THE SANTA CLARA
April 7, 2016
Imagine the Fresno Grizzlies, the San Francisco Giants minor league affliate, being promoted to Major League Baseball and then winning the World Series two seasons later. This is the American translation for Leceister City’s remarkable season in the English Premier League.
Last season, 2014-15 was the first season that the Foxes have competed in the Premier League in 10 years. The Premier League is the top division in English football and also the wealthiest sports league in the world, using a system of relegation to ensure that the best English teams compete in the top league every year.
The bottom three teams in the Premier League are relegated to Division 2 football every year, while the highest ranked three in Division 2 are promoted. In 2013-14, Leicester won the Division 2 title, earning a spot in Division 1 football. During the 2014-15 season, the team narrowly avoided relegation out of the Premier League, finishing in 14th place out of 20. Leicester won seven of its last nine games to be able to stay at the highest level of competition.
That impressive run has certainly continued into the 2015-16 season. Against all expectations, the club stormed out to an 11-5-1 record through its first 17 games. When the season started, Leicester’s odds were 1/5000 to win the championship, but right now they are 7/2.
Another reason to root for Leicester is their wage bill, which is the fourth lowest in the league at about $68.1 million. This is a staggeringly low mark compared to the Premier League’s top spender, Chelsea, who has spent about $304.6 million.
One player to take advantage of his time on soccer’s biggest stage is Jamie Vardy. His rise to fame is unique to say the least. In 2007, he was convicted of a criminal assault and put under house arrest. However, this did not stop him from pursuing a career in professional soccer. At the time, he was playing for the Stockbridge Park Steels, and had to be substituted at the 60 minute mark in order to make it home before his 6 p.m. curfew. Vardy’s life turned around when he joined Leicester in the 2012-13 season.
Scoring in 11 consecutive games, Vardy was able to break legendary Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record for most consecutive games with a goal. Vardy became only the fifth player ever to win Premier League Player of the Month for two consecutive months, after his incredible performances in October and November. He was also the first Leicester player to win that award since Tim Flowers in 2000. Now Vardy is trying to become the first Leicester player to represent the English national team since 2001.
All eyes will be on the Leicester City Foxes on May 15 as they look to win the club’s first ever Premier League championship at Chelsea. This ragtag team, led by the unlikely hero Vardy, is looking to defy the odds and do the unthinkable.
Bo Kendall is a freshman communication major.