George Best 30 30 ESPN special

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by Shadowlight, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Mentor

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    This Thursday night ESPN will present a 30 30 program about Manchester United legend George Best, a player from Ireland who many thought had Pele like talent. Best emerged along with the Beatles and swinging London but at the time soccer was not much of anything for people in the USA and as a kid I knew nothing about him but years later I recognized the name. In 1987, independent English rock band The Wedding Present, with their loud surging guitars and catchy tunes, released their most popular album named "George Best" featuring a full photo of Best in his soccer uniform.
    Things are tough enough today for white athletes so I want all of the spectacular ones to keep it clean and take care of themselves. But the natural primitive masculine desires of most men can't deny the allure of a man living a hard and fast life to the fullest. I will either die unexpectedly or dribble to an end but either way my life like so many others is a boring ass chore for the most part. I wonder what I would give just to experience a couple of years of what George Best's life must have been like in the late 60's? He had the looks and the splash and the otherworldly talents ( think Joe Namath as an American comparison) and he went full tilt. He was surrounded by gorgeous "birds" (a term for babes back then) and partied like there was no tomorrow. It all eventually caught up with him and messed up his brilliant soccer career arc. The partying ways and heavy drinking took a toll on his health too and he died prematurely at the age of 59.
    I am looking forward to the show with a little bit of envy. To watch his brilliance on the soccer field in full display. And to watch his swinging 60's like celebrity life and his bevy of beautiful "birds." When I was younger my friends and I would have called a guy like Best a STUD!!! In other words an incomparable athlete who has a way with the ladies. Below are three photos from his HARD life. Ha.
    http://www.best-tributes.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Mirror-Blinkers-United-Eva-Haralsted.jpg
    http://edgardaily.com/media/14757/george-best10.png
    http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/cache/beltel/e0/64/bf/6dacfc0b2f37a33b1c55852e45.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  2. Heretic

    Heretic Master

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    Too bad the Brit girls no longer look or act like that. Sounds like Best had a similar life experience and arc as Formula One Brit, James Hunt.
     
  3. Rebajlo

    Rebajlo Mentor

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    I could easily expound at length upon the subject of George Best but shall limit myself to saying that - in my opinion - he was the most naturally gifted footballer of all time. Of course, that’s merely my opinion and many fans over the age of thirty-five will instead accord that subjective title to either Diego Maradona, Alfredo Di Stefano, Johan Cruyff (yes, yes, I know, the correct spelling is Cruijff...), Gianni Rivera, Pele, or even - by reputation, because match footage from the 1930s and early 1940s is both highly rare and exclusively fragmentary - Giuseppe Meazza. Most people under thirty-five will reflexively mention Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. But for me, it’s Best.

    Best succumbed to the off-field temptations which accompanied his unprecedented celebrity status and the comparatively huge sums of endorsement money which it reaped. His “top class” career was over by the time he was twenty seven. But one has to remember that Best was the first genuine “sporting celebrity” in a world far different from that of today. Consequently, he didn’t benefit from the armies of managers, minders, sports psychologists, accountants, and lawyers who advise modern players and protect them from the media.

    In all honesty, if Best was black I’m sure we’d be having a laugh at his ego and self-destructive excesses, citing him as the example par excellence of a waste of both natural talent and great opportunity.

     
  4. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Mentor

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    I watched the special but I sort of missed about 15 minutes late( I don't think ESPN has replayed it?) due to a phone call from a friend including the part where his mother died. It certainly was a good introduction to Best and his life but it was incomplete. The doc made it seem as if Best had one or two great seasons and moments but he was dominant for a longer stretch than that. It also didn't capture the pure joy Best gave his fans and all the horny girls that were after him during the swinging 60's. I was left with the feeling that his life and story would make a GREAT motion picture. And a tragic one at that. His mother was a very straight person who also turned to alcohol which just only adds to the overall tragedy. An Irish clan battling the darkness makes me think of a Eugene O'Neill play.
    That said there is a MYTHIC quality to Best and Rebajlo you would be in a much better position in ranking Best among the other great players from the past than I would because I would have NO clue. I didn't start following soccer until 1994 which was a result of the fact that the major sports were being dominated mostly by blacks. I became transfixed by Italy's Roberto Baggio during the 1994 World Cup. He had a certain mystique and was the first soccer player I put on a pedestal and was devastated when Italy lost the World Cup on penalty kicks. Today I would probably pick Messi over Ronaldo and Neymar as the best current player.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  5. The Hock

    The Hock Master

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    Great vid Rebajlo.

    I'll be on the lookout for the show on Best.
     
