Column Date 2006-07-16

The astrological World Cup

There were no Scorpios on the French soccer team.

And it was no accident: the French coach, Raymond Domenench, is a true believer in the power of astrology. And he made no bones about why he excluded Scorpios:

“Scorpios end up killing each other,” he explained.

He’s not too fond of people born under the sign of Leo, either, claiming that “Leos will try to do something daft.”

So here were the French, the oldest team in the World Cup (they even brought their star player out of retirement for the occasion), being coached by an astrologer -- a man so wedded to the stars that he wouldn’t announce his goalkeeper the day before the final game because he said he was getting bad signals from above.

"I consulted the stars; it was not the right day," he explained.

By now, we all know that this 100% Scorpio-free, elderly French team not only got into the finals, they beat Brazil, the overwhelming favorite, along the way!

Frankly, it’s hard to argue with coach Domenench’s success.

But being a complete astrological novice, I was curious about selecting a sports team based on the position of the stars and planets on the day the players were born.

So I went on-line to find out what kind of people Scorpios are. It seems that most astrology sites agree that your average Scorpio is not only a very intense character, but also one of the most powerful in the entire zodiac!

Scorpios sound great for a soccer team – on the surface. Diego Maradona of Argentina, for example, one of the real super-stars of soccer, is a Scorpio. But after he used his hand to score a goal against England in 1986 (the referee missed the call, which Maradona finally admitted twenty years later!), he wound up with a serious cocaine problem and eventually dropped out of sight.

And when you check out the other stars of the 2006 World Cup, you won’t find a Scorpio among them: David Beckham (England) is a Taurus, Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) is an Aquarius, and Miroslav Klose (Germany) is a Gemini.

You have to agree that coach Domenench has a point here.

But wait, I thought: if astrology works for soccer, shouldn’t we be wary of having any Scorpios around us at all?

Scorpios, according to various astrologers, seem to enjoy stirring things up:

Leon Trostky who helped start the Russian revolution, was a Scorpio. As was Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew. Not to mention John Bolton, our current Ambassador to the U.N. (who was so controversial he was never confirmed by the U.S. Senate; the President appointed him when the Senate was not in session). Then we have Truman Capote and Jonathan Winters, two men you would not exactly describe as “team players.” Both Scorpios.

And let’s not forget about the Leos. (Remember Domenench said “Leos will try to do something daft”?)

For a start, Napoleon was a Leo. Benito Mussolini was one, too.

Monica Lewinsky is a Leo. So is Hulk Hogan. And Martha Stewart. And Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I hate to admit it, but maybe coach Domenench is onto something.

©2006 Peter Tannen