It’s hard for me to put into words what I witnessed on Sunday in the Premier League without sounding like a child trying to describe my first ever trip to Disney World. I’m usually against throwing out the usual clichés of “Greatest game ever” especially so soon after it just happened. Emotions are still high and it is tough to think clearly and really put into perspective what we just watched. I’m not going to proclaim this the “Greatest Game Ever” just yet. Let’s give it a while to marinate and see how it does stack up against some of the best games of all time. But what I can say is that for one moment, millions upon millions of people across the world all had the same reaction when Sergio Aguero scored that title winning goal. Whether you were shouting it at the top of your lungs or muttering it in absolute disbelief, there was some form of “Oh My God” that was being expressed at the end of that match. Those are the moments that sports fans live for and those are the moments that make sports of any kind so great. On Sunday it didn’t matter if you were a fan of any of the teams involved, or if you were even a fan of soccer. As long as you were a fan of sports and drama, you had just witnessed one of the greatest moments in sporting history.
The goal itself is something that everybody who has participated in any sport dreams of doing, scoring a game winner as time expires to win the title. Anyone who has played a sport has run that same exact scenario through their head at some point in their lives. Whether you’re playing basketball by yourself in your driveway, taking batting practice in baseball, playing a pick up football game (American or World football) or whatever sport it is that you played or are currently playing. In that one moment we could all identify with Kun Aguero and were living vicariously through him. I’m sure there are a few United fans out there who would disagree with that statement since it was their team who was ultimately on the losing end, but even the most hardened United fan has to have some deal of respect for the way that game ended. Even though it hurt that United lost the title, you still have to appreciate the fact that it happened in the most dramatic fashion, something that is rarely ever seen when it comes to deciding the title on the final day. You can throw out all the arguments you want about how City “bought” the title (another article for another day), but unless you’re the most irrational super fan that the world has ever seen, you have to pay respect when it’s due. It was one of those moments where you sit back and just marvel at how it all came together. Man United fans can take solace in the fact that it took an incredible piece of magic for City to win the title this year.
For those of us in the United States, one of the other factors that helped in the build-up to this incredible final day of the season was the superb job done by FOX and ESPN in their coverage of the final games. Granted there wasn’t as much drama in the other games, but there was still plenty to take in from the final day. Notably, the main factor that played into the drama of the final day was the availability of all the games on different platforms. Personally I was watching three games at once, flipping between the Man United and Arsenal games on my big screen, watching Newcastle on my laptop and watching the Manchester City game on my phone. It’s that ability to flip between multiple games and finding the most exciting ones that adds to the entire experience. Anyone who has watched the first and second rounds of the NCAA Basketball tournament here in America would probably agree that it had that feel and excitement to it. The ability to choose the games you want to watch adds a whole new dimension to your viewing experience. But ultimately with all the choices that were available to you, once the games got to the 80th minute, you would have to be mental not to give a flip over to the City game to see if they could pull the title back from United. Overall the coverage of the entire day was spectacular from my perspective, from the in-game updates to the ability to watch whatever game you want. It was something to behold.
Overall, Survival Sunday (or whatever you want to call it) was a smashing success for everyone involved. Watching the title change hands several times throughout the day, watching QPR and Bolton fight between who would be relegated and who would stay up, it’s that kind of drama that makes sports great. But that kind of drama can be found in any sport. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, cricket — heck even Curling has drama involved in it. If you’re a fan of sport and you take the time, you can find the drama involved in whatever event you’re watching. I know many people who aren’t the biggest fans of soccer who came away from Sunday saying “Wow that was absolutely incredible.” Maybe I’m a bit on the strange side, but I do believe that if you give any sport a chance, you can be wowed by what you’re watching. After what happened on Sunday, I guarantee there are a few new fans of soccer are out there. So whether you had a dog in the fight or were just watching as a neutral, there was no way you couldn’t appreciate what you were watching.
If there was one thing I could tell United fans it’s this, I know it stings now that you lost, but be glad that you were a part of one of the defining moments in Premier League history. So rather than belittle what City achieved by yelling about history or bringing up Wayne Rooney’s dubious “Goal of the 20 seasons” award, how about just appreciating the moment in its entirety? I know that sounds like a condescending statement and maybe one day I’ll have to take my own advice. But all the complaining and downplaying is not a good look when you actually take in what you were a part of. You’re going to be back in the hunt next year and hey, who knows, maybe it will be you who has that next “Wow” moment. That’s the glory of sport.