Welsh pluck v English savoir-faire, fresh-faced enthusiasm v stony-faced professionalism, the unbridled optimism of youth v the hardened pragmatism of age.
With the benefit of hindsight there was only ever going to be one winner at Wembley on Saturday and so it proved, with the vertiginously-cleavaged Lesley Garrett comfortably out-trilling alluring Thunderbird-alike Welsh counterpart Katherine Jenkins in the pre-match Battle of the Sopranos that masqueraded as a duet of Abide With Me.
Come the match and it was more of the same, with Cardiff's early promise slowly undone by the irresistible muscularity of their opponents and Kanu maintaining the proud tradition of underwhelming cup final winners by shinning home from three yards after narrowly failing to score one of the great cup final goals of all-time.
Over at Sky Sports everyone seemed in agreement that this was "a great day for the Redknapp family", with the teeth-gratingly ubiquitous Jamie Redknapp fulsomely lavishing praise on his old man in a manner that would make you think the Redknapps now occupy a place somewhere between the Windsors and the Osbournes in the league table of Britain's Favourite Families.
Far be it from Early Doors to pour scorn on the Redknapp love-in, but the miraculous transformation of Portsmouth from Championship bottom-feeders to Premier League also-rans/FA Cup winners probably owes as much (if not more) to the millions of Milan Mandaric and Alexandre Gaydamak as it does to the hangdog motivational charms of Our 'Arry.
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While we're on the subject of Clan Redknapp, ED would be interested to hear how Redknapp Jnr's perpetual presence on Sky's football programmes ties in with the channel's commitment to impartiality.
You may argue that his family connections in the game make him the ideal foil for Richard Keys's hairy-handed straight man, in which case ED looks forward to the day when Sky News invite George W. Bush's daughter Barbara to provide impartial commentary on the War on Terror.
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Some say sport is all about winning. Others will say it's the taking part that counts. But for ED there's no greater sight than a multi-million pound athlete being placed under so much pressure that his limbs begin to feel like mysterious foreign entities and he chokes when it matters most.
From Jean van de Velde wading into the Barry Burn at Carnoustie in 1999 to Gareth Southgate presenting Andreas Kopke with the meekest back-pass he'd ever received in the Euro 96 semi-final penalty shootout, there's nothing better than an elite athlete being rendered blinkingly, falteringly human by the sudden realisation that it's all down to him.
Which is why ED was somewhat dismayed to see perennial chokers Internazionale surprise everyone by holding their nerve to seal the Serie A title on the last day of the Italian season yesterday.
With half an hour of the season remaining Inter were being held 0-0 at Parma, meaning Mirko Vucinic's goal for Roma at Catania looked like it was going to be enough to secure the Scudetto.
And then on came everyone's favourite flat-track bully Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who dispatched two wonderfully taken goals to further fuel the sweaty-palmed fantasies of every teenage football connoisseur in Europe and land Inter their third-straight Serie A crown.
And speaking of sweaty-palmed fantasies, ED will be lost this summer without its weekly dose of Laura Esposto from Channel Five's Football Italiano.
The model-cum-presenter may veer towards the Ian Wright side of the punditry knowledge spectrum, but never before has 'Empoli due, Livorno uno' sounded quite so achingly beautiful.
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FOREIGN VIEW: With their indefatigable zeal and impeccably choreographed pitchside encouragements, Japanese football supporters have taken the very best of British football fandom and run with it. Which is why we probably shouldn't be surprised that Asian champions Urawa Reds are facing sanctions after crowd violence marred their 3-2 victory at Gambo Osaka on the final day of the J-League season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Cristiano Ronaldo suggests that all those end-of-season awards might just be starting to go to his head: "When I hear it said that I do not play well against the big teams, it does not annoy me because I know I am the best." That's the same Cristiano Ronaldo who has averaged the grand sum of 0.00 goals per game in his nine matches to date against Champions League final opponents Chelsea.
TALKING POINT: Who's your favourite sporting choker? ED has always had a soft spot for Bernhard Langer, if only because it used to think putting infliction 'The Yips' would have made a great name for a late-90s nu-punk rock band.
If you're struggling for inspiration, here's a story from the archives to refresh your memory.
COMING UP: Around the World in 80 Goals, all the build-up as the hyperbole machine kicks into over-drive ahead of the Champions League final and you can watch the people of St Mirren opening their arms to those delightful Rangers fans with live coverage of St Mirren v Rangers from 19:45 BST.