There are some people who are hard to love, and Luis Suarez is one of those people for me. I appreciate the work he does for the team, most notably his impressive goal tally, but his lengthy back catalogue of silliness of all types has left me cold on too many occasions to really give myself over to Suarez fever. There is no need for cowbell in my life.
But today? Today I got close to that feeling. If nothing else, I am a fan of sheer talent. Talent that is so free flowing, so utterly oozing out of a player that it can't be ignored. Suarez is far and away Liverpool's best player and has been for some time, but against Norwich he was on another level, and that's taking into consideration the fact that he's normally already on another level when facing the Canaries.
In the overnight open thread last night I asked if he was going to continue his streak of scoring against Norwich. I didn't dare ask if he'd score a hat trick because, despite not being terribly superstitious, I feared jinxing the poor man. When that very first goal arced its way into the net from a forty-two yard distance, we couldn't have known but perhaps should have at least felt that this was going to be a truly special, Match of the Day forever and ever performance from Suarez.
It wasn't until Suarez completed his hat trick that my cold, dead heart was truly warmed. It wasn't about the fact that Liverpool were now up 3-0 or that Suarez had just made Liverpool history by scoring three hat tricks against the same opponent. It was the look on his face. (HIS FACE!!!) My sister called it his Han Solo moment, where, you know, sometimes he amazes even himself. It wasn't a moment of arrogance or cockiness, just pure unadulterated joy at having done something that was on a whole other echelon of expectation.
And how do you end your day when you're Luis Suarez and you've just done all of that? You score a fourth from a direct free kick because of course you do. Because it's not enough to just cause a rift in the space-time continuum, you have to explode that rift wide open and ensure that the next time Liverpool meet Norwich, the personal stakes are even higher.
There will likely be lots of discussion around the more nondescript performances of Suarez's teammates, and that's fine and justified and whatever, but there are also days where despite the existence of things that need to be addressed, sometimes — just sometimes! — it's okay to enjoy the positives. Today I really love Luis Suarez and I'm going to chase that feeling for a few days. Who's with me?