Editorial: It’s Unbelievable

The only thing I knew as I watched was that I was happy to be sitting on my parent's porch, and not in the stadium, or on Copacabana Beach.

Editorial, by Stone Korshak

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Unbelievable, how can Brazil get absolutely devastated by the Germans 7-1 in front of a home team crowd in the World Cup semi-finals? Granted, I’ve only watched a handful of soccer (just kidding futbol) games, but it was like nothing I’d ever seen, being used to way too many 0-0 and 1-1 ties.

Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.

Stone Korshak, Editor and Publisher of The Rio Times.

The Irish or British commentators seemed to agree as I watched on my laptop streaming video because my parents house in Vermont (U.S.) doesn’t have ESPN and the match wasn’t on the regular TV networks here. After groaning at the fifth turkey-shoot goal, my Dad (who has probably never watched a full 90-minute soccer game) offered the consoling “maybe they can come back?”

He didn’t realize how unbelievable the whupping was, or how shocking it was for Brazil as a country. I’m not even sure I can fully grasp it after living in Rio for over five years. The only thing I knew as I watched was that I was happy to be sitting on my parent’s porch, and not in the stadium, or on Copacabana beach.

Yet I was working still – and shortly after I was editing our match report by our senior sports reporter Robbie Blakeley – who by the way has been doing an unbelievable job keeping up with almost every single game in the tournament while also writing for other publications and doing radio and occasional TV appearances.

After pressing the “publish” button on such a high profile article I tend to check our site readership stats which can show us real-time information. At any given moment our real-time simultaneous readers are usually about 20-40 people, depending on the time and day, which adds up to around 6,000 page views per day… but at that moment it was about 1,400 simultaneous readers. At the end of the day we had 84,000 page views.

In the next few days the fog will clear and only in hindsight we’ll grasp the gravity of the match. I truly am sorry for the team, the Brazilian fans, and legacy of hosting the World Cup. The final will be on July 13th and then we’ll all start putting it behind us… hopefully.

On another note, it’s unbelievable that José Dirceu, imprisoned on corruption charges in the landmark “mensalão” case conviction, has been granted “work release” from the jail. It is such a ridiculous concept that this guy is working at a pal’s law firm to rearrange and digitize the library on a salary of R$2,100 per month (he make this per hour probably, on a bad day).

This guy is so wealthy and well connected they literally can’t keep him in jail. The corrupt Brazilian political machine slides this under the radar of the World Cup news hoping to keep it quiet. Absolutely unbelievable.

Brazil suffered their worst ever defeat after losing 7-1 to Germany

Brazil suffered their worst ever defeat after losing 7-1 to Germany, photo by Jefferson Bernardes/VIPCOMM.

20 Responses to "Editorial: It’s Unbelievable"

  1. robert  July 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    The legacy of hosting the Cup will endure. It went very well despite the predictions. the team on the other hand, they simply weren’t very good. They should have lost against Chile, the Columbia match was “dirty” beyond the injury of Neymar – futebol forca. And yesterday they looked like a bunch of amateurs – disorganized, no plan… Neymar would not have made a difference, but perhaps Silva could have brought the defense together better. Germany has too many scorers to shut down. To my eye, Germany was not even pouring it on, Brasil just made it too easy to score. If Brasil meets Argentina on Saturday they had better pray for a plan or else they should flee to the beaches of Cuba.

  2. Peter Howard Wertheim  July 9, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Superb article Stone. The Germans have been playing together for 8 years. Brazil has few months to gather its best players who are spread throughout the world. After being trained, fed and taken care of I believe a young Brazilian player should have to sign a legal document commiting himself to stay in Brazil for at least five years. Otherwise the headhunters will quickly give him an offer he can’t refuse (like Marlon Brando in the Godfather) in Europe, Japan, an Arab country etc.

  3. Jules  July 9, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    It’s just one of those bad days. Do you think they want to disappoint their supporters and country in this manner? Please empathize with these players, coaches and their families. They are feeling a trillion times worse than any of you. Be proud of them. So many countries did not even qualify to play in the first place. Be nice .

  4. arun gupto  July 9, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    I have always been a Brazilian fan and due to my daughter favoring Germany, I have become a German supporter too. I was so confused watching the game in Kathmandu, Nepal that I cannot express the ambivalence in words. I thought Germany will win and should win by their performances, but Brazil going down in such a manner is humiliation for the culture of soccer.

