Shame! Embarrassment! Humiliation! Scandal! Ignominy!
Words such as these were bandied about on Tuesday evening. There were tears from more than one person. A few arguments broke out. Some wondered out loud if they would be able to go to work the next day. Others swore the would never leave Brazil again so they wouldn’t have to face the rest of the world.
A couple of people predicted trouble. There were going to be riots. The country was going to rise up. Everything would stop working. The world was going to end.
It is true that a few people didn’t make it in to work the following day, but that was more down to the effects off too much bad beer than feelings of shame. Apart from a few isolated incidents, there wasn’t much trouble, the country has risen up (much to the chagrin of people who should know better) and the world hasn’t ended.
Most Brazilians I know have reacted to the 7-1 loss to Germany in the World Cup semi-final just as I would have predicted, if ever I though such a result were possible. They have shouted at the TV, cursed Galvão (if they still watch him), cried a bit, opened a beer, cracked a few self-deprecating jokes and got on with it.
One very interesting thing for me was the speed with which jokes and memes hit the internet. Midway through the 2nd half I was seeing some great stuff on Facebook, and most of it was by Brazilians. This shouldn’t have been too surprising Brazil is a very connected country, but the speed with which they accepted the inevitable and then started joking about it was impressive.
In newspapers and on TV there is talk of conspiracies and recriminations in the Senate. But most people I have met have talked about it a bit, and then got on with whatever it is they needed to do.
There does seem to be a bit of a divorce between what the media are talking about and what Brazilians I know are talking about. This was evident right from the start of the World Cup. Hardly anybody I spoke to really expected Brazil to win. There was hope, but no expectation. There was a realisation that this team was far from a vintage one and that there were other stronger teams in the world. A few suggested that simply by being at home they would have an advantage that might see them win, but this was never going to be anything to build all your hopes on.
And so now most eyes are turned to the final on Sunday. Nobody really cares about Saturday’s 3rd/4th place play-off, and most people seem to think it is a waste of time and should never be played. The only thing that could really upset people now is if Argentina win in Rio de Janeiro, but even that, I think, wouldn’t be the end of the world.
This blog piece is a part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs series on World Cup for Kids. If you would like to follow the World Cup from the point of view of kids around the world then please go and check out the site. There are bloggers from all of the competing countries as well as articles about Brasil and how to get kids interested in sport.