I wanted to wait a while for the fuss to die down and give myself the opportunity to develop some sort of perspective, so bear with me. About three weeks ago, I did something I haven’t done since I moved to the U.S. Write your own jokes. What I did was sit down and watch an entire football game that didn’t involve Liverpool. The reason is that the question of who would be Premier League Champions could be answered by the result of the Chelsea – Tottenham Hotspur game.
It ended up in a 2-2 draw, so Leicester City were assured of victory before their final home game of the season against a pitifully weak Everton. The coverage involved shots of pubs etc. in Leicester where the game was being shown. Of course, the revelers exploded into raptures of delight when the second Chelsea goal hit the back of the net. I just wonder how many pregnancies Leicester saw that night and how many hangovers the day after. I will bet dollars to doughnuts that the city experienced it’s lowest industrial output of all time the day after the game. I will also lay money on the fact that in 40 weeks the city will see a slew of newborns called Riyad, Jamie, Shinzi and Claudio. In fact, I predict with great confidence that at least one child will bear the names of all 11 regular team members.
One thing that did make me laugh is the news that Captain Morgan rum is issuing a limited edition bottle featuring Leicester Captain Wes Morgan on the label dressed in blue pirate attire.
I won’t bore you with all the “Did you know?” trivia that has clogged the tubes of the interwebs over the season, as no doubt you have heard it all. As you know, I am a Liverpool fan, but even so I was delighted at the result of the game, despite my antipathy towards Chelsea. The thing is, I just couldn’t bear the tension. I just had to know where the trophy was going and wasn’t willing to wait. Of course I watched Match of the Day that Saturday as I knew the highlights would show the presentation ceremony. This involved Andrea Bocelli ( a friend of manager Claudio Ranieri) singing Nessun Dorma in front of a packed stadium. I will admit freely to choking up at the scene, such was the level of emotion involved.
Of course the media has piled in with analysis, with even The Economist looking for lessons. No doubt business leaders everywhere will be poring over the Leicester phenomenon for clues on leadership, success and leverage as they do with every event that makes a splash. I urge caution.
The fundamentals have not changed. I doubt if the Foxes will do as well next season but doubt they will finish in the bottom half, but both Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest fell into obscurity after their unexpected Championships. The Premier League was set up with the express purpose of securing and improving the positions of England’s richest six teams. Nothing else. Exceptions to the rule happen from time to time in all spheres of life, and this is just the most heartening one. The hegemony will not crumble as a result of this season. In fact I expect the so called top four to start next season with all guns blazing and pointed at Leicester.
I only hope that whoever wins next season will have a live musical performance before the presentation of the trophy. I hear Bjork is available.