Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I the only person who thought of Al Davis when I read this?

I've compared Al, in his later career (especially since 2002) to Simon Bolivar in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The General in his Labyrinth. Twice, actually.

So maybe it's not a surprise that as I was reading Jeffrey Goldberg's interview with Fidel Castro that I thought about Al again.

Mainly it was this passage:
A frail and aged Fidel stood to greet us. He was wearing a red shirt, sweatpants, and black New Balance sneakers. The room was crowded with officials and family: His wife, Dalia, and son Antonio, as well as an Interior Ministry general, a translator, a doctor and several bodyguards, all of whom appeared to have been recruited from the Cuban national wrestling team. Two of these bodyguards held Castro at the elbow.
Lowell Cohn, who wrote over the weekend about Al lashing out at Adam Schefter for connecting the Raiders with Matt Leinert--and who writes better about Al Davis than anyone--wrote this after the infamous overhead projector press conference:
And when the whole shebang was over and the reporters left, Davis sat at the table on the stage and didn’t leave, didn’t leave until every reporter had departed. I know why. I think I do. He has trouble walking, says it’s nothing serious, just a bum quad. Maybe. I believe he wanted everyone out so we would not see him depart — either struggle to his feet or be wheeled out.
The parallels between the two men are fascinating--and yes, obviously one is a dictator and one owns a football team, so let's not insult each other's intelligence and get that out of the way up front. But these men are or were giants in their fields, now aging, struggling to hold onto their power, and, I don't know, make one last splash before they check out. They came to power at roughly the same time; they both were thorns in the sides of their bigger, more powerful neighbors who never gave up, always stayed defiant, and now seem to be caring about their legacies and not quite knowing how to manage it.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

If only Fidel had been wearing a silver and black sweat suit....