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A day in the sun for Leeds United, an FA Cup winner Sunday

Jan 27, 2013, 10:55 AM EST

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Any victory by a lower tier team over a big-boy club from the tip tier elicits the romance of the FA Cup. It’s what makes these cup competitions so grand and even sometimes beloved.

But Leeds United’s win today over Tottenham in the FA Cup means even more.

Leeds was once a player in the European game, and certainly one in England.

The proud club’s notorious tumble from the game’s ruling class fraternity in England stands as the very embodiment of relegation danger.  Once you are down, and there for a while, it becomes so painfully difficult to claw your way back up.

Minus the lucrative TV money of the top tier, teams have a short window to get back into the top tier (the English Premier League in this case) before the financial obstacles are stacked up too high.

This is a good walk back through that checkered history, the unfolding of a tough tale.

The supporters of Elland Road, so many of whom can say exactly which years the three top division trophies were earned, are desperate for a push back into Premier League grace.

For now, at least, they’ll take a grand afternoon in a grand and storied competition.

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