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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What's next, Pete Rose saying, "Oh yeah, I bet on the Reds every stinkin' day"?

Diego Maradona has admitted that he cheated. Good Diego, now tell us something we don't know.

In the 1986 World Cup Finals match between England and Argentina, the former Argentine international and legendary talent went up for a header against English Goalkeeper Peter Shilton (who was, at the time I believe, 68 years old). A second later, the ball was in the back of the English net, like someone else's rocky bogey slammed into the depths of the nose.

Maradona had scored...with his hand.

Certain American sportswriters (the ones who respond to the word "soccer" with drool and a vacant expression) may not be aware of this but, in soccer, the use of the hands is forbidden for all players except the keeper. Maradona, in punching the ball into the goal, had committed an offense that should have had him sent him off. Instead, later in the game, he took the ball just inside his half of the pitch, and set off on a memorable run, scoring one of the most famous goals in World Cup history.

He should have been sitting in the locker room, trying to figure out whether he would drive his Mazerati or Porsche home from the game, depending on how much cocaine the gloveboxes of each would hold and how many girls would fit in the back seats.

Some might suggest that I am bitter. Of course I'm bitter. I'm as bitter as a lemon grown hydropnically in Guinness. I'm as bitter as Sean Penn after a George W. Bush news conference. England had one of their finest teams in '86, including Shilton, Terry Butcher, Gary Lineker, and Bryan Robson, among others. They would have outmatched Germany in the final as surely as Argentina did. Instead, back to summering at Brighton and Calais, while Argentina lift their second cup.

At least Diego is man enough to finally admit what he did, now that the coke has worn off. Although describing it as "a bit of mischief" is sugar-coating it. I bet Fidel told him to say that, the hairy, cigar-chomping, totalitarian bastard.


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