Brazil’s Cup

The Unisphere, built for the 1964 New York Wor...
The Unisphere, built for the 1964 New York World's Fair, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Brazil-Colombia has been the most intense game in the World Cup so far, with Germany-Algeria a pretty close second. Messi deserves a Cup to join the all time greats of the game, but Brazil is the most exciting team. Neymar’s injury and ouster aside, I think the home team has a clear shot at the Cup. Half the world is watching live.

James (Ha-mez) of Colombia crying after losing to Brazil made my eyes wet. A Brazilian took off his shirt and gave it to James. That was perhaps the most beautiful sight of the entire tournament.

The ugliest happened only moments before that. The attack on Neymar was a knee to backbone deliberate, premeditated attack. It was an immediate red card. This was criminal behavior. The whole world saw, but the referee did not. There was not even a foul called.

Messi is methodical when slow, and magical when fast. When he is about to score, the pace of the game quickens.

Politics is my sports to watch. But I do watch World Cup Soccer, not even the Olympics so much. Brazil is the team I root for by default. It can be argued I am still rooting for Pele, the undisputed all time great.

Soccer is to Brazil that cricket is to India. It is like religion. It is such a big part of the country’s culture.

The US team to make it to the round of 16: it has come a long way. It might even win the cup by 2030. An entire generation of Americans will have to embrace the game if the country is to have a shot at the Cup. It does not come easy. You sure can not throw money at it and make it happen.

Soccer is the simplest game. You just need a ball. You can play it anywhere.

Although refereeing will have to go high tech. You can’t let a crime watched by half the world go unpunished. That sends bad signals.

There are not enough cameras in the stadium. There are not enough cameras looking at the fans. It is fun to watch people watch soccer. There are not enough cameras following the ball, and the teams. World Cup viewing is still in the age of television. It is like the Internet has not arrived yet. World Cup viewing has to be taken to the age of the Internet. The age of mishmashing of videos has arrived.

FIFA needs to brought to the 21st century. Its ways are still archaic. There is not enough fluidity at the top levels of the organization. More dynamism would help.

During the Brazil-Colombia game, the Brazilian team gave an outstanding performance. The team was liquid, especially in the first half. I don’t remember seeing soccer that good the last time. It helped that I was at a bar that seemed to have collected what felt like 1,000 Colombians. I was rooting for Brazil, but was quiet about it.

World Cup Soccer is the ultimate festival on the planet. These are movie stars dancing on our TV screens. The all time greats are still alive and kicking. Kind of like the village in Gabriel Garcia MarquezOne Hundred Years Of Solitude where no one has died yet.

Sometimes when I watch I get flashbacks in my mind of my average soccer skills during high school days. I made it into the teams but was not a star player. I played defense. The idea would be to kick the ball hard in the other direction. That is rudimentary. You have to possess the ball, you have to pass the ball.

By now I play mental soccer. I try to think like the stars. I try to imagine scenarios.I try to stratetize. I think there is room for that.

Watching the World Cup can also give you energy for your own simple workouts. I bought a soccer ball and made a few trips to the Flushing Meadows Corona Park just to be able to dribble around. The giant globe in the park is apt metaphor for the global appeal of the game.

I hear soccer is religion in Brazil.


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