In a week when Cheeto Jesus offered the first hint that he might give up the spectre of his presidency, Cheato Jesus in Argentina gave up the ghost. There will be much penned about the life and times of Diego Maradona, typically juxtaposing the genius and villain motifs.
But the infamous Hand of God was not what marked him out as a dishonest rogue. That particular caper was street urchin, crafty sportsmanship at a push and no more sinister than any routine pro-baller chicanery. The cheat moniker is however rightly earned through being coked off his tits for the last 15 years of his career and covering it up by squirting piss through a plastic pecker.
It kind of explains the Inspector Gadget leap over Shilton for the rum punch. FIFA likely had a Bulgarian linesman administering the dope tests as well.
Yes, Maradona was a stratospherically gifted player and arguably at the pinnacle of picks for all time. But to go full tilt on the idolatry bent, the whole package has to tick the boxes.
And that is where we have to draw a big fat, non-Bolivian line.
He duped, doped, basked unrepentantly in his notoriety, had the aforethought to procure a prosthetic wang for his urine squirts, slapped his missus about, fiddled his taxes, larged it with despots, and was an overeating, overbearing, loudmouth bore.
A cosmic footballer and a crass, scoundrelous, slow-punctured, spacehopper to boot.
None of those egregious excesses detracted from his ball-jugging genius, but neither do they accentuate his deity. While we should respect the passing of any person, we should not be tempted to toot with abandon on generous lines of South American nostalgia. Nor should we wazz out our ethical standards through our collective eulogistic ersatz weener.
Anyone with a scintilla of discernment would have made whoopee over his genius as a footballer upon his retirement, but not over the totality of the man, just because he’s now had his ticket punched.
All those currently looking down the wrong end of the telescope with their self-righteous, fawning phooey are no better than those who over-indulged him as a ‘living legend’. And we all know how that monster-morphed and crash-burned.
RIP the recently departed, but let’s save the hero stuff for those who deserve to be revered.