Thursday, December 5, 2019
IAA, that is, it's an acronym. If you don't follow any sports you may, by the grace of god and your beautiful innocence, have managed to evade it. You haven't missed much. It means Greatest Of All Time. It's very popular in the chatter surrounding a lot of sports these days. But it's dangerously hyperbolic.
And kind of silly.
I mean, you don't hear me going on about Caravaggio by constantly calling him "the goat" and putting little goat emojis next to his name every time I mention him. How can one possibly judge a talent against all of time and all of history? One can't. There are always too many variables; limitations of the era, personal tastes, cultural context. That's why when I get really excited while talking about Caravaggio and his painting I keep it more dignified and personal. I merely say: He's objectively the best painter ever, which is a
Wait. We're getting sidetracked.
I wanted to talk about Lionel Messi. Very recently he won his sixth Ballon d'Or. This means "Golden Ball". It's an award for the best soccer player of the year. No one has ever won six of these before. So it has thrown a great deal of fuel on the already burning fire about how Messi is the greatest of all time.
He is very good. Quite good really.
And I do have a bit of a soft spot for him, watching him, as I do, in every single game he ever plays in for years now.
But is he better than Pele? Is he better than Maradona? Or even Ronaldo? Ronaldo? And Ronaldinho? Or the man he nipped to the Ballon d'Or post this year: Virgil Van Dijk?
I mean, it's just sports. It's not like people have collected any statistics about them. It's not like anyone of note has expressed an opinion on it.
It's not like we have any footage of these people in action.
So I guess we'll never know.