Wednesday, June 23

The Two Escobars

It was a long and varied day of soccer, watching all four World Cup contests, hitting the pitch for a rec match and meeting up with the teammates afterwords at Tank's Tap Room where we watched the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary special, The Two Escobars.

For those not familiar, Andres Escobar was the team captain for Colombia when they came to the United States for the 1994 World Cup and were eliminated via a second-game 1-0 loss to the US in the group phase on an own goal which Escobar struck. As most of us remember from back then, Escobar was murdered just days after his return to Colombia.

I was interested to see the documentary and must say that it was very good. Granted, the viewing experience was imperfect due to being in a bar and not having any volume or see every moment, but since most of the interviews were in Spanish, the subtitles worked perfectly for the situation - and I will be watching it again from the comfort of my couch. I thought it was a great historical piece that anyone interested in the sport, or history in general, should see. It also details the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, the infamous leader of the most powerful drug cartel in Colombia. The story in the US started with the own goal and ended with the headline of the murder. This documentary, a worthy two hours with commercials, chronicles how the drug trade, and Pablo Escobar in particular, played a key role in Colombian soccer (as well as the nation's life, culture and politics) during the eighties and nineties from club football to the national team. I was surprised to see how the team was already in disarray prior to even leaving Colombia for the World Cup in the US and what transpired while they were here. The full picture is definitely worth seeing (for those who are not squeemish).

The drama of what happens to the Colombian National Team, as detailed in The Two Escobars, puts the circus of the current French National Team in great perspective. A once great soccer nation has never been the same while insanely compensated, spoiled European players (this covers the English too) whine about who their coach is instead of just doing their jobs on the field.

Future airtimes on the ESPN networks [+]

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