Ever since his days at college, Dr. Data has been a fan of football – or soccer as it’s known here on the west side of the pond. No he’s not one of those rabid footie fans who threatens suicide if his team is relegated out of the English Premier League, but he does keep track of where things stand. (OK, he was a bit distraught when his beloved Portsmouth were sent down but it was their own damn fault!)
Manchester, England – Across the Atlantic sea – boasts not one but two teams in the Premier League: The legendary Manchester United and the somewhat less legendary Manchester City or “ManCity”. The latter is known for not having won a championship in 44 – count ’em! – years. There have been a number of close calls but the trophy has eluded them since they last won it in 1968.
That all changed on Sunday. May 13th. ManCity & Manchester United were running neck and neck for the championship. Manchester United was the expected victor and things were all set for a victory celebration following their match against Sunderland but things were also set up – just in case – for Manchester City’s home pitch match against the Queens Park Rangers who were struggling to stay in the Premier League; a death match if there ever was one.
For a while there – meaning most of the 2nd half – it looked like victory was going to, once again, give ManCity a miss. They had been leading 1 – 0 when QPR scored an equalising goal followed by another one to take the lead. The fact that QPR were a man down because of a red card didn’t seem to help at all as the ball repeatedly failed to find the back of the QPR net. Manchester City had controlled the ball at least 80 % of the match but just couldn’t seem to capitalise on it. Then came stoppage time – 5+ minutes of it – where American supporters of the winning side usually start chanting “”Nah Nah Nah Nah, Hey Hey, Good-bye”. ManCity scored an equalising goal just past the 91st minute and went ahead to stay at 93 min. and 20 sec. The rest is now British footballing history in a memorable game that had everyone – including Dr. Data – on the edge of their seats.
Back in 1968, when ManCity last won the championship, England’s claim of the World Cup title was just two years old. The next World Cup is scheduled for 2014 in Brazil; just two years from now. Is it time for England to reclaim their glory as well?