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?
"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.