Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 09, 2014

Sorry Brazil

The football (soccer) game yesterday was somewhat embarrassing for all players and watchers.

Yes, the German team played well with an exceptional emphasis on "team". Everyone worked for everyone. But the Brazilian team was just a shadow of itself. The first German goal came after a massive hole in the Brazilian defense left Müller uncovered during a simple standard situation. The following four goals for Germany within just 6 minutes were all well played and maybe even deserved but against a ridiculously lame defense, a Brazilian midfield that couldn't pass a ball without losing it and an offense that was unable to defeat the German goal keeper Neuer. After the first 30 minutes Brazil was defeated, the Germans stopped playing in earnest and took their pace back to the level of a training game. Had they kept going a double digit win would have been possible or even likely.

Schürrle, coming fresh from the bench in the second half, scored two more without much effort before in the 90th minute a lone Brazilian Oscar was let go by the German defense to score a sole one for Brazil.

The 7:1, bad as it was, wasn't the only defeat for Brazil. the German goalgetter Klose, with now 16 world-championship goals, took the record away from Brazil's Rinaldo. The German team also defeated the Brazilian record for total goals in world-championships.

The fellow Germans with whom I watched felt, like me, sorry for the Brazilians. There was likely too much pressure on them and we were sure that they would have been much better without all those expectations their nation had put onto them.

On Sunday Germany will play against either Argentina or Netherlands. That game will be more difficult than yesterdays shooting spree against Brazil. The ball is round. May the best team win.

Posted by b on July 9, 2014 at 16:08 UTC | Permalink


What about germany? I heard they caught another spy today, some info on that?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 9 2014 16:24 utc | 1

"There was likely too much pressure on them and we were sure that they would have been much better without all those expectations their nation had put onto them."

Yep. They played well below their potential.
Excellent (and mercifully brief) review, btw.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 9 2014 16:29 utc | 2

No sympathy for Brazil from me. They played dirty against Colombia and didn't deserve to go through. Schadenfreude at seeing them destroyed by Germany.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 9 2014 16:39 utc | 3

I also felt bad for Brazil, they must be devasted, it simply wasnt fun to watch, now I hope for them to catch #3 bronze!

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 9 2014 16:44 utc | 4

A Dutch guy said to a German "we are playing Argentina tonight"
The German said "that's a coincidence, we are playing them on Sun"

Posted by: boindub | Jul 9 2014 17:02 utc | 5

I agree it was a sad match. I thought the 4th goal was just a replay of the 3rd until I saw the score. We've all been deeply sisappointed at one time or another, but this has got to hurt. The Germans are good. The trench warfare match with I forget who in the early rounds was symptomatic. This is a more exciting team than the last time around.

Posted by: Knut | Jul 9 2014 17:09 utc | 6

Right... Gaza is burning, AGAIN. Hot spots all over the planet.

Let's talk sports. ('cuz lord knows if we were to discuss Gaza we'd be discussing zionists and that won't do here).


Posted by: crone | Jul 9 2014 17:18 utc | 7

Bloody funny though

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jul 9 2014 17:23 utc | 8

i don't know that i typify canucks, but i am not following soccer!! it is hard not to get caught up in it though and i know many people in the world follow soccer. it is a nice diversion from all the madness in the world. my escape is thru music.

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2014 17:23 utc | 9

I'll let you in on a secret, Oranje will revenge 1978 tonight and 1974 on Sunday with Dutch Master Van Gaal. LOL

Brazil's worst defeat since loss to Uruguay in 1920

Posted by: Oui | Jul 9 2014 17:23 utc | 10

@crone - #6

Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense of 2012 was ended through mediation of Egypt's Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood), Erdogan of Turkey (MB) and Hillary Clinton (supporter of MB). The Emir of Qatar, the great funder of Hamas in Gaza, lost out to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. No sympathy for Hamas in the present political game of the Middle East giving PM Netanyahu a free hand to act as he wishes. Obama has no political clout with Israel.

