Summer is here.
The sun, the ice cream, the holidays. It's all ahead.
If you're a supporter of Leicester City Football Club, you're about to embark on a summer unlike any you've ever experienced.
The Foxes, as we all know, just won the English Premier League for the first time in the club's extensive history, joining a prestigious group of only five sides to ever hoist that perfectly-shaped trophy.
Against all the odds (yes, all the odds belong to us), Claudio Ranieri's charges scraped and clawed and battled their way to the crown. No one saw it coming, particularly not the lifelong fan penning this very article for you.
And as I found myself 50 or so feet from the stage among 250,000 of my kinsman at the Champions parade in Victoria Park earlier this month, I realized something.
Everything is going to change. More so than we could have expected. More than maybe we even want. The landscape of football in England will be a completely new one...for a season or two at least.
The celebration in the park that day was one that further helped to put Leicester on the map. 250,000 people. The entire metropolitan population of the city is a shade under 350,000. Clad in the most beautiful shade of blue, the people filled the streets, alleys, shops, with smiles firmly secured to their faces.
That summer sun we all love was beaming and the city prepared itself for a day that it may never see again.
Making the most of my short time abroad in my homeland, I arrived at the centrally-located fielded reserve quite early to secure my spot at the front of it all. With my 11-year-old nephew in tow, we waited. The Champions of England would soon be making their way through central Leicester via open-top bus to share the trophy with us from the massive stage just ahead.
This was, as they say, actually happening.
But it wasn't the size of the crowd or the sun or the amount of blue seen at every corner that made the biggest impact with me. That was all expected. What kind of sports parade would it be without the winning team's colors? How dare the sun and all of its great power not come out and greet the people on a day as special as this?
No, it was something else. The feeling of unbridled happiness and brotherhood that was palpable the entire day was what stuck out most. Every person I spoke with, from the man behind the counter selling me lager to the pot-smoking crowd-surfer I was jammed next to towards the end of the day, couldn't have been more excited to share the moment with me and everyone else they came in contact with.
You didn't have to know the person or any of their friends. It didn't matter.
You don't get that very often these days. Sports are won and lost...and many times, the victors won't take long to be triumphant again.
Not the case for Leicester City. The epic nature of that day may go down as the biggest party the area will ever see.
No one expects the club to repeat their unbelievable season a second time, whether it's next campaign or 20 from now. It's just not in the cards. The Manchesters of the world and the big clubs in London will right themselves and bring back the monotonous normalcy of the Premiership because they can afford to do so.
And you know what? That's just fine.
Because regardless of whether or not things go back to 'normal' next season or beyond, Leicester made a dent. A massive dent. One that's so powerful it has the big clubs running scared and clambering for that normalcy they desperately seek.
Like a fortnight of continuous sunshine or a king being found under a parking lot, Leicester shocked all of England.
Now with club's title-winning stars set for the busiest off-season of their lives, we wait for more. The UEFA Euros and Copa America will see the Foxes' stars take the international stage. The endless transfer speculation may see the those big clubs take the stars away. The dismissal of Leicester being a realistic threat to repeat as Champions from pundits worldwide. That all stand between the club and the return of Premier League football this August.
But why get ahead of ourselves? Summer is meant for relaxing, enjoying a nice bottle of your favorite libation and reflecting on the year so far. Leicester fans won't ever want it to end. They'll travel the country, the world, wearing the Fox emblem on their chest and people everywhere will want to shake their hand and hear the story from a brand new perspective.
Leicester's tale isn't one worth rushing through or quickly passing over. It's meant to be appreciated and told with a smile.
This summer is for you Leicester. Make the most of it!