I could maybe blame myself for not realizing that Giorgio Chinaglia passed away--I sometimes have tunnel vision during the NCAA tournament (hence the lack of updates this past month on this here blog. I could write about the tournament, or I could really watch the tournament, but I couldn't do both.)
Or I could blame ESPN for maybe giving short shrift to one of the true legends of the NASL, because it cut into their time asking the important questions--will Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez get along long enough to make the Jets talk about themselves some more? Does Tim Tebow think the noise that wide wale corduroys make them kind of sinful? What is the higher number: the number of different women that Mark Sanchez has ejaculated into, or the number of times Tim Tebow has ejaculated in his life? You know, important ESPN stuff.
Sports Illustrated (and other media) state that Chinaglia came over from Italy "during his prime". Strikers, aged 29, aren't normally considered to be in their prime, but there is no doubt that Chinaglia's numbers were quite impressive during his years with the Cosmos. One might argue that the defensive competition in the NASL wasn't near what Serie A or even Serie B had to offer. One might suggest that having even a much-past-his-prime Pele assisting led to some great service. Regardless, Chinaglia was the NASL's greatest scorer.
I was ten years old when the NASL (the real one, not the one of now) folded up its tent. Which means I was just old enough to appreciate that there was a professional soccer league, but not old enough to really get who was who and all that stuff. I think I saw the Washington Diplomats play once, in an exhibition match (and certainly not in RFK). I know Pele wasn't there, but was Cruyff? Maybe.
Regardless, Chinaglia maintained his amazing ego up through to the end. Please to enjoy: a documentary about the Cosmos narrated by one of the Dillon brothers (pretty sure it is Matt).