Opinion, by Michael Royster
After their exit from the World Cup last week, here are exactly seventeen Curmudgeonly reasons why Brazil lost to Holland.
1) The prefix “hexa” comes from the Greek word for six, so “Hexacampeão” was the word on everyone’s lips in Brazil. But in English, to “hex” someone means to jinx them, by witchcraft. Merriam-Webster says the word “hex” comes from “Pennsylvania German”—but everyone in America calls it “Pennsylvania Dutch.”
2) All the “garis” (rubbish collectors) in Rio de Janeiro wear bright Orange uniforms, AND all the rubbish bins in Rio are Orange—what did they know that we didn’t?
3) The Dutch had a badge on their jerseys with both countries’ flags, thus ensuring the Fifa Fair Play award. Brazil did not play fair.
4) Agent Orange defoliated the heart of Brazil’s defense (Julio César, Lúcio and Juan), which went limp in the second half.
5) Snow White bewitched Dunga, alias Dopey, who played Grumpy (Felipe Melo) and Sleazy, Wheezy, Breezy, Cheesy and Easypeasy, all singing “Heigh Ho! Heigh Ho! It’s home from work we go!”
6) Julio César wore a chlorophyll Elphaba green uniform, forgetting that in “The Wizard of Oz” the Wicked Witch of the West melts down in the end.
7) The Brazilians had to play, simultaneously, against 3 different teams—the Dutch, the Hollanders and the Netherlanders. Three on one just ain’t fair!
8) The Germans call the Dutch language a “Halskrankenheit” meaning throat disease; Robinho was infected in his first half swearing bouts with Robben and played rubbish in the second half.
9) A Dutch spy (codename NED) in the Brazil dressing room at halftime surreptitiously removed the accent from the final syllable of Kaká’s name so he played eponymous rubbish in the second half.
10) The 1600’s were notable for battles between Spain and Netherlands; ergo, those of us who have forgotten that history will be compelled to repeat it in the World Cup final;
11) Holland shares its Orange and Black uniform colors with many Universities whose teams are called Tigers, the most successful mascot in college sports (think Auburn, Grambling, LSU, Missouri).
12) Mick Jagger, having earlier put the evil eye on both the USA and England, watched the Quarter-Final Brazil/Holland game with his Brazilian son Lucas. As one might say in Portuguese, “all pé frios are equal, but some pé frios are much colder than others.”
13) The vests used by the Uruguayan reserves against Ghana were Orange. Clearly the Uruguayan Orange were meant to face the Dutch Orange. BUT all the seats at Soccer City Stadium are colored Orange; the celestial blue Guays will have to face that if they reach the final game.
15) Several of the South Africa soccer stadia are located in the area formerly known as the Orange Free State. Wink, wink? Nudge, nudge?
16) The State of Bahia produced the first navel Orange (the seedless one) which spread by grafting around the world, all the way to Holland.
17) Local bars in Brazil continued to serve beer in “tulipas” during the game, little realizing they were honoring the tulip, Holland’s national flower.