BY NOW the butterflies have well and truly kicked in. Every fan is now wondering “can we really do it?” But they are also thinking how terrible it would be to lose to their city rivals. The burden of history and the fear of failure hang in the air.
One Hibs fan said the only thing that could compare with today’s match is Scotland in a World Cup final. Given that this is unlikely ever to happen, then this is it.
For certain, one team will walk away from Hampden this afternoon feeling very, very sore.
But the broader picture is that, regardless of the result, the final has been great for Edinburgh. The passion and rivalry between the fans is there, but there is also a great respect.
Families who are one half maroon, one half green. A Hibs-supporting barman who manages a Jambo pub. Work colleagues who have helped rival fans to get a ticket.
The fans will go west to march separately on Hampden, but also together, foot soldiers for Scotland’s capital. Men, women and children who love their team but also love their city.
Hibernian and Heart of Midlothian are two of Edinburgh’s great institutions and we should be proud of them.
All we need now is a game to match the hype.
Some are predicting a tense, defensive affair.
But how about a 3-3 draw after extra time? A few controversial decisions? A last-minute penalty? A super-sub who comes on to score the winning goal?
Penalties could be too much for some, though. How many of the 52,000 crowd would be able to watch?
It is already a historic cup final. It would be great if it was also one of the most exciting and open cup finals of all time, something that will be remembered not only for its rarity but also its sporting excellence.
We should savour every minute. None of us has ever seen this in our lifetime and it’s possible we might never see it again.
Every one of the players has a chance to make themselves a legend.
Do us proud, lads.