I can quite confidently say I’m not much of a football fan. Though, in general, I’m not much of a sports fan other than playing in the Mighty U16 D Team for Netball way back when (*holds for applause*).
I’d never for a second try to claim that the sport isn’t one of great skill and professionalism, or that I don’t respect and appreciate that. I’d just say, quite simply, that it bores me. It’s mostly just people kicking the ball around in the middle and dramatically throwing themselves to the ground occasionally. In fact, I am so disengaged with it that my brother was once watching a game – I think it was a white team versus a red team, if you would like me to be more specific – and I watched for most of the game thinking he was playing a game of Fifa, as opposed to just watching it on TV.
So, recently, I’ve seen a lot of hype around a team called Leicester City on social media. From what I’ve gathered from the surface level, they have a cool fox as their logo, nobody really expected them to do well and there was some guy on the team (whom I embarrassingly referred to as “that guy Jimmy” too many times to ever be taken seriously again whilst making the reference) who chats shit, gets banged, and throws parties, or something like that.
For me, there is a natural progression that happens once social media starts buzzing like this:
- Find out how to pronounce “Leicester”. It’s not, as you might have thought, pronounced “Lee-kes-ter” – I realise this might come as a shock, but trust me when I say that people will bully you if you say this in public. Sort of like that time I told everyone how excited I was that “Dead Maw Five” was coming to South Africa.
- Once you know how to pronounce the name, ask someone what’s going on and why everyone’s talking about it.
- Ask your friends for as many basic facts as possible, so that you don’t impress everyone with some fact about Vardy’s strike rate only to get caught out when you go drink a glass of water when someone in the room aggressively shouts: “Go, Drinkwater!”
- Know enough that you can start pretending you knew what was happening all along, as was successfully manoeuvred when I manically learnt every Alt-J song before Rocking the Daisies 2013.
So for those of you reading this saying “How is Meg a real person? What a total jabronie. Everyone knows who Leicester is”, but thinking “Haaaaalp, what is she even saying?”, this is what’s happening. There’s a football club from Leicestershire in England and they weren’t very good at football (despite having a fox as their logo… This is like Hufflepuff and the Badger all over again…) They were basically the Kingsmead College of football teams, so they didn’t have much money. Their uniforms are blue (on reading this aloud to my brother, he interrupted me saying “they’re called a kit or a strip, not a uniform, Meg”). Their logo is a fox (did I mention that already? Whoops. But like, did you hear me? A FOX!) The odds for them to win the Premier League were 5000-1. And they won.
Yes, that’s right, 5000-1. Let me put that in perspective by giving a few other odds:
- Kim Kardashian becoming president of the US: 2000-1
I’m not quite sure what on earth these bookies use to gauge these odds, but Kim Kardashian was more likely to become president of the United States of America than this team was to win.
- Elvis Presley is actually still alive: 2000-1
Despite Elvis dying in 1977, the odds of people finding him – alive – in 2016 were still better than Leicester winning. (I’m not making these facts up, I found them on a BBC website)
- (My favourite) Finding the Loch Ness monster: 500-1
The Loch Ness monster is a mythical sea creature that many have claimed to have seen in the Loch Ness Lake in Scotland. Yes, that’s right, a full team of football players were less likely to win a football competition than we are to see a creature that is only rumoured to exist.
Yeah, it’s actually pretty impressive now that you give it some context. I’m obviously impressed that the team was able to beat those odds, but what impresses me the most is that anyone can be motivated to play their best game when people are so positive they’re going to lose. That’s some serious determination there (*cue the music: Phil Collins’ “Take A Look At Me Now”*). Apparently, there was a guy who got quite drunk and put a bet of £75 on Leicester – I enjoy this story particularly because I’m definitely the kind of person who would get drunk and accidentally spend all my money on a 5000-1 team, but definitely not the kind who would actually come right. And more than that, I’m impressed with all those lucky, drunk chancers thinking “Meh, what’s there to lose” when they bet a couple of quid on Leicester winning. My new tactic for income: place bets on ridiculous odds (this seems like a flawless plan… See you when I’m rich and famous!)