Monday, April 2, 2012

Yes, Giorgio

The post title is not just a tribute to the weekend passing of former Lazio and New York Cosmos ace Giorgio Chinaglia, later known for his flavorful TV commentary and radio show - it was also probably your only recourse for reply when talking to him about soccer. Or American soccer. Or probably anything you can think of, let's be honest.

I wanted to put together something about his life, but it took me a while to crystalize what the point would be. My buddy Greg Lalas and the great Michael Lewis beat me to the only proper theme in fine style: Chinaglia was the true first soccer star in American culture. That's blunt reality. He put balls in the nets, butts in the seats, eyes on the tubes and kids on the streets practicing toe pokes. And he also always had something to say to draw all manner of attention and reactions.

I think this excerpt from the documentary film "Once In A Lifetime" (Full movie on Hulu)would get any younger fan up to speed on this shooting star. No matter how unlikable he may have been, that light of Chinaglia will never dim for American soccer fans.

- Greg Seltzer

1 comment:

Will Parchman said...

I loved the moment in Once in a Lifetime when, upon being presented with the question of whether pulled Steve Ross' strings to act as a sort of de facto coach-GM, he just smiles and chuckles.

The dude may have had his faults, some of which earned him more than a few enemies, but he was never dishonest with who he was. RIP, brotha.