Updated: Jan 20, 2021
If i've told you once, I'll tell you again:
I've already said it.
RIP to the legend of Argentina, Naples, and cocaine.
The 5 foot 5 midfielder who played with the same agility, aggression and burst that youd get from a key bump passed away today at 60 after complications from a blood clot surgery earlier this month.... a damn shame - but also kinda remarkable he made it this long in life.
He got neopolitan deep with the mafia and drugs ... and still was the #1 player in the world...if not arguably of all time. In fact over the last few years he'd always talk about what he couldve accomplished if it wasnt for the drugs.
Idk. His game replicated a cocaine high : fast, erratic and laser focus. I'd even argue a correlation = coincidence .
It seems as if He did cocaine because he was cocaine.. And yes I took an edible / am an idiot so i understand i might come across choppy and confusing.
Thats a me problem.
So to clarify:
what you know of as the "Mickey Mantle gene" ; the rest of the World knows as the Diego Maradona gene.
Stories like him showing up right before a game eating a sandwich, hungover after partying all night - and still going out there and scoring 3 goals... Or how he went to the vatican met the Pope and to his face said :
"if your so worried about helping the poor, then sell your roof" (the gold ceilings of the church)
Diego Maradona won a World Cup with Argentina in 86. He also won 2 Serie A championships, 1 UEFA Cup, and 1 Coppa Italia during his 8 year span with Napoli.
But we've already covered that (if youd like more on what Maradona meant to Naples Italy ... and why Napoli ARE the NY Jets/Knicks.... and of course my early onset dementia):
Anyways - a damn shame so many of his relationships (fifa,Napoli, etc) ended so abrupt and badly. But his legend will have no problem ignoring the little things.
The guy was a saint.
My Father lived in Naples during Maradona - and is still there today. The Maradona god like effect is very real. Hes like Trump in a christian evangelist church down south.
Southern Italy, - Naples to be specific was known as a slum. It got a bad wrap.. And why wouldnt it? It was the south - near all the gypsies. It was mafia land.. it didnt rub elbows with the posh north of Italy. It rubbed elbows with the muck.
Tourists didnt visit Naples - they HAD to go through Naples to travel the Amalfi Coast.. And while Italian soccer and culture was dominated by the rich north, the South of Italy didn't have much to be proud of.... Until Maradona joined in 84'.
He gave the entire city a glimmer of hope, strength , and unity. He gave them something to identify for. They became champions... Them too were just as good as the North.
LIke Terry Bradshaw in Pittsburgh. Kevin McHale in Boston. Or the captain Willis Reed in NYC. These guys invigorated a franchise and community.
And I spoke to my dad earlier who was telling me about how Naples is mourning today.. What Maradona was to them. What he still means to them.
In fact something i found interesting was how he talked about changing the stadium name from San Paolo to Maradona stadium.. and I'd say the stadium name is an expected change - BUT im not in the business of breaking news. Just breaking knucks banging into my keyboard as an agent of good energy.
Why wouldnt you change to Maradona stadium. What a badass name for a stadium anda tribute to immortalize the man.
If anything my dad was just bummed out Maradona won't see the tribute in person.
Maradona was and is a saint to the city.. Like immediately. When the guy transferred to Naples he gave the city his trademark name - he didnt want to collect money from vendors on the streets selling his name/jersey. Naples became his home, his family.
So as much as the city gave to him - he certainly gave back to them. I mean when the World Cup was hosted in Italy - Maradona had to ask the Neapolitans to stop cheering for him !! They chose Maradona over their own country. THats insane.
and then the most ridiculous video ive ever seen.
i dont know if thats real but either way: people always did say "he was something else" -..
AND one thing is for sure as much as theyd same he was something, there will surely be nothing like him
RIP Maradona . All neopolitan testicles and tomatos are aching swollen today