Denis Law, celebrating Manchester United’s 1963 Cup Final win over Leicester City.
I wrote something for Unprofessional Foul, my spiritual home, about underdogging and its magical ways on the eve of the Champions League final. Both sides would clearly love to be labeled as underdog, for it’s a much warmer narrative and lends itself well to stories of stirring performances and heroic comebacks. Of course, we know neither side is really worthy of such a moniker in the freakin’ Champions League final, but it won’t stop them trying.
The script from here is familiar and well-worn:
- CONTINUE to gush with praise and compliments for the opponent.
- LAUD your opponent’s skill, deftness in attack, good grace, good manner, and impermeable run of form
- MAKE many mentions of how hard you’ll need to work simply to stay on the same pitch as the opponent.
- Similarly, NOTE how eager and wide-eyed your teammates are for the challenge ahead.
- Also be sure to REINFORCE how your starry-eyed side is mentally preparing for the game.
- POINT OUT any atmospheric and/or environmental factors that’ll surely aid your opponent in their routine quest for trophies. Pitch size, weather, proximity to home fanbase, height of grass and, closer to game time, the choice of officiating crew.
- REAFFIRM your team’s inherent humility and simple happiness at being lucky enough to take part in the big game/big tournament.
Find the rest here: