First off, let me say I know virtually nothing about soccer and even less about this French player, Zinedine Zidane, save this: he head-butted the Italian defender.
I didn't even watch it live. I didn't have to. They kept re-playing it — again and again, everywhere.
I'm told Zidane is an amazing player, maybe the world's best. All I remember is that head-butt, which was not only unsportsmanlike, but rude and stupid too.
The guy who likely ruined France's World Cup hopes and whose ejection likely contributed to Italy's world cup win — all because he acted like an ass. It's the "butt-head" Zidane we know, not the years prior "cool head" we now forget.
It happens all the time.
Remember Bill Buckner? Never mind the former baseball player was a National League batting champ and one of the speediest base-runners ever, we know him simply as the guy who bungled an easy ground ball in the 1986 World Series that should have gone to his Boston Red Sox, but instead went to the New York Mets.
Mike Tyson too. Never mind he chewed up every heavyweight boxer around, it's when he chewed "on" Evander Holyfield's ear that the rest became a blur.
Just like the only thing we remember about Ken Lay is not the new energy paradigm for which he wanted to be remembered, but the biggest corporate crookery for which he surely did not.
It's why the Ed Muskie image that sticks is his crying on a snowy day and the Gerald Ford most of us know is a guy stumbling seemingly every day. Neither image was fair or right. They just were. They just are.
Just like they probably aren't for a soccer player who used his head, all right, but clearly not the brain in it.
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