Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Regular Companions - Genius and Fragility.

“Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off”

C G Jung, Psychological Reflections

This Jung quote got me thinking about my greatest sporting hero of all time – George Best.

George is four years older than me and he played football for my beloved Manchester United in the mid 1960’s to the early 1970’s.

I was in awe of his ability and I watched him play many times when I was a young man. He was everything we all wanted to be on a football pitch. He was worshipped by the fans at Manchester United and still is to this day.

In a nutshell - although I am unashamedly biased George was the greatest footballer ever produced in this country if not the world – and then some.

No modern day footballer approaches his natural ability.

He did things on the football pitch that most mere mortals can only dream of being able to do. He was frankly a genius with the ball. His talent was awesome.

The sad thing is that off the football field things seemed to go wrong for George and he regularly hit the headlines for his ‘off the field’ activities. These included alcoholism and living life in the fast lane as far as relationships are concerned.

His football career ended prematurely as he was only 28 when he finished at the top level. It was quite sad to see him turn out later for teams that were many levels below Manchester United.
He had become a shadow of his former self.

The Jung quote sums up George well … he had more natural talent than any footballer I have seen. He also had charm, good looks and frankly had the world at his feet.

And yet … George stumbled on bad times.

Living with his incredible ability must have caused immense pressure on him and his own fragility presumably was one of the causes of his slide from the dizzy heights he reached in his prime as a footballer.

It seems to me genius comes with fragility sometimes. So sad.


felix gerena said...

Yes, Trevor, it has happened many times in history. In football the most evident case I know is Maradona, still young but yet an absolute rubbish as a man.

In other areas it is also evident, for example in arts. I have been studying this subject for a while and have talked to some artists and the impression I get is that this people could be as creative as they are now even if they could live a more harmonical life.

I know this can sound strange but I have studied this subject from different points of view and that´s my final impression.

Rocky said...

There arre many many examples Genius and fragility. I could most likely fill a page with names. The world of entertainment seems to give us loads of examples. Movie stars, Rock stars, athletes, politicians. I guess this is because they are so much in the limelight. A great example is Mike Tyson. At one time he was considered the toughest man alive. The only thing he could not defeat was himself. Talk about a horror of a man and a person. I guess it goes to show that talent does not equal character. That is not to say that there are not those with wonderful talent that a great deal of character. However, they do not seem to get the publicity that moral midgets get. Look at dennis Rodman, Madonna, etc... They have made quite nice financial gains from the shock value. Very interesting article.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Felix and Rocky

Your views are always interesting

My pc is down at home so I am doing this from my local library -should be back to normal tomorrow Thursday

Keep rocking


felix gerena said...

That deserves a WOW! Trevor.