Tag Archives: jairzinho

Brazil Nuts

Fuck Brooklyn.

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Yes, fuck Brooklyn. Fuck NYC and it’s 3rd world economy, its haves and have-nots divided by not so thin racial and geographic lines. Fuck SNAP benefits, WIC cards, and model ships and little sailors.

The mind drifts toward warmer climes and sun dappled beaches where manchildren play soccer until the dawn. It’s off to Rio, bro…for the World Cup no less. Maybe it’s 10 years too late, but the DJ happened upon a bunch of tix for football’s penultimate tourney down old Rio way and one musn’t disappoint the DJ, for there is still some romance left in this world. There must be. Bromance, really. Indeed, this was never really the way I wanted to experience Brazil, smack dab in the middle of a gigantic clusterfuck international sports tournament. But…fuck it.

Note that to garner entry to Brazil one must pass first through their hallowed consulate, located conveniently in midtown Manhattan.

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The consulate is modern enough, but it’s all a mad rush of bureaucratic incompetence. Like a south american DMV. There are hundreds of people queuing up to get their visa with one woman behind a thick plexiglass window accepting applications who comes out occasionally to yell at everybody. The visa was free for the world cup and the lines moved quickly enough.

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“hey, i applied for my visa yesterday at Brazilian consulate. the funny thing is that it’s really bureaucratic and that there were 180 people waiting to submit their visa apps and only one person at the window, way worse than the DMV, with security and everything…anyway the funny thing is that this mute homeless guy comes running in with bare feet moaning and clutching a ripped up telephone book. he runs all the way from one of the cavernous consulate to the other and then back again and out, moaning the whole time. man, no one said anything or stopped him. i bet he does it all the time.”

The mascot for the 2014 World Cup is an armadillo. This is cute enough I guess but the mascot should be the mute homeless man who ran through the Brazilian consulate unmolested moaning and clutching his book. Certainly he is no Jairzinho, running the length of the Azteca in the ’70’s final to strike home in temperatures of excess of 100 degrees. Certainly he is no Gerson or Garrincha, whose playful dribbling defined the samba style and brought the Brazilian game to the soccer nerds of Europe. But certainly, this gent would bring joy to millions, if not those suffering the tedium of hours wasted clutching a numbered stub in the arid, windowless Brazilian consulate.

 

And so we dream. We dream of Brazil…of greener pastures. We dream of the American dream and what has become of it. But for now there is Brazil. If only for now, bro.

I could watch these vintage clips from football’s forgotten past for hours. See above the aforementioned Jairzinho, an artist, man.

 

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The Banality of Sport Part 2 and Footballing’s new KinGs

If I had a facebook page it would inform the world that, at this very instant, I am watching River Plate play Poland on an old VHS tape from 1986.

The game is, eh, alright, yet entirely redeeming for its weirdness (why is River Plate playing the nation of Poland?) and shots of hot 80’s babes in the crowd with teased up hair sporting sexy old-timey fashions (they are moms now). The aforementioned hypothetical facebook page, should it go into more detail, might mention that the aforementioned tape of Poland vs. River Plate is part of a larger cache of classic football matches sourced from an Argentinean coworker. This cache might even consist of the greatest example of football ever played, the 1970 World Cup final featuring Brazil vs. Italy, two diametrically opposed opposites of the footballing world battling for supremacy in the superheated caldron of Stadio Azteca.

 

Juxtapose this with the stolid affair that was the 2010 World Cup final. I remember this match more for playing soccer with Marlo in the parking lot of the bar where we were watching the match itself than for the match itself. The world has changed and game is different. The Stadio Azteca, in those days, was ringed with flowers and gents with magical names like Jairzinho roamed the pitch; it becomes apparent that Ronaldinho is a cheap xerox of Rivelino and that now more than ever a certain cynicism has woven its way into the people’s game. A child’s game really, and one that should be played with a childish enthusiasm. Of course, we did have for a brief period the clown prince Maradona and the petulant Zidane, but who will take their rightful place as the footballing king? Surely not the fat Ronaldinho or the dandy C. Ronaldo. The world cries for an artist to take the mantle!

Regardless, a football will find its way, somehow or another, onto the bucking CB500T as it makes its way across the continent and onward into new worlds.

…in the meantime, lets see if we can score cousin Drewie and I some tickets to see Fenerbahce best Bucaspor next week. I hear Roberto Carlos used to play for them…