Saturday, November 26, 2005

George Best

When I heard that George Best was at death's door, my immediate reaction was a lack of sympathy, due to the fact that he drank his own liver away and then squandered the one that was donated to him, which would have been better utilised elsewhere. Now, in the wake of his death, the thought strikes me; his genius as a footballer was what really killed him, not the lifetime of booze. As is the case with so many natural virtuosos, he was an ordinary guy with an extraordinary talent. Suddenly finding the world in his hands, he wasn't equipped to handle that kind of responsibility. The other great sporting geniuses in modern times (Alex Higgins, Maradonna, Ronnie O'Sullivan) all have demons that come with the talent, and even though he literally drank himself to death, it's hard not to feel just a little bit sorry for George Best.


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