March 12, 2014

When my first son, Edward, was born in 1992, my first violent patriarchal act was to decorate his room with Liverpool pennants and other paraphernalia. Like me, he would have had no choice but to support Liverpool. Sadly, the Liverpool team that I grew up with - a team of invincible demigods welded together through the authoritarian will of Bill Shankly, who was coach from 1959 until 1974 -- is no more. In the 1970s and 1980s, Liverpool was so good that, Shankly joked, they'd have to bring a team from Mars to beat them. He also said, and I love the arrogance of this quotation, "My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Napoleon had that idea. He wanted to conquer the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in."

Former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly is immortalized in a statue that stands outside of the Kop End at Anfield.
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Former Real Madrid star Zinedine ZIdane is one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Bernat Armangue/AP
Zinedine Zidane's headbutt on Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final is one of the lasting images of his illustrious career.
John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research. His many books include "Very Little . . . Almost Nothing," "The Faith of the Faithless," and "The Book of Dead Philosophers." He is the series moderator of The Stone, a philosophy column in The New York Times, to which he is a frequent contributor. His most recent book, co-authored with Jamieson Webster, is "Stay, Illusion: The Hamlet Doctrine (Pantheon)," which will be published in paperback this April. Bowie, a small book on the great man, is forthcoming with OR Books. He is a Liverpool fan.

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