Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Georgie Boy


It appears that George Best is on the verge of meeting his maker, although given the ‘Barney Rubble’ like resilience of the man we can’t be sure that he’s about to breathe his last.

Some people are so preternaturally gifted that it’s possible to forgive them almost anything, even if they waste much of their talent and devote an inordinate amount of their time to behaving like a total arsehole. Best didn’t entirely squander his gift, mesmerising crowds during the seven years when he displayed his footballing genius at the highest level.

We probably all know someone who, despite their myriad faults, is still ultimately loveable. They can be as unreliable and unpredictable as they like, they will still provide excellent company and generally brighten up the lives of everyone with whom they come in contact. Best was like that. The elfin grace that he displayed on the football pitch seemed to extend into his day to day existence. The friends that he made over the years generally remained friends, even if they did despair over his wayward ways.

Flawed sporting heroes are usually the most attractive. It’s their human fallibility that appeals to us, appearing as a counterweight to the privileges that their position affords them. Personally I’d much rather spend an evening with George Best than with the inarticulate David Beckham, or the cretinous, ‘Shrek’ like Wayne Rooney.

George Best was destroyed by alcohol. Interestingly, his mother didn’t take a drink until the age of forty, but still ended up dying from liver disease. I’m convinced that there must be a genetic element to alcoholism. The same genetic inheritance that produces a sporting genius can lead them into alcohol or drug dependency.

I’m too young to have seen George Best play, but my uncles did. Judging from the veneration in which they hold the man I very much doubt that we’ll see such a perfectly rounded talent again.

20 comments:

S.I.D. said...

Well Done garfer. Nice obituary!

garfer said...

Is he dead yet? If he is that's just bloody typical. Inconsiderate bastard.
Had a look at your 'Lisburn Council bans Gays' link. Guess whaht they call the venue for civil marriages? 'The Cherry Room'.
Har har har!

Sniffy said...

Well, I'm a genius and I have trouble controlling myself with addictions. In many cases it's a pressure release thing too. There comes to be a certain level expectation on a person to always be performing, either during their work or on the social stage.

That's what I found and how i got into trouble with booze. I felt (it probably wasn't a real perception) an expectation to be humorous and chatty and entertaining. Being terrible shy, I needed a little help to relax to enable me to do this.

No doubt the same is true of many others.

BigDov said...

He was good. I'll grant you, but he was no Jimmy Johnstone!

Herge Smith said...

Did he play footie then?

Nice work, getting the orbit in early - weeeellll, Christmas is coming, you wanna beat the rush and that.

garfer said...

George Best was noted for his shyness as a kid. Maybe the booze just helped him to live up to the lifestyle that was expected of him.
Either that or he was an irresponsible wastrel. Maybe it was a bit of both.
Jimmy Johnstone my arse! If you'd suggested Jim Baxter I might have had some sympathy.
I thought I'd get a pre-emptive strike in with my obit.

Herge Smith said...

Can you do one on Blair next?

garfer said...

That wouldn't be an obit, it would be a character assasination. It would all be true.
That Tory guy Cameron looks even creepier, if that's possible.

Herge Smith said...

The Blair clone!

garfer said...

I bet he has a rub down with baby oil every night. The slippery devil.

MHN for short said...

Quite nice, love. I would say that he must have been the sports equivilent to Nick Drake.

S.I.D. said...

Yup classic garfer "The Cherry Room"

Apt or what. I meet a few of th councillors regularly, so the knobs are in for a pop or two!

Merkin said...

"Preternaturally", Garfer? Have you been stealing poncy words from my blog titles?!

I have a question about Besty, as a non-soccer fan. If he was so good, why did he insist on playing for plucky-but-never-going-anywhere-Northern Ireland when he could have easily been one of England's greatest players (with a bit of genealogical re-writing)? It could be called the "Giggs Conundrum"...

garfer said...

It's a law of nature that the celtic fringe will always produce at least one player who pisses the England manager off because his father wasn't born in Basingstoke.

Wyndham said...

At least Giggs had the decency to play for England Schoolboys before deciding, against everyone's better judgement, to be Welsh. I think we can all agree that Besty has always known his own mind.

Merkin said...

The trouble is, Wyndham, that his own mind has always said "12 pints, 5 vodkas, 2 whiskies and a port"...

garfer said...

Terry Wogan: Why do you drink so much George?
George: I like getting pissed Terry.
Terry Wogan: You've always had a bit of a way with the ladies George.
George: I like screwing Terry.

In vino veritas.

Spinsterella said...

He may have been a fantastic footballer but not since 1975 for frig's sake.

At least Ollie Reed was still making the odd film when he drank himself to death.

garfer said...

Fair point, but he his last game was for the Ford Open Prison team while he was banged up for pissed driving.
That's what I call going out in style.
Ollie Reed was a bit of a dick, but at least his first name wasn't 'Carol', like his uncle.

Gordon said...

Hmmm.

I'm keeping my mouth shut. He's only a footballer after all.