All Quiet on the Brazilian Front

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    Updated: July 10, 2014
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    The precarious victories of the Brazilian national team had been pushing their fans’ small cart of hope cautiously forward into the unknown mine that is the World Cup. And then suddenly, Neymar, their brightest light, had gone out, and they could go no further forward but wait in the darkness, clinging to that hope. 

    Germany descended upon Brazil in a day that will live in infamy for the country. In addition to having one of their best-ever records broken by Klose, Brazil endured a defeat that looked much like me schooling my sister at FIFA. The reaction so far, however, has been much less of an oh-dear-France-has-a-new-law-so-Paris-burns spectacle and more of that of a country on edge, waiting to feel the aftershocks of such a foundation-shattering game. 

    In the late evening as thousands of first, second, and tertiary reactions were being printed about the match, my friend Zach commented about how much rioting there will be in Brazil with such national disgrace. A Facebook friend’s status talked about how many more murders there will be tonight, insinuating that the team may need protection. Yet in reaction to both, I simply stated that there’s nothing to riot over. There was no conflict. 

    If the game had ended in a one-goal deficit, with iffy calls abounding or especially with a bad call against the home squad later on, as Mexico felt it had against the Netherlands, many cars would’ve been lit aflame. Yet in this aftermath, NPR interviewed couples and fans coming from the game and the reaction was rather demure – essentially, hope was lost after the third goal, and after the fifth there was nothing to do but laugh at the absurdity and praise the marvelous performance set before them, even if that meant joining in the trademark “Ole, ole, ole, ole” chants when the Germans were in possession, instead of the Brasilia.

    The worldwide chatter will fly on the 9th, as the endless analysis of what went wrong magnifies past Facebook and Twitter. The U.S. and Klinsmann are looking even better now that they held Germany down so well in comparison. However, the infinite complexity that sport holds has no consolation for the Selecao as they tuck their tails and disperse, no distance between them and the fans they let down, no transatlantic flight to brace for the media blitz.

    For Brazil and the Selecao, the wounds are fresh, but the scars will be there forever.

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