That Lionel Messi, the ultimate of the sporting genre, has never been the footballer with Argentina that he is with Barcelona is surely explained by the fact that Xavi Hernández and Andreas Iniesta play for the Catalans. Ditto George Best: stuck with poor Northern Ireland teams but blessed to play for Manchester United before the booze got him. It is best, therefore, to enjoy phenoms while they last and hope they mature and endure.
Politics is like that, too. Barack Obama was definitely one four years ago and in November we will learn if he still is. John Kennedy’s comet was hit by a bullet before it had the chance to endure. In her way, and very briefly, Sarah Palin was also a phenom, but the flaws in her swing became apparent very quickly.
History is littered with young phenoms who endured – for example, Genghis Khan, William Pitt the Younger and Fidel Castro. All left their marks, for good and ill. Literature has its share, too: J.D. Salinger hit one out of the park with Catcher in the Rye but his well ran dry afterwards. The movies had James Dean, who did not live long, and Marlon Brando, who did.
The pop world had Amy Winehouse, cut short in her uncertain prime last year. With Adele, who seems well grounded, the only question is whether her voice holds up, which the arm of Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, the magical pitching phenom of the late 1970s, could not.
Posted: June 07, 2012 at 10:58 AM | 44 comment(s)
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