There are many things wrong with modern football.
The huge disparity in wealth between the big clubs and the small, the way that players will bend and break the rules to their own advantage and the feeling that those at the very head of the game have little interest in the welfare of the supporters that comprise the grass roots of the game.
Yet every once in a while the sport produces a moment that is so unique to itself that we can’t help but remember why it remains the most popular on the planet.
It happened again when Newcastle’s Papiss Cisse scored his sensational goal against Chelsea.
If Cisse had been an NFL quarterback throwing a touchdown or an MLB outfielder nailing a runner at home plate we would have marveled at the accuracy but Cisse had the added disadvantage of having to use his feet and not his hands.
If he had been a golfer who had played a nine iron to the green with that degree of height and fade the gallery would have risen as one to greet his arrival, but Cisse didn’t have the advantage of a caddy telling him the yardage and the wind speed.
And neither did he have the advantage of time to weigh up his options.
In a single moment he chose a path that many of us would not have seen if we had studied the angles for hours.
Over on BBC radio the analyst Steve Claridge seemed initially to be terrified by what he had seen.
Maybe Claridge’s reaction isn’t too far off the mark because when a player produces a moment like that we should be enthralled not just by the athletic skill on display, but more by the sheer abundance of imagination that allows such a moment to spark into creation.
What Cisse did wasn’t just to take a chance on a long shot that may or may not have paid off.
It was the sporting equivalent of a leap of faith.
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