Heart of Midlothian and Celtic met last time in the Scottish Cup final 63 years ago. Celtic sent an unknown team to Hampden Park that day in April 1956, without the injured Jock Stein and Bobby Collins. The hearts on the contrary were in very good shape, and they could name the terrifying Trio of attack by Alfie Conn, Willie Bauld and Jimmy Wardhaugh, in addition to Dave Mackay on the back, in the middle and everywhere, and Alex Young's Golden Vision on end. They ran the easy 3-1 winners, Ian Crawford scored two and Conn the third, and were paraded for Edinburgh on a Scottish open-air Omnibus with the customized Hearts Are Trumps logo.
And hearts they were triumph then. The victory of the Scottish Cup of 1956 arrived at the beginning of a golden age between the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties in which the Jambos won the League twice, they arrived twice in second place and lifted the League Cup on four occasions.
But times change, and it is Celtic that always produces the winning card these days. Since Hibs beat Rangers to win their first Scottish Cup in 114 years in 2016, Celtic has won all the major national awards available. They are eight on the rebound. If today they become the first team to win three consecutive Scottish Cups since Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen managed to make it through the pump of the eighties, they will win their third consecutive national hat-trick. This is unprecedented behavior. Record-obliterans. Homeric.
According to their recent standards, Celtic hasn't played so well in recent times. The goalless draw with Livingston and Hibs, the narrow victories on Kilmarnock and today's opponents Hearts, and a no-show at Ibrox. But overall they have still achieved results. They have still conquered the championship, they are still the best team in Scotland, they have lost only once in 14 games, and they go into the final as favorites.
The hearts on the contrary are fleeing from five without victory, losing the last three of their championship campaign. A sixth place in the championship was not what Tynecastle dreamed of when they passed the Premiership in the early months of the season. And they have lost Celtic four times since they beat them at home back in August, a race that includes a 3-0 defeat in the Hampden semi-final. However, a win at the beginning of the season is a victory is a victory, and Hearts hopes their physicality will disturb the flow of Celtic once again.
Will Celtic seal Treble Treble? Or can Hearts ruin his life by returning the Scottish Cup to Tynecastle for the first time since he beat Hibs 5-1 in 2012? We're about to find out. It's the 134th final of the Scottish Cup! It is on!
Start kick: 15:00 BST, with extra time and penalty to come if necessary.