As evidenced by this Brandon Vincent’s gif, there are few sharper pains than mishitting a ball down one in stoppage time. But if you prefer your agony more drawn-out than can be done in the 12 hours or so of the opening weekend of MLS action so far, you should turn your eyes across the Atlantic. In England, rumor has it that the Premier League’s biggest teams are trying to bend the rules so that this can’t happen again.
The “this” in this case, is Leicester City’s title run. The Foxes were 5,000-1 odds before the season began. That was a bigger stretch than the Miracle on Ice, than the guy in 1960 who bet there’d be a man on the moon. It’s positively historic. Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and the Manchesters United and City want to make sure it never happens again.
Such attempts to lock in the big-money powers are nothing new. Back in 2000, a group of European clubs called themselves the G-14 and began to hold FIFA hostage. They wanted money to insure their star players in case of injury on international duty. It was kind of dumb – there are actual, real, insurance companies for that – and the spectacle of someone trying to out-corrupt FIFA was lost on a world before Twitter.
Here in the present day, England’s big clubs are trying to swing more money by arguing that people tune into the Champions League because they want to see legendary Man United more than Leicester City. But Manchester United slept on Riyad Mahrez (as did French giants Paris St. Germain, as did the French national team itself…) and no amount of money would guarantee that they will capture the next devil-may-care attacker to use soccer to get out of the banlieues of Paris.
And who knows? Maybe 10 million kids in Singapore, Lagos and Atlanta will fall in love with Mahrez. Or, I dunno, the very large, “Clydesdale-esque” Robert Huth. Leicester City are able to capitalize on a down year by the big powers. Everyone on Chelsea seems to hate playing soccer, and everyone on Arsenal apparently hates competency in the workplace. Soccer is fun again in England (and Wales, as long as Swansea stays safe of relegation). That alone is worth seeing the Big Five disappoint their shareholders.
Can Leicester City turn this into A Thing? Heck, there aren’t many people who think they can turn five points with nine matches left into a title. They have a Thai billionaire as a chairman, but almost every wheel of the slot machine had to spin right for them this season. Who knows if Jamie Vardy can continue to turn sprinting in straight lines into a golden boot? Or if Mahrez will even be in England next year? Or if every single big-money team will continue to strive for mediocrity?
Wondering if Leicester City can repeat, or if [your beleaguered team] can pull a Leicester City, misses how astounding the way the universe has aligned in order to produce this Leicester City. Please, before the big wigs try and make it illegal, enjoy the Leicester City you’ve got. You’ve got all offseason to dream about the Leicester Cities that may one day be.
Tune in for all of the weekend’s EPL action on SiriusXM FC.
This post was composed by soccer know-it-all and swell guy, Asher Kohn. Reach out to him and discuss all the soccer happenings from around the world on Twitter at: @AJKhn.
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