Over the last 20 years, sports documentaries have been something that has given people the chance to be reminded of, or learn about one of their favorite teams, athletes, coaches, or historic seasons.
There are a multitude of reasons why people are drawn to sports documentaries; for one, people are captivated by great storytelling. Another aspect of sports documentaries that people love is how revealing they tend to be, where we hear stuff from people that is quite revealing that we may not have been aware of before.
During the 2015-16 season of the English Premier League, the world was able to witness one of the most unlikely title runs in league history. Going into the season, Leicester City was placed with 5000-1 odds of winning the Premier League after finishing the previous season in 14th place.
Leicester was also coming into the season with a new manager in Claudio Ranieri, who had the pressure of being the one to keep this team in the Premier League. The odds were clearly stacked against Leicester, as they were considered an afterthought going into the season, as many predicted they wouldn’t even avoid relegation, let alone win the league.
Leicester had a good start to the season as they managed to suffer only one defeat in their first 17 games; a surprising start that not many people expected to happen. During that stretch, striker Jamie Vardy scored 13 goals with 11 of those being scored in consecutive games which broke the Premier League record which was previously held by legendary striker Ruud van Nistelrooy who set the previous record of scoring in 10 consecutive matches.
By Christmas day of that season, Leicester was at the top of the league table; a momentous achievement considering that exactly a year earlier Leicester was at the bottom of the table and struggling to avoid relegation.
A simply remarkable turnaround that not even Leicester fans could have seen coming. But, the job wasn’t done, as Leicester still had to finish the second half of the season strong if they wanted to win the league and qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
At the start of the new year, Leicester would go on to lose only one of their remaining 18 games to finish the second half of the season. Leicester showed that they would let no one get in their way of winning the league title. On April 10th, 2016, Leicester beat Sunderland 2-0, and with Tottenham Hotspur beating Manchester United 3-0, Leicester officially qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.
To win the league, Leicester would not be able to do it all on their own without some assistance from another club. On May 2nd, 2016, Tottenham was playing the defending league champions Chelsea FC in a game that if Tottenham were to lose or draw, Leicester would be crowned league champions.
At the conclusion of the first half, Tottenham was in the driver’s seat and was up 2-0 against Chelsea. Then in the second half, Tottenham managed to lose control of the game as Chelsea was able to level the score at 2-2 and help Leicester City win their first Premier League Title.
By the end of the season, Leicester City would finish with 81 points and a record of 23-12-3. Due to the team’s success, many of the players received massive awards and recognition from their peers and the media. Leicester City would have four players featured in the Premier League Team of the Year; those players were Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, and Wes Morgan.
Mahrez was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year after recording 17 goals and 11 assists. While Vardy won the Premier League Player of the Season award and the FWA Footballer of the Year Award as well. Ranieri was named the Premier League Manager of the Season for his incredible job of leading this team to glory.
This is a story that needs to be told on a big scale, and what I mean by that is a company like Netflix or ESPN needs to step up to the plate and finance a documentary around this team. Has this story been told before? Yes, it has, but not to the point where people all over the world have been able to know about it.
If Netflix were to finance a documentary film like this, people all over the world would be able to see it and learn about this incredible sports story. This is the kind of story that will uplift people in any walk of life.
People are always looking for inspiration or motivation, and if watching a documentary about this team doesn’t inspire someone, then I don’t know what will. What makes this appealing on a worldwide scale is that soccer is an immensely popular sport around the world, which is starting to become more prevalent in America as well. A story that is so improbable that we may never see something like it again.
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