Leicester City plays Manchester United with an English Premier League title on the line on Sunday -- a sentence that is still exceedingly weird for me to look at even though I know that it's factually accurate.
The first thing I want to talk about in advance of this potentially historic fixture is this Jamie Vardy suspension. Vardy will have to watch a second-straight game from the luxury box for his red card against West Ham two weeks ago, a ban that got extended an additional game - not for the initial infraction of diving - but for his use of expletives toward referee Jon Moss before he left the pitch.
Look, I don't find it surprising that Vardy got another game for this and hopefully he's able to keep a cooler head in the future to avoid these situations. At the very least, you can't be cussing and pointing at the ref like that and then act shocked when the FA comes down on you. If I felt I could do it credibly, I'd be writing a Skip Bayless-style hot take-riddled mega-column on why the suspension is a catastrophic injustice and Vardy should be reinstated for Saturday, but I can't really do that. This ban is most certainly on Vardy.
The one thing I will say, however, is that I'm not sure foul language itself is such a big deal when we're talking about how to handle this type of discipline. This is an EPL title race and Vardy is trying to lead his team to the most improbable EPL title in the history of the sport. Frankly, I'd be more surprised if he got what he felt was an underserved red card and he wasn't swearing. Yes, he needs to keep his emotions in check. But is it really enabling the behavior to just give him a game and call it good? Do we really need to be holding him out of the most important game in the history of the franchise because he dropped an F-bomb? Maybe we do. Whatever. It's a moot point anyway.
With or without Vardy, one thing remains unchanged: If the Foxes win this game, they win the EPL. Crazy how that happened, isn't it? We might actually see fantasy become a reality right in front of us. It's one of those things where you really need to appreciate the moment for what is because you never know when you're going to see something like it again. It's possible we never will.
The fact that the Foxes could seal it against Manchester United is the ultimate poetic justice. It's well documented that Leicester has never won a top-flight title. Man U has won 13 since 1992.
I got the chance to cover Man U a little bit when they were in the United States for a friendly with Mexico's Club America last summer and they're not exactly a shining example of the virtues of humility. They actually handed out these posters to all the reporters who went to Louis Van Gaal's press conference.
First of all, I would argue that the title of "Greatest Football Ever Told" should go to the 1976 Oakland Raiders when they won Super Bowl XI. Second of all, calling yourself "The Greatest Football Story Ever Told" rings more than a little pretentious when you're self-appointing it. Seriously, this is the reason people hate Man U. It's common knowledge that they are the league's pre-eminent juggernaut. We don't need a reminder in the form of self-congratulating posters. I genuinely hope Man U loses the rest of their matches this season by an average score of 11-0.
If Leicester wins tomorrow and officially takes the championship for their own, can ManU lay any sort of reasonable claim to the title? Not a chance in any dimension. The Foxes are fighting for more than the title of "Greatest Football Story Ever Told." They're fighting for the title of "Greatest Underdog Story Ever Told in Any Sport."
The stakes couldn't be any higher. And I wouldn't want to see the Foxes finish it off against anybody else.