By: Ian Rosenblum
Two years ago the Leicester City Foxes stepped out of the second division of English football (called “The Championship”) and into the spotlight of the Premier League. In the top level of competition in England, the Fox’s faced nail-biting finishes, hard-fought losses, as well as a few brilliant games which resulted in the Foxes staving off relegation back to The Championship, and finishing 14th in the 2015 Premier League. This was considered a massive victory for the small city situated in the heart of the East Midlands. They ended the year on a high and based on this whole season this was a high that they never came down from, and led them to be the improbable 2016 Premier League champions.
At the beginning of this Premier League season, this little club had 5000-1 odds to win the whole thing. To put those odds into perspective, the odds of the Philadelphia 76ers, the worst team in the NBA, to win the NBA championship in 2016 was 400-1. The odds for the Browns to win Super Bowl LI are 200-1. And the odds of Kim Kardashian to become president in 2020 is 2000-1. Nothing like this has ever happened in the history of sports, and it couldn’t mean more to the Leicester City faithful.
Leicester’s fans at the King Power Stadium have been some of the most passionate fans in the league, serenading the players from the stands, and cheering till their voices are reduced to mere, scratchy whimpers. The streets of Leicester are lined with with banners of each player overhead, blue and gold flowers, shops, and of course people.
The Foxes were able to win a league that has long been dominated by money giants that buy all of the competition. The winners of the championship the last 4 years have been Chelsea, Manchester City (2x), and Manchester United. The wages for those three clubs in 2016 are 215.6 million pounds, 203 million pounds, 193 million pounds respectively. The club wages for Leicester City were 48.2 million pounds.
This fairy tale finish was not only a victory for the Leicester City faithful but for football itself. It proved that the beautiful game has not been permanently tarnished by the money-crazed giants of world football. This was truly a victory for the little guy, and it happened on one of the world’s biggest stage.