About the same time that Tottenham Hotspur were enjoying those Glory,Glory years in the English First (then)Division and those European Nights at White Hart Lane under Bill Nicholson,in the 1960's, I was taking an interest in the Green Bay Packers.
My professor in Radio/TV (before they called it Media Studies) at graduate school at the University of Texas, talked to me about about 'Run to Daylight', a book about the way the Packers and their immortal coach Vince Lombardi, like to play and win.
I thought about those days and that conversation when I was glued to the TV screen watching Gareth Bale run to daylight at 'The Lane' the other night against European Champions FC Internazionale of Milano. A couple of weeks ago he had scored a hat-trick in The San Siro in a losing cause, 4-3, but this week his efforts and the 3-1 victory at home put Spurs on top of their group in the UEFA Champions League and brought back great memories. Cliff Jones, Danny Blanchflower, Jimmy Greaves....
Last week his manager Harry Redknapp gave him a few days off and intstead of jetting off to 7 star luxury with the Rooneys in Dubai, the 21 year old sensation went for some home cooking with his mom Debbie in Cardiff, Wales. He lives in an unassuming flat near Tottenham's stadium and dates his childhood sweetheart Emma Rhys Jones.
He did 9 dribbles down the left wing on Tuesday and was clocked at 31.1 km an hour to race 62 metres and set up the third Spurs goal. Former Tottenham and Argentina 1978 World Cup star Ricky Villa has likened him to Lionel Messi, and the next European super star. He has the ability to run hard at and past a player, and THEN change pace, destroying his opponent. The moneybags in Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, West London and elsewhere are drooling.
WHAT AN OPPONENT for Inter. MAICON, acknowledged as the world's best right back. Gareth couldn't get into the first team for a game after he was transferred from Southampton a few years ago and lacked confidence and wore a stupid hair styyle.
While Wales have no chance of qualifying for EURO 2012 in Poland/Ukraine, with the badly injured Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal recovering, perhaps Wales will be a force for the 2014 World Cup qualifying tournament and he will dazzle in Brazil. He was the youngest ever player for Wales, at 16 years old as a sub v Trinidad and Tobago. It was back in 1958 that Wales last played in a World Cup, can their next appearance be with Ramsey and Bale?