Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Man, Myth, Maradona

Looking back, it was the sport of soccer that first determined it.  The fact that I wasn't ever going to be cool that is.  Everyone played soccer.  It was the cool sport to play.  Who were you and what did you do if you didn't play?  Well you were me, and in the mean time planned and named outfits, competitively read (against your own scorecard), and contrived the next great neighborhood profit maker.  Bottom line:  I found the sport both frightening and nauseating.  It was nature's choice not to bless me with neither hand-eye coordination nor endurance.  In turn, I chose to surrender to the fact that I would never be one of the cool kids on the block.  It was a harsh lesson to learn at such a young age.  One that would cause me to hold a negative opinion on the sport for years to come.  In fact, it would be 13 years to be exact.

Leave it to the strange, offbeat, and somewhat obnoxious component of the World Cup to get me hooked on the sport.  It may have been Lukas Podolski and Cristiano Ronaldo who grasped my attention, but it was Argentinian legend and national coach, Diego Maradona, who got me engrossed.  Always drawn to those characters of high charismatic powers, I found his full-fisted gold rings, outlandish remarks, and sideline sideshows impossible not to root for.  I'm still in mourning over Argentina's 4-0 loss to Germany Saturday.  However, thanks to the wonderful world of the web, I've been able to relive some of his finer World Cup moments  with articles such as this one, and clips like the one below.  As for my future as a soccer fan, I'm officially in.  I want the Soccer Network, the swag, and the unanswered questions from Cristiano Ronaldo and Landon Donovan about their off-the-field escapades.  So for whoever thought soccer could never make it in the U.S., let me just say this: If it could happen to me, a former daisy picking reserve mid-fielder, it could most certainly happen to the rest of you.

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