Posted by: Oui | Jul 9 2014 17:27 utc | 11

500 Youths from Germany Join the Fight in Syria

if they are anything like germanys soccer team, assad is in trouble!

Posted by: james | Jul 9 2014 17:29 utc | 12

Yep israel feel like massacre some palestinians again.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 9 2014 17:34 utc | 13

I'm with Colm O'Toole @ 3. Furthermore, it is Deutschland all the way.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 9 2014 17:50 utc | 14

@james #12:

Calling those people "youths from Germany" is just political correctness. They are Turks/Muslims. Just having been born in Germany doesn't make you "German" in the sense required to be good at football (or war for that matter, which the Germans were also good at until they became a colony of the US).

@Mike Maloney & Colm O' Toole:

Yes. I am not watching the Cup (no TV), but I did see a Brazilian commenter at a news site say that the way Brazil had played in previous games (dirty and flamboyant) was a symptom of contemporary problems with Brazil in general.

A commenter at RT said that Germany had studied Brazil's game and had figured out the weak spot in its defense: that is why the German team made wide passes before going for a goal, something the Brazilian team couldn't seem to get its head around.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 9 2014 18:21 utc | 15

I bet Argentina and Holland are now dreading the prospect
of winning tonights other semi-final, and meeting up with Germany.

perhaps they are thinking of emulating
Romanian boxer Ion Alexe who failed to appear meet Cuban boxer Teófilo Stevenson
in the 1972 Olympics heavyweight boxing and conveniently missed the final,
due to injury, (and to avoid the expected drubbing).

Posted by: chris m | Jul 9 2014 18:24 utc | 16

the score should have stopped at 5-0
hence eins zwei drei vier fünf (thumped)

Brazil even thought that they were the favourites!!!

probably biggest "black swan" event in all of football history
(even including Hungary's 6-3 drubbing of England in 1953,
followed by another 7-1 defeat, 6 months later)

Posted by: chris m | Jul 9 2014 18:30 utc | 17

The World Cup, and soccer in general since it's an international sport, promotes Nationalism and all the nasty bed bugs that come with it — like bigotry and jingoism. I haven't paid attention to it at all, although Google's search page keeps reminding me with its cute soccer configurations. Very artistic, but not biting Google. Meanwhile, as the world watches developmentally arrested men run around a field chasing and kicking a ball, there's the carnage that no one seems capable of curtailing or preventing. Funny that. Priorities. Lennon should have had that as a lyric in his famous song Imagine.

Imagine there's no soccer
And no more soccer fans
A world without wins or losses
No more games of chance

You may say I'm a spoil sport
I know I'm the only one
I don't expect anyone'll listen
They're having too much fun

As they play the carnage continues
The butter's passed for bullets and guns
Destabilization spreads like smallpox
Millions of refugees on the run

Germany's one step away now
From ascending to the throne
Hitler's spirit cheers from the ether
Mother Earth can only groan

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 9 2014 19:09 utc | 18

Resident troll deplores soccer and applauds war.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 9 2014 19:13 utc | 19

Actually, I usually hate Colefield, but his last post is correct.

And Lysias, he isnt applauding war, hes saying he doesnt like war OR Soccer. And hes correct to connect soccer to blind nationalism.

But yes USUALLY holefield says the most noxious things but hes very on point this time.

Posted by: Massinissa | Jul 9 2014 20:14 utc | 20

@20: He claimed this time he's against war. But look at what he usually posts.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 9 2014 20:24 utc | 21

@Massinissa #20:

You're American, aren't you? How do you know that your denunciation of soccer isn't an expression of blind nationalism?

Just joking.

Seriously though, Americans have their own kind of football because soccer isn't brutal and militaristic enough for them. And don't get me started on baseball. Baseball is the only ball game I know in which the main implement is regularly used as a murder weapon. (See The Raid 2, "baseball girl" in particular.)

