nossa senhora. who would have thought that between two cover stories of the indy things would change so much? Great reporting here. The story of lower league footy in the USA deserves book length treatment and this would certainly be an interesting chapter. For that matter, has anyone seriously covered the phenomenon of USA footy fandom? Por favor.
I agree with Jeff W.'s comment about Traffic. There is nothing to suggest that Triaffic have anything but base commercial interests at heart. I don't think that they are in need of the quick buck, but may be using their teams in the USA for other reasons. They will want to develop youth players to sell to foreign leagues and the name "traffic" basically tells the story. Kind of non-self-conscious reflection of what they do. Ironically, the trafficking of humans might be good for soccer in the Triangle, where there are innumerable quality players. Y'all might want to start speaking more portuguese instead of spanish though.
Economides of scale...love it. I'm still shaking my head. Why didn't I use that so long ago??
Looking forward to reading the next installment. Keep up the good reporting!
MH...why will Brazil present more lawlessness? The crackdown in the favelas in Rio has begun with their occupation by shock troops. The lawlessness is in the production of the World Cup (and Olympics), not on the streets. For mega-events of any kind one of the biggest (unrecoverable) costs is security. Fighting violence with violence does not diminish violence. The tourist sites will be like the Green Zone, except the green will be dollars, yen and euros.
TW, the intangible effects of mega-events are important, especially regarding class and race relations. It is very difficult to measure the social value of "increased national self-esteem", that is much talked about in Brazil (and South Africa). I have no doubt that people of different ethnic, class, and cultural backgrounds come together to welcome the world and in so doing discover more commonalities than differences. It is a pity, however, that in order to produce the event (and its intangible, corollary effects) many absurd and useless infrastructure projects are carried out in the name of national unity. The net-effect is to move public money into private hands which will arguably exacerbate social tensions in the long run. As I mention above, mega-events are not adequate tools for social or economic "development", in whatever guise one wishes to employ that term.
msali...my commentary smacks of ignorance? I'm afraid it is you who are ignorant. Obviously, the majority of players that play in Brazil are Brazilian. For that matter so are the majority of the fans! Who knew? I was not missing JMM's point, but trying to explain why the CBF and the national team are increasingly distant from the hearts of the Brazilian fans. I speak Portuguese fluently so get your nuanced self to a point of critical reflection where you can comment about these things without making assumptions about my tastes regarding managerial styles, my understanding of Brazilian football or the processes underway for the 2014 World Cup. Your command of Portuguese should allow you to educate yourself about what is going on here in Brazil, where I live, work, and study. Smacks of ignorance, indeed. Fala serio.
Woah. Touch the sacred cow of Brazil and people get a bit angry! Moooooo!
I don't agree JMM's comments about football being of the people. My observations of Brazilian fans in relation to the national team is that there is such a distance between the team represented by the criminals at the CBF and the population at large, that there's less and less identification with it. The players are basically foreigners, the media doesn't give any information beyond the construction of a soap opera, and the tickets, even for games in Brazil, are too expensive for the majority to afford.
The fans that can travel are primarily white and upper class, yes. In 2006, they rented samba dancers to perform in the aisles during the Brazil games. At least Duke fans seem to have some genuine passion, even though there's nothing really at stake for them in the world beyond sport.
The sanctimonious, holier-than-thou, smugness of many of the players (and fans) as well as the outright burro-ness of Dunga in addition to the overarching corruption of the CBF (which is FIFA's golden-child handmaiden) is enough to make anyone dislike the Brazilian team. The story is only going to get worse between now and 2014 with the development of the same kind of white elephant landscape in Brazil that has occurred in South Africa. In order to make the Brazilian stadiums economically viable, they're not talking about integrating them into the urban fabric but of quadrupling the average price of the ticket. "Elitization" is the word of the day for Brazilian football, not just in the stands of South Africa, but all over the country.
is there anyone more annoying or idiotic than JP Dellacamera? ESPN is bad, ABC is worse. Sadly the commentators in Brasil aren't too much better. Their portrayal of the Ghanians as having "athleticism as their only quality" is both overtly racist and just plain ignorant. All the same, I'd rather listed to these idiots in Brasil than have to suffer 5 seconds of John Harkes, Julie Foudy or Alexi Lalas. For my money, the best commentators are the argentines on DirecTV.
I thought there was precious little football in that match. In the second match there was none at all. Not a great opening day overall.
those are some pretty high ratings! I'd take each one down a point. Esp. Budnny, who was terrible throughout.
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