We Americans think we wrote the book on idolizing athletes. We really don't know a thing about it.

This story about the late Diego Maradona appeared in the Thursday, November 25th, edition of the Süd-Deutsche Zeitung. The photo suggests that Maradona has earned his angels' wings and a place in Heaven; but the title of the article reads, "Maradona's Cult-Status Suffocated Him." It sounds like his fan-base deified him, and like any cradle-Catholic, the falseness of his deification wrecked him from the inside.

Maradona's coach Fernando Signorini has written in his biography that Maradona had to submit to a blood-test, like professional athletes in any sport. Unknown to Maradona, the nurse who performed the blood-test filled a second phial, without Maradona knowing it, and brought it to the Cathedral of Naples to place inside the shrine to the Patron Saint of Naples, San Gennaro, alongside the saint's own phial of blood, putting Maradona on an equal footing with the saint.

At a famous football club in Brazil, someone painted a parody of the "Creation of Adam" from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. Maradona floats across the ceiling to touch the finger of his successor, the Argentine footballer Lionel Messi.

Next time you think your college spends too much time promoting its athletics, think about how it must have affected Maradona. Let's hope the same does not happen to Messi.



September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


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