The great Pelé will be awarded an honorary doctorate at an academic conference on soccer at Hofstra University on Long Island from April 10 through 13. The star of Santos and the Brazilian World Cup champions and the New York Cosmos is associated with a new version of the Cosmos, who play at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium. Over 100 speakers will be present.
I should have also written that one of my great regrets as a latecomer to soccer is that I never saw Pelé play. His Cosmos days were my Dalai Lama-JP II days. A fair trade, I guess. My pal Alex Yannis, who covered soccer for so many years, used to play in choose-up games with Pelé after that. Pelé is the nicest man -- yes, being himself, a great brand, but he cannot fake the warmth and love of his sport. I always talk to him about his friend Julio Mazzei, The Professor, who taught me so much. Being around Pelé is a jolt every time.
I will be part of a panel on Saturday afternoon and plan to be around my alma mater on all days, learning more about the sport -- plus shamelessly plugging my book, “Eight World Cups: My Journey Through the Beauty and Dark Side of Soccer,” to be published by Times Books/Holt in mid-May, just before the World Cup in Brazil.
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And then there’s my book:
"The day after my 80th birthday, which overflowed with good wishes, surprises and Covid-safe celebrations, I awoke feeling fulfilled and thinking that whatever happens going forward, I’m OK with it. My life has been rewarding, my bucket list is empty, my family is thriving, and if everything ends tomorrow, so be it.
"Not that I expect to do anything to hasten my demise. I will continue to exercise regularly, eat healthfully and strive to minimize stress. But I’m also now taking stock of the many common hallmarks of aging and deciding what I need to reconsider."
--Jane E. Brody, my pal in the NYT newsroom, oh, a few years back, in the Personal Health column, Sept. 13, 2021.
"People have said to me, ‘You’re fully vaccinated. Why are you being so careful?’” said Dr. Robert M. Wachter, professor and chair of the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “I’m still in the camp of I don’t want to get Covid. I don’t want to get a breakthrough infection.”
---Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times, Aug. 16, 2021.