Wednesday, July 09, 2014

July 9, 2014

Drat, I forgot to set the alarm and slept through the Brazil-Germany match. The match must have really been weighing on my mind as I drifted off to sleep, because I dreamt that I actually watched the match, and that Germany beat Brazil 7-1, with five of those seven goals scored before thirty minutes.

Oh wait, that wasn't a dream.

You know you're losing badly when the broadcaster needs to employ scrolling in the onscreen display to accommodate all the goals scored by your opponent.

Jokes aside, the match reminded me of something similar that happened in the eighties. Some genius in India's football administration had the idea of bringing PSV Eindhoven over to India and having them play one of the Calcutta 'giants' in a series of games. Needless to say, the giants had their asses handed to them (if I remember right, the score was 8-0 or something similar in all the matches) -- it was a master class in tactics and skills more than anything else. As I mentioned at that time, we would have been better served if we had invited one more team (say Ajax) and asked them to play each other. Heck, a cheaper option would have been to divide PSV into two elevens (throwing in a bunch of Indian players if the numbers were insufficient) and make them play each other.

While the Brazilian fans should be commended for not abusing their players, throwing stones at the players' houses, and so on (Update: I guess I spoke too soon), their grief was way overblown. Folks, reserve such emotions for more important things in life, like say, having your entire town leveled by artillery fire, losing dear ones and becoming refugees (Novorussia, in case you're wondering. The Saker has some gut-wrenching videos if you have the stomach for it). Passing on your passion to your child who weeps uncontrollably at the sight of the mauling your team is getting borders on child abuse to me.

Two defining images from the match: a shell-shocked Brazilian spectator hugging a replica Jules Rimet trophy, even as the chances of his team lifting the real one are all but gone in smoke, and Luiz and Gustavo sinking to their knees at the end of the match, eyes tightly shut as they said their prayers to God (folks, this is Faith. With a capital F).