Both football and baseball, the two iconic American sports, are deeply associated with violence in a way that soccer isn't in the least.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 9 2014 20:37 utc | 22

@Demian #22:

Sorry, that's Baseball Bat Man. The girl uses hammers.

Posted by: Demian | Jul 9 2014 20:41 utc | 23

The most violent of all is Croquet. They use a mallet — simply barbaric. And it's an Upper Crust sport, so go figure. It allows you to metaphorically bash someone's brains in without all the muss and fuss.

Swimsuit Shopping In Dubai

Be sure to follow the links at the link for any of it to make sense.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 9 2014 21:11 utc | 24

I was once assaulted (without provocation) just outside D.C. by a local gang. They hit me with baseball bats.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 9 2014 21:11 utc | 25

Argentina just won a proper match against the Dutch. They had to go to the penalty kicks, where the Argies prevailed 4-3.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 9 2014 22:49 utc | 26

Sorry, that was a typo. I should have typed 4-2.

Posted by: lysias | Jul 9 2014 22:50 utc | 27

from the LRB, out today. Pretty quick:
"David Runciman 9 July 2014
Tags: world cup 2014
Well, it won’t be the Bite for which this World Cup is remembered after all. Something more shocking did happen. The form book turned out to be a useless guide (Brazil were undefeated in twelve games before last night). Home advantage counted for nothing in the end. Goldman Sachs got it wrong. Stephen Hawking got it wrong. I got it wrong. Everyone got it wrong. Sure, there will be people saying that this Brazilian team was there for the taking, that someone was bound to expose its manifold weaknesses. But no one predicted that result. It simply doesn’t happen that big teams concede seven goals at home against major rivals. It doesn’t happen in the Premier League or in La Liga or in Serie A. It’s inconceivable that Chelsea or Barcelona or Juventus would ship seven at home to anyone, no matter how weakened their team or how unlucky the performance. It doesn’t happen in the Champions League or in the European Championships. It’s certainly never happened at the World Cup. Before last night’s match some bookmakers had Germany as the slight favourites to win, but the margin of their victory is perhaps the biggest upset in the history of the sport.
What makes it weirder is what took place between the second goal and the seventh one. The first two were bad defensive mistakes in keeping with this team’s familiar weaknesses: poor marking at a corner, then a shot spilled by the goalkeeper. Schürrle’s seventh was a freakishly perfect volley of the kind that can strike at almost any time, but almost never does. But for goals three, four, five and six it was as though the Brazilians had more or less stopped playing. The Germans moved the ball past them at will, taking as many touches as they liked, even in the penalty area, where no one seemed to want to close them down. Perhaps, at 2-0, and realising they were overmatched, the Brazilians understood that the worst was already upon them. But that doesn’t really make sense.
Had Brazil lost last night’s match 2-0, or even 3-0, it would have been a disaster but not a total disgrace: today’s narrative would have been about the vulnerability of a team stripped of its two most important players coming up against a better organised and more disciplined side. But no one is talking about Neymar now. The incentive structure for this team should have made them try harder at 2-0, because the difference between holding at that point and capitulation is the difference between a reversal that could be explained away and one that will haunt all of these players for the rest of their lives. They will never escape it: this is now the event for which they will always be known. The Germans, meanwhile, had no great incentive to push on once victory was assured, but they kept going as though their lives depended on it. For a while this was a game played through the looking-glass.
What makes it more poignant is thinking of Brazil’s relief at coming through the two previous rounds. No one enjoyed the victory over Chile more than David Luiz, who converted one of the vital penalties. He then scored a wonderful free kick against Colombia in the quarter-finals and produced one of the great goal celebrations afterwards, face contorted, arms pumping, veins bulging, like Marco Tardelli after he scored the goal that secured the trophy for Italy in 1982. But what David Luiz was celebrating led only to his own destruction. How he must now wish he had missed his penalty, or had sent his free kick a few feet over. An early exit for Brazil would have produced an outburst of national fury and a search for scapegoats, but the individual players could have ridden it out and their careers might have recovered. There is no recovering from this. It’s indelible.
Normally when something as dramatic and unexpected as last night’s match takes place there are conspiracy theories on hand to explain it. The players were drugged (that’s what they said about Ronaldo when Brazil lost 3-0 to France in 1998). The match was fixed (that’s the story about Brazil’s exit in 1978). The referee was against them (that’s how Uruguay managed to beat Brazil in 1950). Alternatively, if you don’t want a conspiracy theory, you can simply put it down to bad luck: these things happen every now and then. But the players weren’t drugged last night; the match wasn’t fixed; the referee had nothing to do with it. And these things don’t happen every now and then. It’s that even rarer thing: a complete mystery. Some are saying that it was divine retribution for the Brazilian authorities’ decision not to allow a minute’s silence before the game in honour of Alfredo di Stéfano, the great Argentinian player who had died the day before. Maybe not. But it certainly looked like an act of God."

