Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maradona Has His Moments

I think this is one of those magical moments when Scotland v. Argentina will be infinitely more interesting than the usual brow-beating Schadenfreude of England v. Germany, don't you?

It looks like the football gods have taken their injury machine gun to the entire England squad, while Little Big Man is going to lead his country against the progenitors of passing football in a moment that will be as moving as it will be utterly and completely ridiculous.

I tend to empathize with the core basis of Christian belief when I think on Maradona. What is it about him that makes me love him, a man whose persistent self-slaughter and abuse of trust should forever reduce him to an object of ridicule?

I don't know. Perhaps because 1986, a year that many of us remember as the middle of the dark ages, plastic consumerism, Ronald Reagan, Heysel and Hillsborough, seems to leap out of history to this day because of that 'squat little man' running around on a stifling pitch in Mexico.

Terry Butcher will never forgive him, and while he's absolutely correct not to -- Maradona cheated, he cheated -- he transgressed in the most artful way possible, striking the heart of the English self-delusion of honour and passion transcending all. He is a terrible clown, and while his foray into international football will be a disaster, there will be moments. And at the end of the day, as with Maradona, whose entire career consisted of moments as stark as they were infrequent, that's all football ever leaves us.

On a related note, please check out Fred's piece on Soccerlens.

1 comment:

Fredorrarci said...

I feel the same way. I have a deep admiration for the Hand of God which I'm not whether to be deeply ashamed of. I really, really hope Maradona is a success, and though I share your scepticism, I'm choosing blind optimism for now.