SPORTS TALK: Diego Maradona once again uses his hands for ill

by James McCarthy- June 30, 2018

Stop the presses! We finally have it!

June 21 was a red-letter day in the world of political meetings. Sarah McCammon of National Public Radio got the scoop of a lifetime.

In her position as the pool radio reporter for a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and various state governors from around the U.S. that day, she tweeted out that while the governors all had what appeared to be balsamic vinegar or Italian salad dressing, Trump had a cup of ranch dressing. Well now. Say goodnight to the bad guy. Good thing Trump didn’t have Russian dressing. Heads would have exploded. Or something.

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is officially the only player in the National Football League who is now a doctor after he graduated from McGill University’s medical school in May. The league won’t allow him to add M.D. to his nameplate, even though it’s part of his title now. photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Anyway, on to other people acting like fools:

More handiwork from Diego Maradona

Diego Maradona is good with his hands. Just ask England’s squad from the 1986 FIFA World Cup. He’s also good at giving people the double-barreled good luck sign from high atop his perch in a private box as evidenced by his recent showing in Russia.

The Argentinian soccer legend was in attendance when Argentina beat Nigeria on June 26 by the skin of their teeth, a game they had to win in order to advance to the round of 16. Marcos Rojo was the saviour of Argentina’s World Cup hopes and no one was happier than Lionel Messi, who looked like he was about to strangle Rojo the celebration.

But no one looked happier than Maradona.

He hugged someone sitting beside him and then proceeded to grace the unwashed below him with two Hawaiian good luck signs. To whom the fingers were meant for is still a matter of some conjecture but he made his point.

Listen, Maradona in his prime was one of the best players ever, on par with the likes of Pele, Johan Cryuff and Toto Schilacci, who’s still my favourite World Cup player of all time. He’s now become a caricature of his former self and a tax cheat to boot. Nice to see he hasn’t changed one bit.

When is a doctor not a doctor?

Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is an offensive lineman with the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League and is also a doctor. He graduated from medical school at McGill University in Montreal in May, continuing his education even after being drafted by the Chiefs in 2014.

So what do you do when you graduate from medical school? You add M.D. to your title, of course. Duvernay-Tardif earned the right to do that and wanted to add it to the nameplate on his Chiefs uniform for the upcoming season.

He petitioned the NFL for permission to do that but the league said no, you can’t show off that you’re now a practising physician, even if you are the first active player in league history to become a doctor. Honestly, the NFL needs all the good publicity it can get right now and what better publicity can you get than by showing the world that you have a player who got his medical degree while playing professional football?

There’s enough buzz going around that the NFL may change its mind but this is the NFL, after all. Don’t hold your breath.

How’s that for kindness, part two?

You’ll recall in last week’s Sports Talk I talked about the wheelchair-bound Egyptian fan that was hoisted up onto the shoulders of Mexican and Colombian fans so he could watch his team play?
Well, we have another one of these heart-tuggers and it comes from Brazil. A man by the name of Carlos (last name unknown) loves watching Brazil play but he can’t really watch. You see, Carlos fell victim to Usher’s disease at the age of 14, which severely impaired his sight. Considering that he was also born deaf and it’s a tough situation.

Carlos really wanted to watch Brazil play but since he can’t, this is where Helio Fonseca de Araujo came in. Araujo is a sign-language instructor and crafted a replica of a soccer pitch to help Carlos understand what was going on by translating what was happening on T.V. There’s a video of Araujo in action and it’s amazing. Carlos knows exactly what’s going on without being able to see it, thanks to Araujo.

The emotion Carlos shows when Brazil scored a goal is exactly what you would expect and it is simply awesome. Someone get Araujo an award of some kind and quickly.

And finally …

Good Idea: Cheering on South Korea beating Germany to help Mexico at the FIFA World Cup

Bad Idea: Cheering on South Korea beating Germany to help Mexico at the FIFA World Cup and being a racist jerk.

I’m in mourning now. Germany is out of the FIFA World Cup and I can’t even defend it. They looked awful in all three of their games and capitulated in the highest order against South Korea in their final game on June 27.

Too bad “Chef James” Tahhan, who works for Telemundo forgot that it’s not really popular anymore to mimic Asians by pulling your eyelids to the side. Yup, Mr. Tolerance thought it would be a great idea to celebrate Mexico moving into the round of 16 by doing the ol’ slant-eye thing that was cool circa 1950. He’s rightfully been suspended by the network, which was followed by the standard apology, written by him, of course, right?

But don’t judge Mexican fans by this dingus. Everyone else who cheers for El Tri was out in full force, even taking to the South Korean embassy in Mexico City to have a fiesta. The coolest part? Byoung-Jin Han, South Korea’s consul-general in Mexico, even came out of his office to join in on the fun, where he was promptly hoisted upon some shoulders like a conquering hero and even shotgunned some Jose Cuervo Gold.

Alexander Ovechkin, eat your heart out.

Until next time, folks …

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