Cristiano Ronaldo And The Celebration Of Self

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Ronaldo or wax Rondaldo? It's hard to tell determine which is the real deal. (Andres Kudacki/AP)
Ronaldo or wax Rondaldo? It's hard to tell determine which is the real deal. (Andres Kudacki/AP)

This commentary originally appeared Dec. 11, 2013

According to an International Business Times review that all but drools, the newest wax image of Cristiano Ronaldo "resembles quite a lot" the Real Madrid star.

Funny, to me the photo of the craven image accompanying the review looks more like Christopher Reeve when he was dressed up as Superman than it does Ronaldo.

The newest faux-Ronaldo will startle people at the Museo de Cera in Madrid. Wax images of him have been on display in London and Berlin for some time. Folks there are probably used to them. Perhaps one day all the waxworks will be gathered together in a plaza to admire each other. Wouldn't it be great if that happened on an especially hot day?

It's as easy to make fun of Cristiano Ronaldo as it is to make fun of Alex Rodriguez, whose home is said to feature two large depictions of the beleaguered Yankees star as a centaur, not, I suppose, because injecting steroids might ultimately equip one's lower half with a tail and hooves, but because well, who knows why?

Many decades ago, in the days when people read newspapers to find out about sports, Stanley Woodward of the New York Herald Tribune warned his reporters not to "god up the athletes."

If he were still around, I wonder if Mr. Woodward would warn the athletes not to "god up" themselves?

And I wonder if it would make any difference to a man inclined to build a museum to himself, as Ronaldo has recently done, or a fellow who apparently commissioned images of himself not as a man, but as a mythical beast?

Rodriguez and Ronaldo did not spring full-grown from the head of Zeus, much as either or both might be inclined to argue otherwise. They recognized their gifts and worked hard to develop their skills. Good for them. One of them has been a superb athlete and the other one still is. Each has had the great good fortune to live at a time and in a place where his talents have been highly regarded and lavishly compensated. And somewhere along the line the cultures over which they loom have determined that what they do and the images they create while doing it or doing something else makes them worthy of attention.

So it's not all their fault. But somewhere shy of the line where one begins thinking of building a museum to oneself, some of it is, right?

This segment aired on July 12, 2014.

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Bill Littlefield Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.



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