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...and I scored the Hand of God.
First, if you've never heard of it, The Hand of God is the most controversial goal in World Cup History. Diego Maradona cheated to beat England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final by using his hand to punch in a goal. Everyone in the world saw it except the one man who supposed to, the referee. Somehow this despicable act became beloved everywhere in the world except England. It helps that Maradona scored the greatest goal ever 5 minutes later. This single match turned Maradona from hero to legend.
On Thursday night, the Knife and Fork Engagement Party of the MOCA in downtown Los Angeles hosted a bit of performance art to recreate the goal. As a bonus, those attending the show got to participate. You won't be surprised to learn that I was first in line to be Maradona.
The event was really simple. One player is Maradona. The other is his Argentine team mate. There are 3 English defenders and the English goalkeeper Peter Shilton. The ref is there too, but of course he misses everything. There are lines drawn on the field and you just make one pass, the skilful guys on the field flick the ball up and you punch it in. I think I impressed everyone as I completed the move perfectly and scored on my first try. But then I had to do it again because I didn't celebrate enough. It was fun to be in that position for a moment and pretend to be Maradona. Even Univision announcer Enrique Gutierrez made the call for me and everyone else who recreated the play. As a bonus, participants got to keep the #10 Argentina away jersey too!
me (as diego maradona)
There was some artistry to performance. As I watched mistake after mistake, it became apparent how many little things had to happen for this memorable goal to happen. Of course as a player for many years I realise all the little things that have to go right for a goal. Recreating a goal gives you a new appreciation for how natural the game is. If art is supposed to make you think about things like this, the projects goal was accomplished. pun intended.