Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods are superstars. But they dont compare to Diego Armando Maradona. The squat, 50-year-old former soccer player born in the slums of Buenos Aires has long retired, but he still inspires love and hate the world over. Hes attained near mythical and farcical status, not unlike his countryman Ernesto Che Guevara. Heres a quick resumé: He scored the greatest goal in soccer history just minutes after he scored the most controversial goal in soccer history (nicknamed the hand of God goal because Maradona claimed God touched the ball, not him). Hes been addicted to a smorgasbord of drugs. He hangs out with Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, and had gastric bypass surgery when his weight ballooned until he hit obesity. His life is so interesting, its caught the attention of academics such as Dr. Pablo Brescia, a professor at University of South Florida, who will examine Maradonas place in pop culture at Books & Books at 7 p.m. this Saturday. The lecture will be followed by a screening of El Camino de San Diego (The Road to San Diego), a comedy about an unemployed Argentine who stumbles upon a tree trunk that resembles Maradona and sets off on a pilgrimage to deliver the trunk to the ailing soccer player. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles.
Sat., Feb. 5, 7 p.m., 2011