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Monday, November 28, 2005

George Best - RIP

Pele called George Best 'the best soccer player in the world!' Probably the most gracious compliment by the world's most recognized athlete.

For those unfamiliar with the world's beautiful game, George Best was the Joe Namath of International Soccer - flamboyant, outspoken, chic magnet, ultimate party-boy in a time of cultural and personal excess - and that says a lot!

One of the best descriptions I heard was a commentary in a match in the 70s...'Score by Charlton (Bobby), but setup by this genius, George Best, who turned on the most glittering magic. You don't blame the goalkeeper, you congratulate the goal scorers.'

RIP George Best - the Beautiful Game has lost a legend.

A moment of silence for a great man of Footie.
I got this from another site attributed to Best:

"I spent all my money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."

I didn't know the guy (soccer's not a real game, dammit) but I sure like the humor..
The power and global passion of this game is undeniable, as evidenced by a story of what happened in the early 90s. When the Balkans were really a mess, both sides of the conlfict signed a five hour 'truce' so Serbs and Croats could suit up and play a game to qualify for the World Cup. You might not think it's a real game, but how can the 4 billion who watch the WC every four years be wrong?
Actually, when I was a kid I enjoyed playing soccer the few times we were allowed to during gym. My reference was more towards the TV aspect. I admit to being Americanized in my sports watching perferences. Soccer is similar to golf--it's much more fun to play than watch.

That said, I'm flat amazed at the foot skill of pro soccer players, the way they can dribble and especially some of the passes. I just think the game moves too slow and there is not enough scoring to make it exciting enough to draw the older grizzled sports viewers.
Thanks for the comment back - When Pele was asked about G Best he said, 'it's as if the ball is glued to his foot.' And from what I saw of his play when I lived in England to the tapes and dvds of what I have seen after I played the game, there is not another player in the world that had the ball skills he had. Absolutely phenomenal control...the space between his boot and the ball can be measured by inches.
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