  5. atlan  July 9, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    No it’s not!!!. By that I mean it is completely believable. People who love football (aka soccer),
    have some football sense knew the blow has to come. The nature or the extent of blow was difficult to
    predict though. Maybe Germany was needed for the tempest.
    I am very happy today. I am not happy because Brazil lost. On circumspection, I am happy because Brazil
    lost by this way. Had Brazil lost by paltry of 1/2 goals the perception would always have remained,
    that Brazil played decent football and since Silva and Neymar could not play, they could not win the WC.
    But it would just have been utterly wrong.
    At this point Brazil should start to decide. They have an option, stop playing and embarrassing yourselves by calling a ceasefire. Or else think of going back to the realms of 1970/1982 brand. That’s what Brazil Soccer is, it always have been. The 1970 team won and maybe the best all time team and the 1982 never won, but still among the all time best.
    Majority of people all over the world are Brazil fans not because they have always won or they have got the world cup for 5 times. Brazil have always tried to show what soccer is and how it should be played. Sometimes the team won, sometimes it failed. But Brazil Soccer never failed, at least not till the last decade or so which climaxed yesterday.
    There are hundreds of teams who play soccer, many may play better than Brazil sometimes. But that’s not the point. Brazil soccer epitomizes eternal romance and love. Unfortunately that romance has been brutally and slowly murdered over the last decade or so. Hope we shed our skin for a new renaissance.
    “Brazil Football, Hold your skill and let us love”

  6. Joan-Adrienne  July 9, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    As I watched with tears in my eyes from Los Angeles, CA (USA), I was absolutely devastated to see my self-adopted team go down in such a stunning defeat. I believe the mental pressure of missing Neymar and Silva was more than the players could overcome while going up against a strong German team that was totally prepared to win, both mentally and physically. Despite the loss, I am a Selecao fan forever!!! Godspeed, Neymar.

  7. Patrick  July 9, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    24 hours later, I still cannot believe what I saw. How can the Brasilian national team disintegrate in the semi-finale of the World Cup played on their own turf? Their World Cup. And, a beautifully organized one too. I know. I was in Rio for the first 5 games played at the Maracana. It was wonderful, fun and safe. I never saw Brasil play at the stadium, but I was living their first round in bars and restaurants with the cariocas. They were so sure to go all the way. And then, yesterday…
    How can a coach watch its team drawn and not intervene? I could not believe that either. What happened to the fervor displayed during the anthems? What happened? One thing happened: the myth of the beautiful, creative, artistic, genius way of brasilian football has been shattered. 1970′s legacy will not sell tickets for a while. How sad. I feel so bad for my Brazilians friends. They got cheated.

  8. Peter Howard Wertheim  July 10, 2014 at 1:52 AM

    Brazilian police have arrested the chief executive of a Fifa partner company as part of investigations into the illegal sale of World Cup tickets.
    Ray Whelan from Match Hospitality was held at the Rio de Janeiro hotel where officials from the world’s football governing body were also staying.
    He was freed after questioning. Match Hospitality said in a statement that it expected Mr Whelan to be “exonerated”.
    Police held 11 people over illegal ticket sales.
    They are accused of illegally reselling tickets, including some originally allocated to players.
    Police say an international gang earned as much as $90 million (£52 million) per tournament and could have operated at four World Cups.
    Mr Whelan, a British national, was arrested at the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio.

    Romario, a soccer legend and 1994 World Cup champion now an outspoken Congressman has been slamming FIFA for years. He accuses FIFA of corruption, spending billions of dollars in unfinished stadiums with private entities and the government, when much of this money should go to improve decaying hospitals, improving public schools and infrastructure.

    It is a mistahe to view the Brazilian soccer team debacle and loss 7-1 against Germany outside a wider socio economic context. See Romario’s interview to the BBC program HardTalk. Romario is as keen and sharp in analyzing Brazil’s soccer organizations and accuse them of corruption as he was a marvellous striker and chosen best player in the world in 1994.

    It is superficial to cry about Brazil’s defeat to Germany without trying to understand the roots of this debacle. Brazil didn’t play well against any team even with Neymar and even when it won. It is absurd to read in the Brazilian press Felipão’s (nickname for the Brazilian coach) saying “the Colombian player didn’t mean to hurt Neymar,” when he kneed him from behind. I spoke to two prominent lawyers who told me that Zuniga, the Colombian player should have been arrested as he committed a felony against Neymar. But, FIFA decided that despite all the footage that was shown again and again all over the world showing the Colombian raising his knee into Neymar’s back he would not be punished.

    Until there is a serious clean up of corruption, and rethinking of soccer strategies Brazil will never again be the shining star it has been for decades.

