Back from Brazil after the World Cup

So wow! The World Cup was so much fun and filled with so many surprises including Germany’s 7 x 1 thrashing of Brazil.  The important point though is that Brazil, and I have to include the government here, pulled off a very successful Cup, despite Scolari and family being brought back to reality.  I attended 4 games at the Mineirao and it was a very nice party.  It was very tranquil, the tickets were good, the seats were there where they were they supposed to be, no big fights and no thievery except for a few lame pick pockets which one could expect to find at any event with over 50 thousand people.

Overall, Brazilians were less enthusiastic at the beginning of the Cup then I remember but as Brazil progressed in the Cup interest in the games picked up noticeable and the streets became totally dead at game time.  When Brazil got blown away and then sacked again by Holland, there was much grief and crying plus calls for Felipao’s head. But I am not aware of any collective suicides or a rush to get exit visas.  All in all, the football debacle is being absorbed as best as possible.  People woke up the next day and saw the sun was still shining and went to work or to the beach.  Sure we are spending a lot of ink on analyzing what went wrong but prescient football writers such as Jaeci Carvalho of the Estado de Minas have been predicting since 2010 that Germany would win the Cup and that Brazil needs to rebuild and rethink CBF and the Brasileirao model.

It is unfortunate that the news agenda is so heavily dominated by monopolistic groups with vested financial interest.  Due to this, it is hard to think out of the box and come up with an alternative discourse.  Paradoxically, I am at once heartened and disheartened.  Heartened because, in spite of all the nay-saying and negativity leading up to the Cup, the games were a great spectacle for TV and quite decent for those who attended them and participated at Fan Fest events.  I am also pleased, not by the 10 x 1 combined run over, but by the fact that the government and the ruling party cannot really use the Cup now as a political stick to whack voters into shape.  If Brazil had been able to pull off such a miracle, Dilma would have had a more tranquil reelection.  Now, I am only 90 percent certain of her ultimate victory, perhaps in a runoff. (Could she, like Brazil, lose a semifinal?) Ha!!

Football is a proxy for war in Brazil.  The last time Brazil had bloodshed in an international conflict was during World War II with its small but important expeditionary force in Italy. And the last time before that was over a 150 years ago when the Triple Alliance ganged up on Paraguay.  So football is certainly healthier than say the Vietnam War or current stupidity (thanks largely to tradition and Republicans) in Afghanistan or Iraq.  But now Brazilians are moving on.  Gradually, the country is recognizing that security, education, health, infrastructure and democracy are almost as important and come close to the significance of the novela das 21 horas.

4 comments on “Back from Brazil after the World Cup

  1. colltales says:

    Glad you had a good time, even if 200 million have certainly not, and that they didn’t blame you for personally having jinxed the whole country by just being there. Up to the last moment before the cup started, I was cursing myself for not going, but also finding solace in the thought that if I had and Brazil had lost, as it did, I was going to be found guilty of being a ‘pé frio,’ (which is not the same as having cold feet, as you know). It didn’t matter, of course: regardless of the result, I’d have felt guilty anyway. Either because we place too much importance on what’s ultimately just a game. Or because, despite all of that, we goddamn lost so shamefully. But you (and ‘black wing’ and unfortunately correct Jaeci Carvalho) were both right: politics shouldn’t use the sport as a clutch the way dictatorships in there and Argentina did in the past. Hope you’re not thinking about booking a trip to Russia four years from now, though. Best


  2. Paul Van says:

    1) Before the Cup I read predictions that Brazil’s infrastructure would be lacking, at airports, for example. That didn’t happen, even though nearly a million foreigners were in Brazil. Here in Salvador there were many thousand happy-looking foreign tourists. I think this will be good for tourism, and perhaps at long last people will understand that Rio has nothing to do with Manaus, among other cities.
    2) Do you agree with the opinion that stadiums shouldn’t have built in Natal, Brasília, Cuiabá or Manaus?


    • Mr. Van,
      I feel that this might be a setup. Are these loaded questions? Of course, those stadiums are white elephants. So what! They are built, get over it. And yes, infrastructure is lacking, but WTF (Wed,Th, Fr) it is a “developing” country and also those happy Germans et alii. will find the “Indios” or “mao leve” they deserve. KKK

      thanks for the read!


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