You may not be a soccer fan. That’s okay. You may not be that big a sports fan. That’s okay as well. However, I think it’s safe to say that a great and overwhelming majority of us are movie fans. Some of the latest Hollywood scripts are not up to par with our standards. This latest underdog story has all the makings of a silver-screen adaptation in its foreseeable future.
The Leiceister City Foxes football (or soccer) club entered the 2015-2016 English Premier League season as 5000-1 odds to win the championship. With two matches remaining, and with some outside help, they captured what seemed to be an elusive crown.
The EPL (or as it’s properly labeled, the Barclays Premier League) has 20 of the top clubs in all of England. Every team plays each opponent twice, once at home and once on the road, for a total of 38 matches. If your club finishes in the bottom three of the league, you’re relegated to the First Division. If you finish in the top three in the First Division, you’re promoted to the Premier League. The same happens for the second and third divisions.
Leiceister City was on the fringe of being relegated to the First Division after their 2014-2015 campaign. They stayed atop the league’s best for the subsequent season. In the hopes for redemption, the Foxes were crowned Premier League Champions for the first time in its 132-year history.
They didn’t have star players like Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), and Mesut Ozil (Arsenal). These are players that would be comparable to the 2009-2010 Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team. Guys who could probably make the best squads in the country/world, but would barely get any sort of playing time. These teammates came together and did the improbable.
What’s amazing, aside from the fact that they were 5000-1 underdogs, is that so few bet on the Foxes. Granted, why would you have taken that bet? It’s as if you were to bet on the 2016 San Diego Padres to win the World Series. You’re not going to lose much but the payout could be significant. According to CBS Sports, bookmakers in England stand to lose nearly 11.5 million dollars to those who took Leicester City’s odds.
I truly feel, as a devout sports fan myself, the ingredients that are missing from this miracle season are the following:
That’s what made the 2009-2010 Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball season so amazing. They knocked out opponents in their conference, postseason conference tournament, and then proved to be the worthy adversary in the NCAA Tournament. They drove through the likes of Texas-El Paso and Murray State prior to the Sweet Sixteen. Then, heavyweights like Syracuse, Kansas State and Michigan State fell like bowling pins to the Bulldogs. By the grace of God, He was a Blue Devil fan as Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave bounced off the rim, giving Duke the national championship. It would’ve been perfect.
Leicester City should be incredibly proud of what it has accomplished. Could they possibly repeat this unbelievable achievement? I’m not so sure about that, but they certainly have a much bigger target on their back. It’s just not 5000 times the original size.