Leicester City’s English Premier League championship is so miraculous it’s worth putting in perspective again for fans who don’t closely follow soccer. This is like the Cubs winning the World Series. Leicester City hasn’t had a top-three finish in England’s top division since the 1920s. But it’s like the Cubs winning with the Marlins’ budget. Leicester’s payroll is $69 million. Chelsea’s is $310 million. Manchester United spent more the last two years than LCFC has in its 132-year history.
The Foxes have a Roy Hobbs-like star in journeyman Jamie Vardy, 29, who went from five goals last year to 22 this year. It’s a redemption story. At age 20, Vardy had to leave games early to get home on time because he wore an electronic tag on his ankle as a result of an assault conviction.
Then there’s midfielder Riyad Mahrez, viewed as too light and playing in the French second division just two years ago. The 134-pounder is the EPL’s player of the year. LCFC’s owner, a Thai billionaire, celebrated his birthday by giving out a free beer and Krispy Kreme donuts to all fans at a match last month. How can you not love them?