While some Americans were preparing for the Super Bowl (see below) in icy Minneapolis on Sunday, the Silva family of Rio went to Ipanema.
Altenir, Neo and Celia posed at the statue of Tom Jobim, who wrote "Garota de Ipanema."
On the beach, hundreds of people are usually performing tricks, maneuvering a large round ball with their feet and chests and knees and foreheads.
The soul of that sport is in Brazil.
Senhoras e senhores, Antonio Carlos Jobim:
If one is going to see only one American football game per season -- and I did -- this was the game to see.
Super Bowl LII was full of twists and athleticism and trick plays.
The brain damage will be assessed in a few years.
I've got some friends who are Iggles fans, and they had never won the Super Bowl.
It isn't hard to root against the Patriots, except that Tom Brady is still admirable, on the field, after all these years. He had the ball in the closing seconds.
Our daughter Laura made gumbo that warmed me up, maybe just as much as I might have been on the beach at Ipanema.
Boa noite a todos.
Welcome to World Cup 2022, the most absurd thing that the routinely absurd world of sports has ever produced.
Those extreme descriptions were what virtually the entire world, save for those who had walked off with bags of cash from Qatar, called the awarding of soccer’s greatest event to the incredibly tiny, incredibly wealthy country back in 2010.
Twelve years ago, many were convinced this event couldn’t possibly happen: staging the world’s biggest sporting event in a country the size of Connecticut, one with zero soccer culture and even less soccer infrastructure? The tournament couldn’t possibly take place in 120-degree heat, and FIFA, the governing body of soccer, most certainly wouldn’t upend football leagues around the world to change the traditional summer schedule, could it?
And, for God’s sake, what about the beer?
Those were just the logistical concerns. The moral concerns are far more distressing. FIFA, so busy paying lip service to equality, couldn’t possibly expect the world to embrace a country where you could go to prison for being gay, where women’s rights are severely curtailed and female victims of sexual assault could go to prison, charged with engaging in extramarital sex. And all those questions came before the global realization that the World Cup was being built on the backs of migrant labor: modern-day slaves held in Qatar with virtually no rights, low wages and no ability to leave. Migrants make up 90% of Qatar’s stated population of 3 million. The country’s native-born equal about 300,000, or roughly the size of Anaheim.
---Ann Killion, columnist for The San Francisco Chronicle.