Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Your towering sports icon for today

His name is Birkir Bjarnason.

And, look, it's OK if you don't know him, because before yesterday, no one outside of Reykjavik knew him, either. But you should know he has the most awesome nickname in sports -- come on, who else is the Thor of Soccer? -- and yesterday he scored the biggest goal in the history of Iceland. Which, admittedly, probably didn't have a lot of competition.

The goal Thor scored, after all, was not only the first major tournament goal in his nation's history. It also enabled tiny Iceland, in its first Euro 2016 game ever, to earn a 1-1 draw with mighty Portugal, which happens to be led by the best player in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Suffice it to say Birkir Bjarnason is as big in Iceland today as, I don't know, Derek Jeter is in New York. Or Tom Brady or David Ortiz in Boston. Or Michael Jordan in Chicago, or Peyton Manning in Denver (and possibly Indianapolis).

In other words, expect an appropriately heroic statue to go up any day now.  And lots of male newborns named "Birkir."

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