…the brew, brazilian, the optimism, undiminished…

…as the Cup is yet within grasp…

As the diminutive Ticos withstood the mighty Holland and its galaxy of stars, only to fall to the reality of the Dutch sang-froid in penalties, we learn the meaning of ‘Against All Odds’. Costa Rica? Yes, Costa Rica, ‘bloodied’ but unbowed. That epic saga will be recounted for generations. And Robben hugging and chatting with the Costa Rica coach during the match?

And how best to celebrate, amid the lamenting of the absence of the formidable Di Maria of Argentina through an accidental thigh injury and the magician Neymar of Brasil through an obvious but unbooked damaging foul that went far beyond the irritants of shirt pulling or tripping and even further beyond that earlier attack on his right knee. And Neymar had exchanged jersey with an ‘opposition’ player at the half-time as they walked off chatting?

In appreciation of those who fought the good fight and lost or won, and fairly, we summon a neutral party, the voice of one whose country watched the World Cup games − just as most of us did and are doing.

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…life and sport…

…as the twain do meet…

As we wait for the next match, France v Nigeria and Germany v Algeria, for the door home, we look at what Greece, to the relief of Los Ticos, did not do – play as life should be celebrated, with zest. As The Guardian describes the Greece defense for that goal scored at tortoise speed during regulation time, “…they will kick themselves for some statuesque defending…”, defender and goalie much slower than the statue of Hermes.

Did England learn from this team?

…Of course, not to be forgotten is Greece’s Economic Trials of Hercules or its players selfless generosity…


…comes brasil, comes chile, comes this…

…as a ‘warm up…


…restart for world cup?…

No, no. Not Marcelo being fouled, on the turf and clutching his face where he was not struck. Not Fred doing a dive. Truly unsportsmanlike, both. No, not the team failing to ‘click’, though some promising ‘sparks’ did glimmer. No, we remain content with the first goal of two of the magician Neymar and the first of wizard Oscar against a very solid, though a bit robust, Croatia.

The World Cup must restart because home viewers, somewhere, were unable to hear the performance of Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull fans complain about sound quality at World Cup Opening Ceremony. The Telegraph reporter observes,

The World Cup got off to a faltering start on Thursday night when poor sound quality left many television viewers unable to enjoy the opening ceremony.

Jennifer Lopez took to the stage to sing the official Fifa song We Are One (Ole Ola), looking on fine form for 44.

[bold added for emphasis]

The very many of us who follow World Cup never seem to recall any importance attached to such distractions that verge on irritating. And, to be regrettably sexist, unless the reporter lacked vision other than for the stage, he could have looked around, anywhere, and beheld ladies long past that age, and looking in much finer ‘form’ than Ms Lopez.

But we understand, henceforth we look for the tv commercials, McDonalds and other frivolousness, and vote on the best? After all these years, it is not the match, it is the distractions that matter – now we know…

…yes, Neymar against Modric – clear foul and yellow…


…to whom the world cup 2014…

…’as the days dwindle down to a precious few…’

2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

We have The Guardian doing its part, World Cup 2014 countdown – live!

As is TeleSur,  España ya está en Brasil con la ilusión de ganar su segundo título. Spain is looking for a repeat of their victory.

So far, so good. [HT. This we would have missed.] And when dumb is a severe understatement, enter Huffington Post, and into, of all areas, football. This ‘nugget’, a bit of infantile nonsense on the subject of dumb and dumber – the Huffington Post (HuffPo) deserves a special nod. Now a chaotic, confused and confusing website, shill for one of the political duopoly, it presumes to cover everything and classify everything into categories, compartments and sub-compartments, on and on. Read the rest of this entry »


…the days dwindle down…

…to the big day – start of the World Cup…

The football writer of the BBC in South America has a look at a certain team, Brazil’s defensive brilliance ‘key for a nation that demands winners’

With such a team, this has to be the year?


…kicking around some predictions…

…as the Old Year dribbles out, one ponderous (?) thought…

Who among the political heavyweights will be the sorry victim of El Grupo de la Muerte in 2014?

The Guardian offers us an opportunity to kick that thought around with Who has the hardest World Cup 2014 draw? Some see three groups, not one? And while we wait for kick-off, let’s resort to a well-known orchestra for its lively interpretation of one seasonal chestnut,

as we seek inspiration, or enjoyment, from