  6. Ambrose

    Ambrose Master

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    To that video, of that man, i play this music:


     
  7. Rebajlo

    Rebajlo Mentor

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    Shadowlight -

    Comparing - not to mention “ranking” - players from different eras is a highly problematic endeavour because the sport has gradually evolved. The materials from which balls and kit are manufactured; prevailing tactics; groundskeeping techniques; acceptable standards for pitches; sports medicine and nutrition; and even the rules of the game itself have changed, particularly from 1990 onwards, when unprecedented money began to pour into the sport, transforming it into a global business dominated by billionaire owners, corporate media interests, and leftist political agendas. The football world of Messi and Ronaldo is therefore radically different from the footballing worlds of Di Stefano, Pele, Rivera, Best, Cruyff, or Maradona.

    Referees now afford players a level of protection which was unimaginable even fifteen years ago, let alone back when Best was active in the 1960s and early 1970s. Ruthless hatchet-men whose primary role was to “contain” the opposing team’s stars through brutal physical intimidation which often encompassed serious attempts at inflicting lasting injury have been effectively removed from the “modern” game. During the 1960s, players would not only routinely suffer bruising and gashes to the shins and calves, but also to the thighs and even the buttocks. Pele, for instance, was famously kicked to pieces with impunity by Portugal in the third group match of the 1966 World Cup.

    Best possessed superlative balance which allowed him to regularly ride scything tackles while remarkably managing to retain full control of the ball as he continued to run at top speed. The only other player who could do this at Best’s level was Maradona, but the Irishman did it infinitely more elegantly. In the ultra-“sanitised” climate of today, Messi and Ronaldo are never subjected to such violent tackles, which would immediately earn the perpetrator a red card, a lengthy suspension, and eternal media excoriation.

    As you said, “there is a mythic quality to Best”. He did everything so effortlessly - almost casually - and after watching match footage and documentaries down the years I always came away with the impression that Best had an extra couple of gears which he never engaged. I’ve had many a long conversation with British blokes who actually saw him play in his “prime” and they all effused with superlative-laden sentences when describing Best’s ability, even the fellows who genetically hated Manchester United.

    You mentioned Roberto Baggio. In my opinion, Baggio and Paolo Maldini were the finest Italian players since Gianni Rivera and both are genuine top of the range all-time greats. But, of course, Maldini was a defender so he naturally - and unfairly - doesn’t receive the level of recognition accorded an attacking player.

    I watched an enormous volume of Serie A football as a teenager and saw plenty of Baggio during his days at Fiorentina, which was always my second-favourite Italian club behind Atalanta. Baggio was a true genius whose skills were mesmeric - despite being forced to overcome two career-threatening injuries by the time he was 19. ****, I’m being swept up and borne back to my youth upon phantom waves of sentimentality by merely recalling those heady times. It almost seems like yesterday when the 18-year old, prodigiously-coiffured Rebajlo was invited to a party at the house of an Italian acquaintance. But instead of being able to take eager advantage of this platinum-edged opportunity to meet the Italian’s deliciously curvaceous cousin and - hopefully - impress her with a few stanzas of anapestic tetrameter (amongst other things…) I was almost immediately called over to a table of wine-guzzling geezers whose ages ranged somewhere between forty-five and seventy. These older chaps had somehow been informed of my renowned football fanaticism and jovially insisted we talk soccer - for what turned out to be the entire evening… :eek: :BangHead:
     
  8. Shadowlight

    Shadowlight Mentor

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    Great post Rebajlo. I enjoyed reading it.
    You jolted my memory yes, Paolo Maldini was the stellar and well publicized defender on that team. Baggio was one of the few athletes that just thoroughly mesmerized me. The only other soccer player I liked practically as much was Liverpool's jolt of lightening Michael Owen. But unlike Italy, Michael Owen's England teams never advanced deep enough in the World Cups to properly enjoy his play.
    I have liked Holland's sprinter Arjen Robben over the years. The one defender that really stood out for me and was my favorite player on the 2006 Italy squad was the superbly athletic and peerless team leader Fabio Cannavaro. That was a great feeling when they won the World Cup that year dislodging dreaded France. And Cannavaro's play was an exercise in pure unfiltered God given talent. Nothing or nobody got by him.
    As for missed opportunities with the ladies most men can relate. Men will go to their graves regretting and never forgetting the blown chances that were available to them during their youth. I have one buxom blonde that really sticks in my craw. George Best on the other hand had the gals coming at him in droves. No wonder "men" talk about him with such great reverence. Ha.

    Just to change the subject The Premier League starts Saturday and is anyone here including Rebajlo up to posting a mini preview for the upcoming season?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  9. The Hock

    The Hock Master

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    The old geezers probably spotted the wolf on the hunt and like the Old World gentleman they were deemed it proper to do some **** blocking for Little Red Riding Hood.
     
