Joe Gaetjens scored a goal in the World Cup, died as a political prisoner of Papa Doc Chevalier
May 31, 2010 7:09 AM   Subscribe

A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story, and the story of the upset victory, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
posted by Kattullus (12 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Nice post - I do recall reading about this match and having seen England's comedy performance against Japan in the recent warm-up game in Graz wouldn't write off similar happening when we meet again on June 12 in Rustenburg. That's unless we can get the excellent Own Goal to perform miracles for us again.
posted by Abiezer at 7:30 AM on May 31, 2010

Harry Keough's "and the ball musta went like" head slap at 7:23 is worth the click on its own.
posted by chavenet at 7:50 AM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

The film and the ESPN story by Schaerlaeckens are great; I knew about the game and knew his name but had no idea about the rest. Thanks for the post!

Man, American soccer reporting used to be crappy:
The Reuters wire service accurately published the result as 1-0, but most papers, assuming that the telex-operator had made a mistake, changed it to 10-0 or 10-1. A St. Louis Post writer had attended the game because he happened to be on holiday in the area, but never bothered to write anything up. The Associated Press did write a report, which ran in The New York Times, but it credited the goal to Ed Souza and made no mention of Gaetjens.
posted by languagehat at 7:54 AM on May 31, 2010

Presumably also "largely unknown in the US": USA won the two most recent gold medals at the summer Olympics in rugby union.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:06 AM on May 31, 2010

Papa Doc Chevalier?
posted by Jode at 8:34 AM on May 31, 2010

Oops! That's embarrassing. Of course it's Duvalier. I had a brainfart while composing the post.
posted by Kattullus at 8:38 AM on May 31, 2010

Papa Doc Chevalier?

remerciez le ciel de petites filles…
posted by billybobtoo at 8:49 AM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

I would say the name and the outline of the story were already pretty well-known by most Americans who pay attention to soccer. (Admittedly not a huge group)
posted by stargell at 9:24 AM on May 31, 2010

"As unceremoniously as he appears, the man vanishes. The man turns into myth. Unimpeded, myth snowballs into ambiguity. Ambiguity gives way to misinformation."

I read the article once, mentally assigning it a whiny Ira Glass voice.

Then I read it again in movie-announcer-guy voice. That was better.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 9:49 AM on May 31, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also, there was a film made about it in 2005, with Gerard Butler and Patrick Stewart.
posted by First Post at 2:13 PM on May 31, 2010

11 days to go....
posted by K.P. at 2:32 AM on June 1, 2010

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