Don’t ever let them see you coming

Hola Tash Appreciators,

Some of you will no doubt have seen Barcelona’s superlative performance against AC Milan on Tuesday night. For those who didn’t, Barca were two-nil down following the first of a two-leg tie but then won four-nil on Tuesday to go through to the next stage of the Champions League. 

Football fans love to talk about the Barcelona team’s skill and style of play (Tuesday was a shining example of both) but TF is more interested the manner of their win rather than the method. 

After David Villa scored Barcelona’s third, crucial, goal, he celebrated like this:

The picture perhaps doesn’t do it justice but as I was watching it live I thought that it was the celebration of a man who just loved the game. He’s not celebrating with the fans and he doesn’t really acknowledge the 96,000 Catalans who are cheering their approval; he just seems delighted to have scored an important goal for his team after a long spell of poor form and injury.

The differences between AC milan’s players and the Barcelona players are interesting. Many of the Milan players have outrageous haircuts and obviously care a great deal about how they look on the pitch. For example, the worst look of the season goes to Milan’s El Shaarawy:

On the other hand, Barcelona seem to be more about substance. Lionel Messi doesn’t have a fancy haircut. More than that, he looks like (and seems to genuinely be) just like any other guy you’d see walking down the street. 

I’m reminded of Al Pacino in Devil’s Advocate when he’s telling his young protege how to act in the big city:

“Don’t get too cocky my boy. No matter how good you are don’t ever let them see you coming. That’s the gaffe my friend. You gotta keep yourself small. Innocuous. Be the little guy.”

I’ve got a lot of time for that attitude. If you’re out and about these days, you’ll see many people wearing expensive clothes and driving flash cars. You’ll see folk spending huge amounts of money on champagne in clubs (or, as TF calls them, discotheques) and buying bottles of over-priced vodka with sparklers attached. All, presumably, in an effort to make themselves look more successful, smarter etc than they perhaps are. If it were me, I’d rather be under-estimated than fail to live up to the hype. Ask the AC Milan boys – “style” only gets you so far. 

I’m also reminded of this week’s Tash. In one of his many movies, he played the role of a high school basketball coach. When talking to his team about having a bit of class and not being too showy on the court, he said this:

“Since when is winning not enough, playing hard not enough?”

This week’s Tash is Richmond High’s very own Coach Carter:

Have a great weekend folks! 

Keep going.

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