There is wild rejoicing in my home town today — Northampton, in the English East Midlands. Our town soccer team, the Cobblers (Northampton is a shoe town), beat soccer giants Liverpool in the Football League Cup. This is about equivalent to the Long Island Ducks scoring a win over the New York Yankees in a major tournament.
The Cobblers are perennial losers, lurking at or near the bottom of league rankings since forever. There was a brief sensational spurt up to the First Division in the 1960s, but the natural order quickly re-asserted itself and we were back down in the Fourth in no time.
The whole division structure of the leagues has since been re-arranged, but the Cobblers, like the Order of St. Clement in Morte d’Urban, “labor under the curse of mediocrity.” That innate and essential loserliness keeps them down low in whatever ranking system is currently fashionable. It also accords with the self-image of the Northamptonians, who take a wry self-deprecating pleasure in the town’s utter lack of distinction. Nothing much has happened there since the flight of Thomas à Becket in A.D. 1164. You can buy a bumper sticker that says SORRY! I’M FROM NORTHAMPTON.
Now they are dancing in the streets of the municipality, from Kislingbury to Chapel Brampton, from Hopping Hill to Buttocks Booth.
Congratulations to the Cobblers. Giants really can be slain. I pass this general truth on to Carl Paladino, Ryan Brumberg, Sharron Angle, and all the other conservative candidates running against big-name opponents in the November general. It’s an omen, see?