Why your next big movie should be this 132-year-old Football record
An underdog shocks the world of sports
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
It didn’t matter they were not even in the premier league two years ago or that the market value of their entire squad was less than a single Manchester United player’s, they had to create a 132-year record by winning the 2015–16 premier league title.
Leicester City’s triumph is that once-in-a-lifetime story that creates multiple records on the pitch and in the financial books, disrupts the footballing industry, upsets big-money clubs, thrills even non-fans across the globe and inspires artistic work and management lessons.
There was a shadow of this incredulity in Leicester’s ‘Great Escape’ from relegation last season when they won seven of their last nine premier league games that catapulted them from the bottom of the table to the 14th position by the end of the season.
But skepticism dies hard. It just felt cute. Heck, the bookmakers even slapped some pretty embarrassing odds on Leicester winning the 2015–16 title — 5000 to 1. Kim Kardashian was more likely to become US president.
But then like a true rags-to-riches character out of a movie, they beat all odds to lift the trophy. Which makes the story so perfect for an actual movie! The achievement isn’t just astounding, it is for real! Not even a brilliant fictional plot could match this non-fictional wonder. There have been clubs that have caused such upsets decades ago but with the premier league today being such a closed affair with only a handful of big clubs winning trophies and using money power to pry star players from smaller clubs, Leicester’s achievement looks even more impressive.
Coming back to the movie, Hollywood has finally woken up to the frenzy and there’s talk of releasing a Jamie Vardy movie. Or probably a Leicester City movie. Either way, it would be the best football movie since Goal 2. There are some moments and characters however, that would make the movie particularly memorable:
1. The firing of coach Nigel Pearson at the end of last season:
A volatile character who masterminded The Great Escape, Nigel Pearson had a dark side to him that led to his downfall. Anyone playing him in the movie would have to bring out that evil touch. ESPN reports that Vinnie Jones, who was cast in Episode 12 of Season 1 of the TV show Elementary, confirmed he was approached for the role. Given his Pearson-like penetrating looks, he seems to be a pretty good fit.
2. Jamie Vardy, of course!
He is probably the most well-known beneficiary of Leicester’s fairy tale and rightly so. Having set a record for scoring in 11 consecutive premier league games, Jamie Vardy has achieved instant fame. He possesses a knack for finding spaces to run into between defenders. His intense ambition about him tempered with his hotheadedness makes him an interesting character in real and reel life. No wonder, he’s having a big party. James McAvoy? Louis Tomlinson? We’ll have to wait and see.
3. Claudio Ranieri, no more the Tinkerman:
When Claudio Ranieri was appointed after Pearson was fired, social media did what social media does best, criticize. He must now be sipping his favorite wine with the trophy by his side. I can’t think of anyone who could play him well. He should probably play himself.
4. Gary Lineker *slight chuckle*:
One fine morning, a certain tweet woke us all up.
Oh dear god Gary! Well on the bright side, you get to get into good shape soon.
5. Vardy’s screamer against Liverpool:
In Leicester’s first game in February, Vardy scored a spectacular long-range volley off Riyad Mahrez’s equally spectacular long pass. ’Twas one of the goals of the season.
6. Manchester City vs Leicester City on February 6, 2016:
As Leicester chugged along grinding wins through Christmas and the New Year, pundits and media alike wondered how Leicester would pass THE test and face the rising Manchester City juggernaut. A loss they said wouldn’t be too bad and a draw would be lucky for Leicester and keep them alive in their race for the top four. Bam! Leicester hammered the first goal within three minutes of kickoff and then two more into City’s net. They were up 3–0 within an hour and finished the game 3–1. Talk about instant impact!
Formed in Leicester, Kasabian are a British rock band with a sort of counterculture feel to them. Fire — one of their most popular hits and a former Barclays Premier League theme song — was a regular at Leicester’s King Power Stadium every time the team scored a goal, which was all the time. Some other cool hits from Kasabian include L.S.F. and Club Foot. The music is dope.
8. Vardy party on hold?
Leicester was flying until this was seen on Facebook.
Vardy dove to the ground against West Ham. Already on a yellow, he was given another, dismissed and banned for the next two crucial games — Swansea and Manchester United — per Sky Sports. All of a sudden, dreams came to a grinding halt and critics raised their eyebrows.
9. Spurs at their heels:
Post-March, Tottenham Hotspur were mounting their own title challenge driven by young blood in their squad and a popular manager in Mauricio Pochettino. But despite the pressure and Vardy’s ban, Leicester kept marching on.
10. Wonders off-the-pitch:
Leicester found new fans across the globe, especially in Italy and Thailand, owing to Ranieri’s and the club’s owners’ roots in those nations respectively. Social media saw new trends and Leicester’s website saw unprecedented demand for kits.
11. The Vardy party resumes at Vardy’s residence, for real:
Frantic scenes emerged from the Vardy residence as Spurs drew against Chelsea. Leicester were mathematically champions.
12. Welcome to the spotlight, Leicester City!
They lifted the trophy, enthralled the media, acknowledged the fans and had the Champagne to cap off one of the greatest football stories ever seen.
And while the script is in the works, we have the next season to enjoy which is just a week away!