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Wigan Athletic: The Butler of Britain

     Butler University got to two national championship games-- in 2010 and 2011...and came within three inches of winning it in 2010.  But what if that half-court heave by Gordon Hayward had connected in 2010-- instead of floating just off the mark?  You would have an accomplishment that mirrors what Wigan Athletic did over the weekend in the FA Cup final.  The FA Cup is England's answer to the pre-1998 IHSAA tournament... everyone is welcome to compete as equals.  The largest club in the land may be beaten by one of the smallest.-- and it has happened, on more than one occasion.
       Which brings me to Wigan.  The Latics-- as they are known-- are in the top flight of English soccer-- the Premier League-- barely.  They played Manchester City over the weekend-- among England's richest, best-funded, and well-known sides.  Wigan?  Uhh...not as much.  But the Wigan warriors scraped through several rounds, and found itself with a chance at the sacred ground of English soccer-- Wembley Stadium.  One game... 90 minutes-- and a chance to write English soccer history.  With a 90th minute header, they did just that.  Wigan 1, Man City 0.  The Latics may be relegated from the Premiership for next season-- moving down to the Championship, the second tier of English soccer.  However, if they do go down, they will go down swinging-- as the reigning FA Cup champions. 
        So in a sense, Gordon Hayward's shot did connect-- only with a cleah header as the English say... "at the death."  But the only thing to die that day was Manchester City's dreams-- and conventional wisdom about smaller clubs defeating larger ones.  Wigan Athletic-- the Butler of Britain.  The only difference  Hayward's shot missed by inches, while Wigan's was right on target.  Here's to the Latics-- in a scene that came right out of "Hoosiers."

                                                        That's my take... I'm Tom Lee


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05/14/2013 7:49AM
Wigan Athletic: The Butler of Britain
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