Brazil's beautiful game turns ugly
BEIJING -- It was a zany night at Workers' Stadium, a Brazil-Argentina soccer showdown that included a
That would be
"Two red cards, defensive play, zero goals," I asked the Brazilian coach after his team had squandered yet another chance to win his nation's first Olympic soccer gold medal. "What happened to the Beautiful Game of Brazil?"
A night this strange deserves its own running commentary. So let's dive in:
But when we arrive the place is half-full, eerily quiet and (truth be told) not very Brazilian at all. With no caipirinhas on the menu I order a glass of Argentine malbec in protest. (That said, the food really is amazing -- after two weeks of Chinese fare a good medium-rare steak is a lifesaver.)
As I'll learn later, so many journalists have come that the entire media section is bursting with a mass of humanity. "Anarchy," my pal
Forget Bryant's performance on the court for a second. His Olympic public relations performance has been remarkable. At a time when
"Two red cards, defensive play, zero goals. What happened to the Beautiful Game of Brazil?"
The question is translated into Portuguese. Heads swivel. Dunga gives me the full-on Dunga Face. He answers. The translator speaks. "The style of this match is the same as our previous matches. Of course it would be better that we scored, but you cannot always achieve everything. It's like [comparing now to] the 1960s. It would be better for England to have the title of the World Cup. But things go the other way around. That's my comment on your question."
Zing! (Or not.) "He thinks you're English," my pal
"Where are you from?" two Brazilian writers ask as we head out of the press conference.
"The United States."
They laugh. "We didn't
It's fun to stir the pot, even when it's a pot of Brazilian