Genius is not always recognized in its time. Genius is not even always recognized in its own language. We of the present must sometimes toil to correct the omissions, slights, and errors of the past. But above all, we must live fully in the present.
We can never turn back the pages of history to correct the sinking popularity of acting genius Gerard Depardieu. We can never re-write the critical reviews which widely panned Green Card, perhaps the greatest and most accurate immigrant love story of all time. But we can draw your attention to the fact that Gerard, after a personal request, did provide the dubbed French voice of John Travolta in the 1981 film Blowout. You probably didn’t know that before. And now you do. And that’s an important first step.
In terms of soccer, many steps need to be taken. Thus, we have formed a society to sing the praises of players who likewise will be or have been slighted by history. And today we sing the prose equivalent of a melancholic tune for X Player.
Remember when we were young, and X player was just starting his career? Nobody really fathomed just how fantastic X player would be. In fact, very few people even knew of X player. Then X Player got a call up to the national team, and he had that really memorable game in a World Cup Qualifier at home against small-developing country-nation. Sigh. Then, all of a sudden X Player was all over the sports periodicals. But you and I knew first. We had the poster in our wall months before sports periodical featured X Player on their cover. It’s still there. The poster that is.
From that moment on, X Player rode a wave of confidence at small club and scored some great goals. And in January of that ever important “turning-the-corner year” he was signed by big club. However, X Player rubbed the manager the wrong way. X Player kinda struggled to adapt to being a medium-sized fish in a big pond. X Player rode too much pine at first for his liking. We saw more of X Player in the poster on our wall than on the television. We were sad.
But then big club fired the manager. Big club failed to win any meaningful trophies, and it was all the manager’s fault. Big club hired a new manager with new ideas and novel tactics and who wanted a whole new attitude. During pre-season, we watched the new attitude big club play friendlies in America and Asia. And X Player scored a ton of goals, especially against the internationally respected & feared Columbus Crew. Our heads floated. Expectations soared.
X Player played several fruitful seasons for big club, scoring some big goals but also evolving into a dependable two-way player. Big club never won the league, but did win a handful of cups and consistently qualified for European competition. Eventually, a younger and cockier player forced X Player out. X player lingered for a few seasons as a veteran-locker-room-guy, but you could see the disappointment in his eyes every time he didn’t start. He hated watching games from the bench. In his token ten-minute cameo appearances he looked lost, lost like a deer in front of an oncoming semi at night.
X Player may now be retired and spending time with his wife and kids, but he will always live on in our hearts. X Player may never have his name etched in stone on the Acropolis, but it shall appear in these hallowed online pages of the Gerard Depardieu Society Historical Re-Collection Archives. And it shall remain here for all eternity or when we stop paying server hosting fees, whichever comes first.
What is your favorite moment from X Player’s storied career? Really? I, of course, also recall that moment, but personally prefer an earlier moment from a game you might not have seen due to your being an inferior fan. The moment’s significance was probably lost on you, due also to you being an inferior fan. But it’s okay – reading this blog is an important first step to being a less inferior fan.
And we will always share our love of X Player, even if my love and appreciation are superior on several levels.