I’m not sure people in North America can quite understand what the atmosphere in Leicester is currently. It’s incomparable to anything that has happened in sports.
5000-1 odds. Those were the odds at the start of the season. If you had a fortune-teller you would be rich by now. Analysts alike continue to preach how much this was a fairytale ending or a really good dream for Leicester City fans.
How much of a dream coming true was this? At the start of the season, the Foxes were expected to be not only in the bottom half of the table, but also relegated. If someone predicted Leicester to win the league last August, people would have suggested that a person spun a random wheel which landed on Leicester. The odds were that stacked against them.
The big reason why the media is calling this such a big story is because all the media talks about is the traditional five teams (Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.) Any other team that sneaks into the top four is glossed over and handed the label of “a dream team.”
For instance, Tottenham, the team that finished second was laughed at when people asked the question will the Spurs finish in the Top 4.
Sports has its peaks and valleys, some steeper and deeper than others. The case reigns true for professional sports in North America, where the best team not always wins. Case in point, the 2015 Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball’s best that year failed to bring home a championship. An identical comparison be geared towards the 2003 Miami Hurricanes.
European soccer is different, until this season at least. Because in most years it has become predictable to forecast which of the top five teams will finish, as the question has always been where, not who.
That’s what happens when money means everything. Over the 38-game season, eventually the team with the most money finishes higher. Therefore, it wasn’t that surprising when the Foxes got off to such a great start. The simple explanation was that it was early and that it wouldn’t last. After all, Southampton and West Ham were second and fourth by Christmas last year before running out of gas and finishing seventh and 12th respectively. For that reason, it wasn’t unforseen to witness Leicester’s blistering start.
But what happened now might change how people view the Premier League forever. Next year, Leicester will be getting more money, more exposure and Champions League soccer will slot them against the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, among others. This will all happen after playing in the top flight division in England which was everything but certain.
Hopefully, Leicester City’s story will finally administer parody to the Premier League that now embellishes six different league era winners.