“Wowwy wow wow!!!”
This text message came clattering over my cell phone at 4:17 PM, Foley’s time.
“Shades of Nicola Caricola” hit my screen at 4:18 PM, from a correspondent who shall be identified as Doug From Florida.
Both were noting the own goal in far-off São Paolo, greeted with mostly horror by the large crowd in the Irish baseball pub on New York’s W. 33 st.
Many of the patrons were wearing the familiar yellow jersey or t-shirt. As somebody at our table said, everybody’s default position in the World Cup is Brazil. (Except Argentines.)
The “Wowwy wow wow!!!” speaks for itself, but the “Nicola Caricola” in question was an old Juventus player who became legendary by making an own goal in the very first game for the MetroStars, from which the franchise is still recovering.
In jam-packed Foley’s, there was the frisson of danger that Croatia might profit from the own goal propelled into the net by Marcelo of Brazil.
Some of us at the table spent a few minutes telling the tragic tale of Andrés Escobar of Colombia who scored an own goal against the United States in 1994 and was gunned down in a parking lot when he got back home.
Before long, Brazilian talent and the referee's hasty whistle for a penalty kick combined for a 3-1 victory for the host team.
Finally, they were playing the World Cup. I was hoping that Brazilians would make their points about the brutal costs imposed by FIFA for holding the World Cup, and yet balance it with their love of futebol.
I have been thinking that Brazil players would be somehow affected by the demonstrations planned around the country, but on the first day the yellow jerseys swarmed. Neymar carried himself with the assurance of a young man who knows he is handsome and talented. Not sure he meant to hit a slow grass-skimmer inside the right post, but that may be the way life works for Neymar.
I sold a couple dozen copies of my new book about the eight World Cups I covered, hung out with old friends from Hofstra and elsewhere, met some really nice people.
For the duration of the World Cup, I'll be commenting on the matches here and there on a daily basis. Reactions and Comments are more than welcome. Muito obrigado.
6/12/2014 06:36:57 am
Giorgio--As I say, kudos to you, you caught the wave.
6/12/2014 08:23:01 am
Your book stopped me cold on P. 20 with the phrase "birther prattle." Times guys just can't avoid liberal politics. Too bad, because I thought it might be good.
6/12/2014 12:52:27 pm
6/12/2014 01:19:56 pm
Mr. O: "Birther prattle" is non-partisan. I am referring to people who ignore the reality of a birth certificate from Hawaii and try to invent a phantom birth in Kenya -- probably because it makes them uncomfortable to see a man of color as President. Ignoring reality is non-partisan. GV
6/12/2014 01:22:55 pm
Brian, thanks. Funny, I was just at Foley's, and ran into a guy from my town who is (a) a Republican activist and (b) a smart contemporary guy with his take on taxes, gov't priorities, etc. I was able to tell his son how much I learned from his dad. Clearly, I regard you in the same category. Your notes always make me think. Best, GV
6/14/2014 12:56:12 am
Football and politics? Is that a stretch? What was the title supposed to mean?
6/13/2014 04:37:07 am
Sam, thanks for the note. I guess it's true about almost any organized event -- there's a corporation and profits and disadvantage behind it.
6/12/2014 02:01:20 pm
Hi George. I enjoyed listening to you on The Football Show this morning. Looking forward to buying and reading your book at the Philadelphia Library on 6-23. Soft penalty call in today's match - sad. Watch out for Belgium!! Michael
6/14/2014 05:15:53 am
Michael, thanks, I am watching Belgium with my book editor in NYC on Tuesday.
6/13/2014 04:15:48 am
6/13/2014 04:32:23 am
It is stunning to watch great athletes suddenly fall to the ground....I'm so used to it, I almost consider it part of the game. But still....thanks for your comment. GV
6/15/2014 05:46:27 am
Loving the WC; hope the "glut" of goals doesn't offend the purists. The split-second decision-making (and execution) of a Van Persie; the undeniable cosmic effect of Drogba's taking the field: this sport has a special, perhaps unique dramatic element for those who can recognize but temporarily compartmentalize its massive organizational faults and failures. Query: is Platini the honest, decesnt figure he seems? Any chance of overcoming the legions of power brokers in Blatter's pocket? Watch the "low Countries" rise!
6/15/2014 07:38:58 am
My first response is "no." Platini led US officials to think he was supporting it for 2022, but he apparently changed his vote. Shortly after, good things began to happen for France -- Qatari money for PSG, etc. Sarkozy wanted Qatar.
6/16/2014 02:51:23 pm
Comments are closed.
“I don’t think people understand how Covid affects older Americans,” Mr. Caretti said with frustration. “In 2020, there was this all-in-this-together vibe, and it’s been annihilated. People just need to care about other people, man. That’s my soapbox.”
---Vic Caretti, 47, whose father recently died of Covid at 85.
---From an article by Paula Span, who covers old age for the NYT, which currently has 2646 comments, the majority criticizing the American public – and public officials – for acting as if the pandemic is “over.”
Classic wishful thinking, at a lethal level.