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2014 23:02 utc | 28

Germany will play Messi9(aka Argentina!) in the final

Posted by: brian | Jul 9 2014 23:05 utc | 29

Also in this London Review of Books:
"Battle for Baghdad
Patrick Cockburn
Shock at the disintegration of the army in Mosul and other Sunni-majority districts of northern Iraq is still determining the mood in Baghdad weeks later. The debacle marks the end of a distinct period in Iraqi history: the period between 2006 and 2014 when the Iraqi Shia under Maliki sought to dominate the country much as the Sunni had done under Saddam Hussein. More..."

"In the Caliphate
Owen Bennett-Jones
In many respects Isis is a very modern organisation. The brochure detailing its 2012-13 activities is like a state of the art corporate report. The most striking page, with slick graphic design, has 15 silhouetted icons – time bombs, handcuffs, a car, a man running – with each representing a field of activity: roadside bombs, prisoner escapes, car bombs and the clearance of apostates’ homes. More...."


"Mouin Rabbani: Institutionalised Disregard for Palestinian Life"

Posted by: bevin | Jul 9 2014 23:06 utc | 30

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 9, 2014 3:09:17 PM | 18

funny but Cold and hole in the head has been supporting the carnage

Posted by: brian | Jul 9 2014 23:07 utc | 31

Posted by: james | Jul 9, 2014 1:29:13 PM | 12

are they germans or are they sunni muslims?!

Posted by: brian | Jul 9 2014 23:11 utc | 32

@bevin #30:

It's funny how the LRB has three articles about the Middle East but not a single article about the civil war and genocide now occurring in Europe. It seems that for the English intellectual elite, genocide is bad when the Israelis do it, but fine if Ukrainians do it, especially if the people they are massacring are one of Britain's most ancient enemies, as far as Brits are concerned.

When will the LRB publish an article about "Institutionalised Disregard for Russian Life"?

Posted by: Demian | Jul 9 2014 23:35 utc | 33

mea culpa - great distraction!
24/7 syria ukraine, gaza, nsa spying, iraq, amerika - it's too much.
give me a little bit of müller, klose, schürrle and kroos- from time to time.
it's only football - nothing can be predicted.
see you sunday against argentina, may the best team win!
and if you need google for soccer - just get the hell out of here!!

Posted by: slirs | Jul 9 2014 23:44 utc | 34

Bevin @28: did Man Citeh not skelp Manure in their own midden? And did FCB not give six of the very best to Franco FC at the Bernabeu? Remind me of the score when the Magyars played at Wemberley the first time... :)

Posted by: Cortes | Jul 9 2014 23:47 utc | 35

You are an idiot and an imbecile, soccer or futbol is art, it is called the beautiful game for a reason. The mastery and skill involved will always be beyond nationalistic, obnoxious Americans like you. Unless the men are hitting each other and destroying their bodies like in AMERICAn football, "it's no fun bruh".
You always keep posting stupid things, we have to tolerate you and your nonsense. Go and tell someone who actually cares about what you say like your dog.
Nationalism is what it is, it can either be a unifying force for good that forges a nation to do great things or something that people use to jusitify evil acts.
It brings to mind something called CAPITALISM which is also used in a similar fashion, you hijo de la gran puta.