  10. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't think it's been mentioned in this thread, but Best needed a liver transplant because of his prolific drinking. After getting a new liver he promptly took up drinking again. :beer-toast1:
     
  11. Rebajlo

    Rebajlo Mentor

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    Shadowlight -

    I'm glad you enjoyed the post. :)

    England certainly went further in the World Cup tournaments of Owen’s era than they did in 2014, when they were embarrassingly dumped out in the first round, finishing winless and dead last in their group.

    Owen burst into global prominence as an 18 year old during the 1998 World Cup, where he scored a superb goal in the 2-2 second round draw with Argentina - at the end of which England were knocked out on penalties. In 2002, England reached the quarterfinals, where they lost 2-1 to Brazil. Owen scored in that match as well as in the 3-0 second round win over Denmark. England also reached the quarterfinals in 2006 but Owen was injured a few minutes into the third group game against Sweden and was out for the rest of the tournament.

    As for missed opportunities with the ladies, well, life is littered with such unfortunate instances in which Fate’s inscrutable hand intervenes in many a guise. If I’m honest, Miss Calabria (sponsored by Playtex and Mack milk trucks…) may have had a body which doubtlessly launched a thousand loads every time she left the house but - like many a physical goddess - appeared to be the kind of mouthy air-head whose temperament is utterly incompatible with that of your humble correspondent. Mind you, it would have been nice to have the opportunity to find out if my not-so-sneaking suspicions were correct…

    The Hock -

    Those geezers must have been awfully “perspicacious”, for they collared me almost the moment I walked in. If I was a wolf, I probably looked like this ;):

    [​IMG]

    Best took full advantage of the most immediate perquisite which celebrity and money offer a young man: a constant conveyor belt of unsolicited, attractive female attention. Too bad he literally boozed himself into oblivion. If I was in Best’s position, I’d have completely foregone the alcohol and concentrated my, er, “energies” on the women.

    The very concept of celebrities and “celebrity culture” has always thoroughly disgusted me. Ironically, I had a very fleeting and very limited first-hand insight into its sordid mysteries as an eighteen-year-old heavy metal hero who was suddenly in high demand locally and whose band was being approached by all manner of sleazy “managers”, “promoters”, and miscellaneous purveyors of cut-price snake oil and fairy dust.

    Despite being an affable joker and raconteur in selected company, I’ve always been an introverted, cynical loner and misanthrope who’d rather sit in a room and read or spend time in Nature than endure the lame ********-artistry of “parties” and “social gatherings” packed with brainless, boorish, loud-mouthed poseurs - most of whom are just begging for a big fist in the chops - and their vacuous, preening female counterparts, some of which may be premium quality tits and arse but not mush else. Funnily enough, my thin-skinned touchiness, innate racism, and poisonous hatred of leftists, do-gooders, and hypocrites was never a particularly smooth social lubricant. A strange personality for a metal vocalist to be sure, but there it is.

    Anyway, soon after I turned up on the scene as a weedy eighteen year old - and not long after I’d been booted out of my first band for decommissioning an aggressive member of the crowd with a microphone stand and thereby precipitating a rather messy brawl - I joined a band which quickly gained a remarkably positive reputation in local circles. Before I knew it, whenever I turned up at a pub certain types of eye-popping girls seemingly custom built for hard-core fornication who would never have spat on me when I was in high school a couple of months earlier miraculously began to notice my presence and squealed stuff like “ooh, look, that’s him, that’s the singer! Isn’t he ******* sexy. His hair is soooo gorgeous!” Well, **** me! Here I was - the same skinny Rebajlo I had always been. My hair was just as “gorgeous” as before and my facial features sure hadn’t changed. But something had changed, hadn’t it: I was now “the singer”. I can therefore well imagine how easy it was for Best to be sucked into the fatal quicksand of his off-field activities…

    Don -

    Best’s liver transplant justifiably generated controversy in the UK at the time. The fact that he continued boozing and bragged about it did him no credit at all…
     
  12. Matra2

    Matra2 Master

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    I watched the documentary last night, minus the first ten minutes or so. It was good but there weren't enough clips of him playing, though I guess there is a shortage of those because not all matches were filmed back then. I actually saw him playing for N Ireland against Holland in a WC qualifier - his final international if I'm not mistaken. I was really young so don't remember anything other than fans yelling insults at him. (I was so young and ignorant I apparently started cheering for the team in orange, thinking they were our team:D).
     
  13. Rebajlo

    Rebajlo Mentor

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    Matra2 -

    You thought the team in orange was your team? How on earth could that have possibly happened... ;) :D
     

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