Despite my not-so-closeted fascination with the Azzurri, I was going about a very busy day on Tuesday.
The Italians were playing Uruguay in far-off Brazil. I was with my wife in a modest but wonderful Indian restaurant near Harrisburg, Pa., en route to family, friends and pushing my soccer book.
My cell phone buzzed.
It was Doug From Florida. He is half Latino. Sometimes he honors me with messages in Spanish.
This one said: “Lo siento.” I am sorry.
I wrote, “Que pasó?” What happened?
I’m sure he had figured I was watching.
The words popped up on my phone screen.
“La Mordida de Dios.” The bite of God.
I knew this was a pun on the blatant and unpunished punched goal from Diego Armando Maradona in 1986. The Hand of God, Maradona called it.
Bite? Soccer? Maradona Arrogance? It could only be Luis Suarez. And it was.
So instead of talking about the games, about Michael Bradley’s stumbles, about Landon Donovan's absence, about Klinsmann’s lineup against Germany on Thursday – or even the subsequent departure and eternal ansia of Italy – people were talking about The Bite.
This is some World Cup.
The NYT has asked me to write something about Germany-USA for later today.
We're heading back to NYC for a baseball program at the Museum of the City of New York this evening.
Your opinion about La Mordida de Dios?
6/25/2014 04:10:47 am
I was an All American soccer player at Navy in 1952. I have followed soccer all my life and found your book "Eight World Cups" a wonderful commentary on the sport and its characters. Not the least of whom is Sanchez. Still in the news. I did look for one game in your book which I had the good fortune of attending. The game between Russia and Cameroon. The match in Stanford, California, is worth mentioning since two incredible records in world cup history were made in the same match. The first goal was by Milla of Cameroon. Roger Milla’s record as the oldest man to score in a world cup is unlikely ever to be beaten. To this day Oleg Salenko of Russia remains the only player that has scored five goals in one world cup match. Perhaps, if you ever write an update, you could slip these events in. Best wishes. Bob Bicknell
6/25/2014 04:26:39 am
6/25/2014 04:53:11 am
According to ESPN, FIFA announced that there was a possible violation involving Senor Suarez. That is akin to asking the captain of the Titanic, except for that excessive ice order, how was the trip? The beautiful game has always been feel with the passion. Now it*s talking overbites. Hope Senor Suarez enjoys the rest of the games on Univision.
6/25/2014 01:45:22 pm
Glad it wasn't a chunk. It was easy to find Holyfield's piece of ear in a boxing ring than it would be a shoulder chunk on a soccer pitch.
6/25/2014 02:22:32 pm
Have you seen the Hyundai commercial, about the guy trying desperately to avoid spoilers so he can watch the recorded match? That is I, and it will be tomorrow. If I can make it home without learning the result, it may be a sad commentary about US.
6/25/2014 02:53:54 pm
Italian food is always tasty and so the cannibal Suárez didn't lose the opportunity.
6/25/2014 07:23:47 pm
George's column in tomorrow's (Thursday's) NYTimes:
6/26/2014 01:27:38 am
The guy lowered his head and bit a fellow human.
Mike from Whitestone
6/26/2014 01:04:48 pm
GV, my good friend Mr Lopez of Columbia here in Whitestone knew the story of the bite from '86. He called a one year icing for Senor Suarez. Sad that this takes the stage away from the excitement of the World Cup. And too bad Mr Lopez wasn't right.
6/26/2014 01:42:29 pm
Mike, sorry I couldn't get to Queens today. I think it was also the last graduation for a Jamaica High class. Makes me sick.
Comments are closed.
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.