Posted by: Fernando | Jul 10 2014 3:44 utc | 36

Personally I couldn't care less about football and have not watched a single game. In times like these it is just a pernicious distraction from all the high crimes and scandals going on. But hopefully this Brazilian experience will make countries consider more carefully before they take on the huge expense of these sports spectacles. I would not be surprised if this match's outcome also had a political fallout sooner or later.

Posted by: Austrian | Jul 10 2014 5:03 utc | 37

@15 demian.. in the culturally, porous immigration world we live in today, they are germans.. now, maybe they are poor turkish migrants looking for some income, but i think they still hold german citizenship, or the article was misleading and i apologize for posting it!

@32 brian - same answer as above.. i think they are german! perhaps germany ought to become more like israel, where you can't be considered a citizen unless you are jewish..very few countries operate like that anymore..

pepe escobar on the brasil loss...

Posted by: james | Jul 10 2014 6:47 utc | 38

Putting my conspiracy hat on. Brazil is a mature market for Fifa. If Fifa wants to make money, future expansion diktates pulling in crowds from western countries such as US of A and north Europe. Should of made a real bet when i predicted US of A would reach semis based on proejected revenue. Maybe Brazil was told to throw the match? we all know sports is corrupt esp at this level.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 10 2014 7:38 utc | 39

Though I seldom watch soccermatches I did see the german game. They totally demoralized the brazilians, that's why their defense was in absolute shambles.

Though I would have loved to see Holland lose again to the germans (very touchy subject here in Holland) in a rerun of 1978 I am glad they lost. The Dutch like to indulge in nationalist feelings and during the world cup you just can't avoid the orange masses.

2 videos about the german/dutch rivalry. The first is the best with it's reference to Rudi Völler.

video 1
video 2

@Demian #15: The majority is of Turkish or north african descent (Morroco, Algeria) but there are also converted youths of german descent (so yes Sunni muslims). The same is happening in France, Belgium and here in Holland where we even have public shows of support for ISIS in The Hague).

I like to compare it with the rise of national socialism during and after the great depression. You've got marginalised unemployed youths looking for meaning so they fall prey to recruiters from the salafist strain. The marginalisation factor is only of influence to those of foreign descent after years of cultural clashes and non integration into mainstream society.

Posted by: Gehenna | Jul 10 2014 8:53 utc | 40

"REVOLUTIONS ON DEMAND: If the US State Department's Victoria Nuland had not said "Fuck the EU," few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington's man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style "destabilization campaign" that brought down Ukraine's monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
"Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he’s told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator," laughs Ray McGovern, who worked for 27 years as an intelligence analyst for the agency. "It used to be the CIA doing these things," he tells Democracy Now. "I know that for a fact." Now it's the State Department, with its coat-and-tie diplomats, twitter and facebook accounts, and a trick bag of goodies to build support for American policy.

Posted by: brian | Jul 10 2014 10:01 utc | 41

'I like to compare it with the rise of national socialism during and after the great depression. You've got marginalised unemployed youths looking for meaning so they fall prey to recruiters from the salafist strain. The marginalisation factor is only of influence to those of foreign descent after years of cultural clashes and non integration into mainstream society.

Posted by: Gehenna | Jul 10, 2014 4:53:08 AM | 40

this is likely

Posted by: brian | Jul 10 2014 10:02 utc | 42

@32 brian - same answer as above.. i think they are german! perhaps germany ought to become more like israel, where you can't be considered a citizen unless you are jewish..very few countries operate like that anymore..

pepe escobar on the brasil loss...

