If I wanted to be demagogic and pose as a writer for the people, I could often say that one of the shrewdest social descriptions I’ve ever heard was in a crowd in Itaparica. An old man, a Vitória fan, cried pitangas like this to the other passenger: “Nowadays everything has changed. A man can change his wife, he can change his religion… He can even change his sex!! But you can’t change teams. Because?” In fact, the old man was born before the Geisel government, which released the divorce. He lived long enough to catch the rise of evangelicals in Brazil, after which people hop from religion to religion like from branch to branch. And these days, the official secular credo says that men can become women and vice versa. And woe betide anyone who disagrees! Through it all, however, one thing persisted: football. The guy could leave his wife, change his religion, become a woman and marry again, but the team didn’t change. That’s why an old Vitória fan was doomed to suffering.
I don’t know if this football stability was passed on, and I don’t think so. Who predestined the Vasco da Gama to suffering? Almost always his father, and in childhood. The father himself is from Vasco da Vasco because his father, already deceased, started him in Vasco. And so on, until the generation of Brazilians who started to like football around the years 40 or 50 (Brazil won the first cup in 58). The most traditional teams tend to be from the end of the 19th century, but at that time ludopedio (or football) was still an elite sport.
Many changes have taken place since then. One was in world football, with rich clubs in Europe absorbing players from around the world. Brazil today has enough pride and tradition for players not to become naturalized and play for European teams, like the Africans who sometimes face the national teams of their own country. But undoubtedly an English championship full of Brazilian players has a more lively football than the Brazilian championships. Another change is technological. Even if they have a father at home, children spend a lot of time in front of screens, sharing a culture different from that of their parents. Thus, at best, the fourth or fifth generation of Vasco fans will have a fan of Vasco and Barcelona . At least the poor will be able to relieve the heart.
Defeatism even in 58
To try to get this chronology, what comes to mind is the article “Complexo de Vira-Latas”, by Nelson Rodrigues, written on the eve of the start of the World Cup in 58. According to his account, the Brazilians were defeatists thanks to the Cup of 58, when Brazil lost to Uruguay in the final by 2-1, at home, on the upset. In other words: the Brazilians went through the next Cup with their tails between their legs and in 58 they still insisted on saying that Brazil was going to lose. “The players have already left and Brazil vacillates between the most obtuse pessimism and the most frantic hope”, he said. “On street corners, in bars, everywhere, there are those who shout: – ‘Brazil won’t even qualify!’. And, here, I ask: – is this negative attitude not the disguise of an unconfessed and embarrassed optimism?”
In fact, in the midst of any nervous breakdown regarding the country, whether in the field of sports or politics, there are always those who run to throw in the towel and say: “This country is not going forward anyway!” If you are on the right, you will still complain that the Brazilian right is not going anywhere. But between one proclamation of failure and another, he hopefully shares a rumor about the latest move by the military, or a bombshell statement. For me, it is very clear that virality is like an open relationship: the guy who is afraid of horns invents a model of relationship that conceptually makes the horn impossible. The complexed mongrel makes a point of believing that Brazil is going to go wrong, so that it is impossible to have a bitter frustration. Would we be an anxious people?
The Maracanaço and the 7 to 1
It would be raining in the wet to say that anxiety is bad and puts the things to lose. In any case, our football mood is better in 2022 than in 58, despite the 7-1 of 2014, at home, to have been worse than the Maracanaço of 58. We took a Cup to recover morale and go back to cheering effusively. Will we win? The start was auspicious: a victory over Serbia with a beautiful bicycle kick goal. There were two goals, but if it was just one, beautiful, it would be enough. On the other hand, if it were Spain’s seven goals, we wouldn’t be so moved. We want enough quantity to win, but we are not satisfied with that. Brazilian football, which wants not only victory, but also beauty, is back.
Trying to defeat defeatism, Nelson Rodrigues began by appealing to patriotism: “But let’s see: – the Brazilian team has , really, concrete possibilities? I could simply answer “no”. But here’s the truth: – I believe in Brazilians, and worse than that: – I have an outdated and aggressive patriotism, worthy of a mustachioed grenadier.” (Escrete is what they called the selection at the time.) Very well, I’m with him. Patriotism is duty; frustration is inherent in life, especially adult life. However, it is worth evaluating what we have, in order to assuage anxiety and moderate expectations. He continues: “I have seen players from other countries, including the ex-fabulous Hungarians, who were beaten here by the grafted-aspirant Flamengo. Well then: – I didn’t see anyone who compared to ours. There is talk of a Puskas. I counterargument with an Ademir, a Didi, a Leônidas, a Jair, a Zizinho.”
From names to politics2014
The names vary, but Brazilians still have them on the tip of their tongue. From the tip of the tongue goes to the civil registry, with the enthusiastic father naming his son with the name of ball artists. You see that this Jair from the Cup of 44, born in 44, should already be Jair because of do Jair da Copa de 58, born on
, who in the years 40 and 58 was an idol of teams from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. This Jair may have inspired the father of a player from the first Brazilian champion team, and is known to have inspired the father of a President of the Republic.
The involuntary result is a maneuver similar to that of the cangaceiros, who adopted the name of the dead to simulate immortality. A player dies or retires, another appears with the same name. But the case of the Richarlisons is different. Richarlyson with Y, born in 97 in Rio Grande do Norte, was confused with Richarlison with I, born in 97 in Holy Spirit. The first was still a youth player when the second was born, so it could not have been a homage.
The confusion was extremely important because Richarlyson with Y declared himself bisexual. A UOL columnist was quick to celebrate that an “anti-Bolsonarist LGBT” saved the game. “So I support Brazil. Viva Richarlison!”, She added, before deleting the tweet.
It didn’t take long for the internet to discover that there were two Richarlisons and that the LGBT was retired. However, the idea of an anti-bolsonarista scoring a bicycle goal was too good to be abandoned. The situation of the progressives was summarized by youtuber Débora Luciano: “Is Richarlison (with i) left or right? Check out the difficult issue of progressive militancy to decide whether you support the player or want his death.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, much is said about family breakdown and social breakdown, but no one could imagine football breakdown. As the gentleman from Itapari well understood, football is the last solid institution in this country. It is more solid than marriage and religiosity. Now, however, the progressives, in their disintegrating rage, have managed to invent individual supporters. It is no longer possible to root for Brazil, but only for Richarlison, through his supposed LGBT and anti-Bolsonarist credentials. And the UOL columnist is not an isolated case. Some press vehicles reported that the transition team celebrated three times during the match: on both goals and on Neymar’s departure, injured.
These square beasts don’t know what a team is. It is simply not possible to root for just one individual on a team, or against one individual on a team. Football is not a penalty shootout. Cheering for a single athlete from a single team, against another member of the same team, is like going to a symphony orchestra concert to hear only one violin and hoping that an oboe is out of tune. It’s like saying you like stew, but only potatoes are good for stew and the rest is expendable.
When a person is so obsessed with individualism and uniformity, this is the result. He is unable to conceive of the synchronicity that is required for any joint activity. A football team is more than a sum of individuals. Thatcher said that there is no society, there are only individuals. These Anglophile leftists take Thatcher very seriously and believe that everything is the sum of individuals, even football. Just remove Neymar and replace him with another individual, and everything will work as well as before. Will not. A team is a team, a symphony is a symphony, a stew is a stew. A set is more than a sum of items.
Despite the progressives, the selection played cohesively. As a game is more than a sum of goals, it should be noted that our country returned to the field in style, with a goal whose beauty cannot be calculated. And as patriotism is a duty, we have faith in the moral strength of the national team over our people, which is far superior to those idiots who now occupy the CCBB.