Wednesday, 9 July 2014

1-7

Some are smug, some are cheering, but within Brazil, it is mostly stunned silence, tears, anger, confusion, emptiness, and a sense of total humiliation. To say it is only a game, to paraphrase the Canadian poet, David McGimpsey, is like saying "it was only a brother, a father".

As we all know, football is Brazil's lifeline, its credo, its sense of value, its ars poetica, its soul - throw in the word of choice, but the meaning is the same: bedrock. Heart.

Imagine your bride being hit by lightning on her wedding day.  The ship hitting the iceberg. The rocket ship exploding. The baby carriage rattling down the steps. Disasters.  Now add that you're nude and being jeered by thousands, children weeping, including your own. And have let down your whole nation.

That's what the Brazilian players felt, as they left the pitch of horror, having been hammered by a cold, ruthless, and cruel German side.

Stripped of pride beyond any sense of balance, this was like a Revenger's tale, before any injustice had warranted punishment.  Sure, they were cocky dreamers, swaggering like deluded poets, but Brazil has - had - a history of domination and excellence in the game of football...

The stats are shocking.  Worst loss ever at a World Cup for Brazil - for almost anyone - first time in 39 years, since 1920, 1954 - whatever the maths, they added up to an historic shaming.

As Alan Hansen said on the BBC, he has been watching football for over 40 years and this was the low point.

A sad day for football, for Brazil, and for the World Cup.

These young men, who really only imploded for 90 minutes or less, have now had the rest of their lives ruined, as surely as if they had burned the Brazil flag on live TV - they are to become Cains in their land - wandering pariahs.  To judge from past such injuries, some will go mad, kill themselves, drink to a bloated grave, or just lose their way; surely many are off the Brazil side for life.  It will be hard to walk down the street without fear and shame.  Gone, in one and a half hours, all the glory and acclaim, for being a fine athlete.

Yeats never wrote a bad poem.  Orson Welles never made a bad film. Mozart never wrote any dud music.  Greatness is defined by a certain grace, fortune, luck, - effortless accomplishment.  Brazil was rudely shoved off the final plinths last night.  They are not great anymore at football, merely human, like England, Spain, France - all other nations that, from time to time lose.  But, some chicken, some neck.
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