It is really nice to occasionally pick up a biography from the podcast Oxford Biographies. I should be trying the unfamiliar names as well, but lately I have been mostly attracted to the famous ones. Currently, the latest in the feed is such a well-known name: George Best (mp3).
The tale of George Best is hardly as pleasant as it was to see the footballer on the pitch in his heydays. George Best the footballer was quickly overshadowed by Best the phenomenon, Best the seriously flawed person and Best the race to decay. The frustration for the lover of football is that a great talent was squandered and not all of this is the fault of Best himself. His stardom was so new, nobody knew how to handle it, but nowadays he'd receive more protection and guidance. His Northern Ireland nationality, barred him from serious contention on the World Cup and other international matches, but surely he is not the only one.
The flaws of Best's personality are in the biography merely described. No effort is being made to begin to explain and this is a pity. It demotes the narrative to that of a going down the drain from beginning to end. The addictions to alcohol and gambling kick in early and never stop to ruin his life. It begs for some psychology or socio-economic thinking, but that is left to the listener and the larger biographies. Check out more on the Oxford DNB website.
More Oxford Biographies:
Oxford Biographies podcast review.