24 June 2010

Previewing Brasil x Portugal, debunking some other things

These photos and captions are taken from the back page of the sports section of Brazil's biggest paper, OGlobo, during the first week of the World Cup.

(caption 1: After Dunga began to show his fashion at the World Cup, the coach for Ivory Coast resolved to show the world what he is going to wear against Brazil)

It’s pretty amazing that Brasil, year after year, cup after cup, is always the team to beat. It’s hard for Brasil not to be in the group of death, because they are death to opponents. Not only has Brasil won more cups than any other nation, they have more victories and the highest points per game average, the most goals, the most everything. It’s hard to think of Brasil as a place without thinking about how many times they’ve won the World Cup. Even with the crappy team Dunga has assembled, they’re going to finish top of their group.

(caption 2: Not everything is well at the World Cup. The Bafana Bafana, poor guys, return home.)

Brasil x Portugal stirs up a Luso-world of geographic, historical, and cultural associations. In 1808 the Portuguese court fled Napoleon’s marauding army, brining the entire imperial apparatus to Rio de Janeiro. Brasil was the only colony to have ruled over its metropole. It’s pointless to point out all of the connections, but interesting to note that the Portuguese flag hangs in abundance in Rio de Janeiro.

(caption 3: The miserable North Korean players that go hungry in their homeland asked FIFA for the chicken that [the English keeper] Green came up with [chicken is a goalie gaff] so they can make a stew.)

There isn’t too much riding on this game, other than a strategic positioning for the second round. I would be shocked and amazed to see anything but a draw here. The first place in Group G will cross with the second place in Group H, which is very much up in the air, could be Chile or Spain. Portugal will qualify in second place with one point, and Brasil will qualify regardless, so it would be an act of fratricide for Brasil to win. It's not going to happen.  1-1. Dunga will get to experiment with some other players and rest a few stars in the middle of the second half (Robinho, Maicon, Luis Fabiano). If an equalizer doesn’t happen “naturally”,  look for the referee to balance the scales.

(caption 4: The World Cup also has a social function. The goalies' chickens are going to do away with hunger for the miserable Africans.)

Dunga will replace the suspended Kaká with Julio Batista. Today’s (24.6) headline in the OGlobo sports section:  “The beast in the place of the crack: someone who Dunga trusts, Julio Baptista is the only bachelor on the team but has a wedding planned with a Spanish model after the World Cup.” Nothing but high quality reporting here.

The coverage of the World Cup in OGlobo and on OGlobo networks has been horrible. There is a total überload of information, none of which actually says anything that provides deeper insight into what is going on. To the contrary, in the lead up to the Ivory Coast match, OGlobo continued to publish photos that were very explicit in their portrayal of Africans. I have included the photos and captions with translations. I am not sure what to say about them but wow, the animalization, orientalization, generalization, and blatant classism combine to make a powerful broth of racism that you can sip one day at time. Delicious!

(Caption 5: Brazil plays today and even here in South Africa we can see people preparing their cookout with music and a lot of beer.)

I do hope you foreign correspondents out there will publish similar things about Brasil four years from now. Some indigenous folk with bows and arrows, lip discs, painted faces, headdresses, the symbiotic nature-culture-Avatar thing will be a good start.

(caption 6: Today is a festive day in Johannescheesburger: the Ivory Coast fans promise to throw their weight behind their team in Soccer City to cheer for the Elephants.)

Mais uma coisa para o Zé Ninguém. Os times Africanos não correm tanto assim. Os primeiros cinco colocados em distância ate hoje são: Australia, Japão, México, Inglaterra, e os EUA. Quantas vezes eu ouvi gente falar que os times Africanos não tem técnica, só correm, não tem técnica, só bate com sua força física. A verdade é que Australia e Nova Zelanda tinham cometido mas faltas que qualquer outro time. Vamos falar que os Oceânicos são tipos violentos? Cala a boca Galvão.

(Caption 7: Furious with the unpredictable Jabulani ball, the  Ivory Coast is training with balls that they brought from home.)

1 comment:

Rodrigo M. Nunes said...

you realize these pictures/posts are from a team of comedians, right?


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