  9. Robert  July 10, 2014 at 6:00 AM

    We germans love Brazil and brazil football is always a ideal for us. Do not forget this :)
    You can be proud of Brazil!

  10. Tom  July 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Sad day in Brasil but I can absolutely assure you that as you read this there are scores of young chicos; future Ronaldo’s, Neymar’s, Romario’s, Garrincha’s all, playing on dirt lots in villages, in favela alleys, in city parks, on school grounds, on beaches across Brasil – and one day they will be men,and they will welcome the chance to play Germany or anybody else who gets in their way. Brasil will rise triumphant again, its just a matter of time.

  11. comings  July 10, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Brasil, acalme-se! A vida continua! Há mais um jogo!

  12. M. Saeed Awan  July 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Being Pakistani I’m deeply shocked at the humiliated defeat. One can’t expect at all. I think coach is responsible as he must notice the weak defence after 2 goals. Then Brazil could play its natural game and could be able to make its come back. But nothing seems there. I feel Brazil not only lost match but honour, credibility in the game of soccer and disappointed its FANS all over the world.

  13. Ivan  July 11, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    As a proud Canadian of Italian origin, I wanted the AZZURRI to win for the 5th time. You could say that I was very saddened by Italy’s early departure. I am not a sports fan but I love the World Cup and I did not limit myself to watching only the Italian team. I had a number of other favorites, but Brazil was not one of them simply because that could have meant 6 WC wins against my “dream team’s” four. I was not however rejoicing in Germany’s win over Brazil. You see, I don’t want Germany either to win and tie Italy’s four WC wins. So for me, if it had to be, the lesser of the two evils would be Germany winning the World Cup. I DID NOT however, want any team/fans/country to be humiliated. I see how sad Brazilians have become at what one could call a national “tragedy.” So since the loss that brought Brazil’s dream event to a standstill, I personally have spent much time reflecting on this. Brazil the team: despite everything, you are a great team. Brazil the country: you are a fabulous country that has absolutely NOTHING to be ashamed of and EVERYTHING to be proud of. I congratulate you on a wonderful spectacle during the 2014 World Cup. From now on, the Brazil team will be my second choice. To all Brazilians, you CAN cry, but don’t ever forget to SMILE because you are a great people. Obrigado.

  14. S. Wolf  July 11, 2014 at 6:46 PM

    What has Brazilian fiancee the most upset is how the government decided the $30 BILLION could be better spent on that two-week dog-and-pony show, rather than on things of lasting benefit to the population, such as alleviating poverty, reducing crime, improving education, health care and the like. As a wise man once wrote, the problem with the ‘bread and circuses’ approach is that, the more you spend on circuses such as this, the less there is left for bread.

  15. Jonathan Pulliam  July 11, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    S e l e c i o n a n d o — a — S e l e c a o

    Q: ) Were the best players Brazil could have fielded left off of the Selecao because of their skin color?
    A: ) Probably not, but it is inescapable that in comparatively recent times, Brazilian employers have disingenuously solicited “pessoas de boa aparencia”, a “polite” way of saying “light-skinned only need apply”, so the mere fact the question is even still asked I think represents something of an indictment of Brazil’s willingness to dispassionately revisit their racism problem.

  16. john  July 12, 2014 at 1:11 AM

    I really believe that this has to be investigated . Brazil is too good to have gone down so hard and so fast. It reminds me of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who threw the World Series. My heart goes out to the people of Brazil. From John in Arizona U.S.A.

  17. Frank  July 13, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Dear Brasilians,
    Even the worst defeat will disappear in the players minds after a certain time. Now there is a big chance to reform the football strategy and players education. Brasil will soon have a strong team again, and I look forward to seeing them play the typical brasilian football style: perfect ball handling and inspirated offensive team play. Then everyone can be proud of them again.
    And by the way, the current team achieved the half final!
    Best regards
    Frank, Munich, Germany

  18. Jack Reynard  July 14, 2014 at 5:26 AM

    Maybe it was a mistake hosting the World Cup in the first place. $13.5 billion to humiliate your country by playing so badly when you need to sort out fresh water supply to millions is not a good investment

  19. Julian  July 14, 2014 at 7:07 AM

    Thank you Brazil for hosting a fabulous World Cup. I have wonderful memories of my visit a few years ago and never doubted that all would go well.

  20. Debasis Ghosh  July 15, 2014 at 5:23 AM

    This is the beginning of the end.Brazil has been a fantastic football playing nation for a century or so. But of late there is dearth of quality players in Brazil. Hence the result.

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