Friday, July 2, 2010

Exit, stage left....

These past few weeks have been enlivened by the World Cup going on in South Africa. Comparing it to World Cup's past however, there seems to be something missing. Is the star players, the stylish games of my youth? There are Dunga and Diego Maradona on the sidelines, coaching! The football pundits have all put in their two cents and they surely know more than me. Aside from the irritating vuvuzuelas which have removed the "human" element of matches, there is the football; the style and panache lost against the new FIFA yellow and red card strictures. I miss the cheering crowds, the banging drums, the samba beats that told you when Brazil was playing. Instead, the relentless drone of those damned horns which drown out every other sound and make the game soulless. It is the crowd reaction that spurs players on, cheers of encouragement, collective gasps when a goal is missed; holding your breath and the silence on a field when a game is lost. This is what adds character. That drone, not at all.

There is a lesson in all of this too. Many of the "big name" teams have succumbed and exited. The mighty Brazil faded in the face of the Dutch challenge. Everybody has an off day, today was theirs. Ironically, they lost to a team that up till now, was not playing a particularly good game, a team that is described by its coach as dysfunctional. In a World Cup plagued by poor refereeing decisions, refusal to utilise current technology and just indifferent performances it is hard to take for supporters that a team that was playing well could go but there you have it. This could happen to anybody. As in life, today you are CEO of a big company, tomorrow you might be job hunting. Encourages you to not take things for granted, enjoy the moments. Try not to spend your time dwelling on what might have been but relish was is.

Tomorrow, the Argentines play Germany, it is like the World Cup final came early again. We will see if Diego Maradona can prevail even though it is from the sidelines. For now, ciao Brazil!

Oh, Gabriela, I found some translated work from Luis Alberto Urrea!