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An award for Jamie Vardy, the Fox who never quits

He’s not the Player of the Season. He’s the player of the entire promotion to the Premier League era.

Leicester City v Everton - Premier League
Is there a world in which this could have happened without Vardy?
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

According to the many-worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics all possible worlds exist. Every decision that could have been made has been made, and the subsequent pasts and futures resulting from these infinite decision trees all exist in their own unique universes.

In one of these worlds Jamie Vardy left for Arsenal.

In every possible variant future of that world, Leicester City were promptly relegated.

Harsh? Perhaps. But it would be hard to argue that Vardy has not been at least important to, most likely integral to, if not the primary reason for Leicester City’s Premier League success.

Which is why it is absurd that the many-worlds path needs to be taken a bit further in order to find a universe in which Leicester City has seen fit to chose Vardy as the recipient of its Player of the Season award. It would have had to occur in another universe since it has not happened in ours.

Not during the season Vardy set the Premier League record for consecutive games with a goal scored.

Not during this season, when from January 31st until March 3rd Vardy was the only player to score for the club in five matches across two competitions.

This year that award went to Harry Maguire.

Has Maguire had a good season? Yes. Has his season been better than Vardy’s?

The answer is simple: No.

Maguire is a dynamic defender. An England international. He plays wherever he is needed on the pitch, even in midfield. Hopefully he will be a fixture at Leicester City for years to come. But it bears repeating.

Over the course of five consecutive matches no one but Jamie Vardy scored a goal for Leicester City.

Vardy is currently on another lone-goal scoring run as he is the only player to score for the Foxes since April 7th. In six matches this year across all competitions, and that’s this calendar year, not the entire season, Jamie Vardy is the only player who scored for Leicester. In four other matches during the same span, the Foxes haven’t scored at all.

Leicester City have only played 19 matches since January 1st.

In eleven of those matches (58%) either Vardy scored or no one scored.

As for the other eight matches? Vardy scored in four of those.

Yet he’s not the Player of the Season.

There’s more to a team than scoring. Defense, as the saying goes, wins championships. But in order to take all three points in the Premier League, you need to score. And, this season, if Leicester needed points, odds are Jamie Vardy took part in ensuring the club got them.

But it’s not just this season. How has a player this integral to the club’s success never been awarded by the club as the best player on the team over the course of any season? Even during a year in which he made league history.

Perhaps it is time to create a new award to show appreciation and respect for a player who deserves it.

How about the Never Quit award. There is no other Fox who symbolizes a slogan and a hashtag the club proudly trots out to this day more than Jamie Vardy.

You won’t see Vardy acting like a typical striker, pretending to run on defense while waiting for the absolutely perfect pass before deciding if it is worth his effort to attempt a shot on goal. You’ll see him running down every pass on offense, sprinting to win the ball back on defense, and then, if he has no shot, placing perfect crosses into the box to set up his teammates.

That is, when his teammates get him the ball.

Leicester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
If you’ve seen a Leicester goal recently, odds are Vardy scored it
Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

And even during those matches in which the ball never seems to get to him, you won’t see Vardy moping around. He will never be accused of not showing interest in the match like a certain high-profile teammate. From the first second of the match to the final whistle, Vardy simply will not quit.

And unlike some of Vardy’s teammates past and present, you won’t see Vardy handing in a transfer request. (Do a quick web search for “Jamie Vardy transfer request.” Unless you’re looking for one from Stocksbridge, you won’t find any results.) Vardy is a Fox. And even when other clubs show interest, he seems content to stay one.

In the end Vardy is a player who gives his all every time he is on the pitch, who hasn’t tried to turn the title-winning season into glory and fame at a so-called bigger club, and a Premier League record holder who sometimes is the only scoring threat on his team for match after match. Yet the club has never seen fit to say Jamie Vardy is its Player of the Season.

Which is why today the inaugural Never Quit award goes to the Fox who year after year has truly earned it. Jamie Vardy. The epitome of a Fox who never quits.