Premier League around the turn of the millenium, back when they had the likes of Benito Carbone and Stuart McCall and early-career Dean Windass (teehee) and late-career Dean Saunders banging in the goals. Not too many, of course, as Bradford finished 17th and 20th in their two Premiership seasons.
Since their relegation in 2001 (a season that even included a UEFA Intertoto Cup appearance), the club's been in freefall: three seasons in the second tier were followed by three seasons in the third tier. They've been in League Two for the last five seasons but with slowly deteriorating league positions. Last season they finished 18th, which is exactly where they find themselves at the moment.
But none of that will matter right now. They have 180 minutes to write some major history in this, their 100th season in the English football league system. I'm sure the FA Cup trophy from 1911 is getting very dusty and lonely in that trophy cabinet!
Aston Villa is of course the team that not too long ago got punked 8-0 at Stamford Bridge. So yeah, the League Cup, ladies & gentlemen!