Posted by: james | Jul 10, 2014 2:47:30 AM | 38

no, they arent german../theyd be immigrants to germany....if christian/athiest germans immigrated to morocco theyd not be moroccon

Posted by: brian | Jul 10 2014 10:06 utc | 43

Nationalism is what it is, it can either be a unifying force for good that forges a nation to do great things or something that people use to jusitify evil acts.

I disagree. Nationalism is never a good thing and always, and I mean ALWAYS, leads to significantly negative outcomes. All socio-economic polities have used it, and do use it, to secure and hold power and sway. Professional international soccer exemplified by the World Cup spectacle only serves to underscore and bolster Nationalistic tendencies. Same goes for the Olympics — it has no truck with me — I don't watch it or pay any attention to it.

I have nothing against sport at a very local level played together amongst neighbors for the sake of just playing, but when it becomes thoroughly established and organized, proceeding to the regional and national level, it loses its positive attributes and becomes a guiding force for Nationalism and ultimately tyranny as the plebs gaze admiringly and mesmerized at the flame of spectacle all the while their birthright, just outside the stadiums where the spectacles are held, is demolished in broad daylight as the crowd cheers and the WWON's registers go caching.

Your criticism here is meaningless and hypocritical considering your support of the spectacle. You simply have no credibility and this is why there is no effective resistance — it's because of traitors like you, who are not a few, lurk in the midst of the crowd and steer it into holding pens rather than empowering those in the crowd to objective and independent thought. You and your kind will always be the most pernicious enemy of human potential because you close off productive avenues of possible change by steering any dissenters and resistors back to the fold and mainstream.

And no, I don't watch American sports, be it football, baseball or basketball. I once did, but then I grew up. Maybe you'll grow up one day too, but I highly doubt it. Meanwhile, the WWON thanks you for your witting or unwitting service to their cause.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jul 10 2014 12:52 utc | 44

cortes @35

One of the members of that Hungarian team used to live, just down the road from me, (with a pair of Air Hostesses). He was in his late fifties and still very fit. He worked in construction.
By Franco FC do you mean, Puskas's old club, Real?
That wonderful team that you mention then went on to lose the World Cup, I believe, to West Germany. So 7 goal victories are soon forgotten.
When the pressure is off, as it is when teams are meeting in the final and only that game matters, Argentina will play better.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10 2014 13:39 utc | 45

Demian I trust that you don't regard me as complicit in the editorial policy of the LRB.

Actually the English ruling class seem quite reconciled to the actions of Israel's fascist government, which is not surprising when you consider the part they played, after both World Wars, in establishing the colonial beachead.

Is Russia an ancient enemy of Britain? It would be very low down on the list- Britain and Russia fought on the same side against Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler. There was a lamentable slavophobic school headed by Urquhart and sustained by warmongers in the Indian Office but Russians were extremely popular when William Bowles was a boy.

I remember standing on the deck of a troop ship going through the Suez Canal and watching in awe as ten thousand conscripts cheered and waved as a Red Navy frigate passed in the sweetwater lake. And those conscripts were bound for south east Asia 'to fight Communism.'

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10 2014 13:51 utc | 46

Brian @43", they arent german../they'd be immigrants to germany....if christian/athiest germans immigrated to morocco theyd not be moroccon.."

But if their grandparents or parents had come from Morocco, Turkey or, say, as in the case of a friend in Frankfort, Guyana then their descendants would be German. Just as Pushkin was Russian and Huddie Leadbelly was American.
Thanks for the link.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 10 2014 13:58 utc | 47

Bevin @45: Yes, they "lost" to West Germany in much the same way as FCBarcelona used to "lose" 11-0 to Franco FC...

Posted by: Cortes | Jul 10 2014 17:44 utc | 48

As a melted pot American,whose ancestry involves multiple European and a little Cherokee blood,I say Deustchland uber alles!And good luck to the Argentinians also,may the best team win.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 11 2014 13:15 utc | 49

44;I know,your favorite sport,Muslim hunting,is going on as we speak, in Gaza,and you are glued to the set.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 11 2014 13:16 utc | 50

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