I love Leicester City Football Club.
I have always loved Leicester City Football Club and will continue to do so for the rest of my days.
It’s just what I do. They are my team. We all have our teams and you stick with that team. That’s being a football fan.
Having said that, this most recent chapter in the Foxes’ 133-year tale has been one that will go down among the craziest in the long history of our fair sport. From League One to Premier League Champions and all the unbelievably crazy and magnificent crap in between, the midlands of England had produced a narrative of Shakespearean quality.
The pinnacle of this now fabled span was, of course, the footballing miracle of 2015/16 — a season that no fan of the game will soon forget. Winning the Premier League as 5000-1 favorites was nothing short of game-changing and it propelled Leicester from relative nobodies to the name on *everyone’s* lips.
By absolute unquestionable necessity, I flew home that May (some 4,500 miles from my current base in Seattle) to England, a country where I had only spent the first 10 years of my life. In person, I was able to attend the final two matches of the title-winning campaign and the subsequent victory parade. I was lucky enough to see up close what it meant to the city and its people.
The celebrations were unlike anything I have ever been apart of it. The memories and the pictures and the tears will be shared for all generations to come in that one-time nobody-gives-a-damn place nestled quietly on the most land-locked region of the country.
For once...Leicester was in.
You had millions of people the world over trying to decipher its pronunciation. Was it ‘Lie-chester’? ‘Lie-sesster’? Where the hell is this place? Did they mean to say London or Liverpool or something?
For those few months, the eyes of every football fan from Cape Town to Chicago were on our little multicultural village.
Things were so good at that time it didn’t feel real, and to an extent, still doesn’t.
You don’t get to have your club be the top of the game too often. For those who are lucky enough to support a ‘big club’, trophies and the spotlight are expected. Good things are always on the horizon. Bully for them.
A club like Leicester however had never really experienced that feeling before. After the wretched relegation to League One in 2008, we were low. Was this what we’d been reduced to? Supporting a team so mismanaged that it was to drop to the lowest point in its entire history? There was very little hope of reaching the top division, let alone the claiming of a trophy.
At that point, the Foxes were essentially making out the numbers in the table, whichever of the lower division versions they found themselves in the middle of. Leicester was, after all, a rugby town.
Less than a decade(!) later Wes Morgan, a long-time Nottingham Forest player, was raising the English Premier League Trophy to the sky just hours after famed tenor Andrea Bocelli serenaded the King Power Stadium in the singing of Nessun Dorma.
This wasn’t Planet Earth, surely.
Over a year later, back in Seattle, I’m sitting here wondering about that summer in Leicester and how we proceed beyond it. Last season had the Champions League and its ups and downs, but was certainly a transitionary year with extraordinary circumstances inevitably attached to it.
With this new season starting on Friday at the Emirates Stadium against the mighty Arsenal, the club (and many supporters including the one typing this for you) are embroiled in something of an identity crisis.
Determining proper expectations going into 2017/18 and beyond is like trying to pin the tail on the donkey with a dart from the other side of the pub after 12 pints of Tiger. No easy task. Few know what to expect or what to hope for. How could we? Not that I’m trying to morally confuse any of you devoted City fans reading this, it’s just hard to fathom what may be next and how to prepare for it.
But maybe, just maybe, that’s what makes all of this so fun. Maybe it’ll become clearer as we move further and further away from the dreamland that we were all floating in not so long ago. Maybe you just have to appreciate the game for what it is and how it unfolds. I don’t know. I’m just some guy behind a keyboard.
Whatever the case and taking into account every other reason out there, I’m in for the long haul. As are all of you.
We’ve been blessed by this miraculous journey and whatever will happen will happen regardless whether we want it to or not. So we can do nothing but appreciate the good times, be optimistic yet typically pragmatic about the present, and push ourselves bravely forward into the sporting unknown ahead of us.
That’s what loving Leicester City Football today is all about...and I could not be happier.
Thank you for reading The Fosse Posse and enjoy the season.
Shane Evans is the Managing Editor of The Fosse Posse. You can follow him on Twitter @shanevans.