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One for all the underdogs LCFC

Pic:Goal.com

Sport, as they say, is the great leveller. Nothing else quite matches it to inspire, to lift, and to take us out of ourselves. In England today, perhaps the greatest sporting long-shot in living memory reached its spectacular conclusion. The path of bolters Leicester City to win  the English Premier League title is the stuff of legend, the kind of story parents yearn to tell their children. Is this something that can define a far larger moment?

Leicester have already become everyone's favourite second team. Even some Spurs fans have a soft spot for the former battlers from the Midlands.

as the usual big-money suspects - Manchester United and City, Chelsea, Arsenal - dropped out of contention as the season has progressed, Leicester kept ;ighting up stadiums across the country with an exhilarating combination of speed and directness.

As a result, we have all become Leicester City now.

The team itself is mostly made up of also rans and never weres. Few had heard of many of them before this season. Journeyman players, lesser league dwellers, reserve team, not-quite-theres and nondescript toilers like Vardy, Kante, Mahrez and Albrighton have become international stars, transfer wish list toppers, fantasy league favourites and major stars on the world game's biggest annual stage.

Around Christmas 2014, last season, Leicester City were flat out last in the EPL. The script seemed to be written: small team who had a decent season but can't afford to compete with the big boys drops out and more or less disappears back into the oblivion of the lower leagues. The EPL eats narratives like this for breakfast.

But an impossible rally last year saw them survive. Just. Their avoidance of the drop last season is considered by statisticians as the most dramatic season recovery in modern English football history. This season, with largely the same players, (but a new manager) something clicked and they can't stop winning.

Leicester's surge comes at a time when good news stories are hard to find. Right now, it is easy to assume a position of despair and to accept the world is without hope. With media outlets opting for bad news headlines and leaders finding value in fomenting fear and confusion, the positive power of sport becomes more important than it might be in pure objective terms.

This is why we are making Leicester City my hero right now. For those of us who search for hope amid the darkness, and believe in humanity in the face of plenty of evidence to the contrary, this is a moment worth holding on to.

Like other moments of inspiration, this is not perfect. There are no white hats that don't bear the grubby fingerprints of human folly, no solutions without compromise, no clean answers to anything. All light casts a shadow somewhere. Leicester City FC is no white knight.

But,  we can all appreciate a loser's tilt at victory. We can understand the net swish of a winning goal which gives a hopeless team the glory against its big name opponents. we get that the power of sport is that it tells a whole story, from start to finish, in the blink of an eye; a whole life, paraphrasing Blake, on a blade of grass.

Leicester City's flushed run to the finishing post gives me motivation. We can choose this event to define this time, this moment in space, because even as we become defined by ISIS and climate change ignorance, refugee crises and economic disparity, We need to know something exciting, fun, inspiring and good can happen.

Let that energy give me the reason to believe in a world that makes sense to me, that delivers gold.


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