Scarred for Life: Games Without Frontiers

By Ramzy Nasrallah on July 9, 2014 at 11:15a
no. no. no. no. no. no. no.

Fade away faster, please.


Relax, Buckeye fans: We're not going to peel open any scabs today.

We won't breathe any life back into that dead image you see above - that permanent, crusty black stain on your heart - just because it's the offseason and we need something jarring to wake you up.

This isn't about you and it's much bigger than us: Yesterday sports fans humans around the world were treated to a prodigious helping of comfort through an unimaginable miscarriage of destiny; comforting only because somebody else's dreams were obliterated.

Germany's ruination of Brazil will forever be known as Mineiraço: Brazil’s Worst Shame. It was so horrible that it gets its own word. That how historic of a humiliation yesterday was.

Brazil provided the other 98% of the earth's population one of the least-elegant just be thankful for what you have lessons in sports history. There's no need to provide the Ohio State parallels here because you already know what they are. Troy Smith still sees Jarvis Moss in his nightmares, and so do you.

Sometimes we just need to be reminded how small our sports tragedies are in broader context: Brazil was just massacred in a World Cup that it had been hotly anticipating for the past 11 years. This morning millions of devastated young Brazilians woke up for the first time in their lives not awaiting the tournament that's now reaching its climax in their country but without their team.

Brazil constructed seven new stadiums from the ground up, thoroughly renovated five others and spent $14 billion to go with the $4 billion pitched in by FIFA for this month-long festival. Following its winning bid in 2003 it mounted yellow, branded countdown clocks all around the country that had seconds, minutes, hours, days, months and years in them.

Brazil was JUST MASSACRED in a World Cup that it haD been hotly anticipating for the past 11 years.

Those clocks are still on public display, now callously taunting the nation as part of the decorative landscape built by the country hosting the world's premier sporting event. There are still clocks, but no countdown. There are only endless tears

It's that bad. Oh, and it gets much worse.

This Sunday the World Cup Final will be held at Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro, which was one of those five stadiums Brazil had renovated in anticipation of 2014. Maracanã made its debut during the 1950 World Cup; the only other time the tournament was hosted by Brazil. That same stadium was the site of 1950 final as well.

There are about 15 million Brazilians today who still remember what happened there  in 1950 when the concrete was fresh and the original wood was unweathered. The country's golden era for soccer was still a couple of World Cups away from commencing. Pélé was ten years old.  

Brazil advanced to that final match after drawing with Switzerland 2-2 but rolling Mexico 4-0, Yugoslavia 2-0, Sweden 7-1 and Spain 6-1; those last two blowouts leading up to the championship. All of Brazil's games were played in the brand-new Maracanã with attendance figures reaching upwards of 150,000. < - - not a misprint

Its title opponent was Uruguay, who struggled with the two countries Brazil beat by a combined score of 13-2: It bested Sweden 3-2 in the closing seconds after coming back to play Spain to an uninspired 2-2 draw.

That meant the glorious dedication of Maracanã would coincide with the coronation of Canarinho, the nickname for Brazil's national team which was created at that World Cup and is still used today.

As such, the celebration began days before the game was even played.

The Internet wasn't even an unremembered dream in 1950. Dewey Defeats Truman was only 18 months old back then. The media - which today still struggles with haste - often beat facts to the punch to report the news back then too, and this wasn't a strictly American political phenomenon.

VICTORY BRAZIL! Against Uruguay in the Climactic Battle
Portuguese for "jumping the gun."

Newspapers the morning of the game (!) already declared Brazil the victor, and Uruguay's captain Obdulio Varela bought as many editions as he could. He didn't hang them up; instead he laid them out on the locker room floor because Uruguay doesn't believe in bulletin board material.

They make urinals out of that stuff instead: The team peed on all of the newspapers prematurely declaring Brazil as Champions of the World and then promptly went out and beat the host nation 2-1 in front of over 200,000 people

That catastrophe has its own word too: Maracanã. Yes, the name of the stadium that was scheduled to be freed from imprisonment this weekend which yesterday spectacularly failed to make parole.

You haven't heard 200,000 silent people in your life. It's much quieter than 100,000 silent people, especially when the only sound being made is by a handful of euphoric Uruguayans.

Sixty-four years later to the month: An historic and gruesome 7-1 demolishing by Germany, which in 1950 was an occupied country split in half and forbidden from participating in the World Cup. Maracanã's ghosts will not rest, though Brazil should eventually get to host another tournament - in the latter half of the century.

Brazil's love for the soccer is marrow-deep within its citizens. It had also fought to earn all of the glory to meet and exceed its own misery, and there's that Ohio State football parallel sneaking back into your head again. Remember, this isn't about you and it's much bigger than us. It's also far more traumatic.

Florida will never beat Ohio State 41-14 in Ohio to set up a BCS title game with Michigan in the Horseshoe.

Games like the one Brazil lost yesterday are transcendent. They permeate the traditions of its citizens, making them eternal victors or rhapsodic victims. These calamitous losses can't be confined to the boundaries of a stadium, the sports page or the news cycle that month. Les jeux sans frontières become part of the national culture and are sewn into its fabric.

For Germany, where showing too much nationalism still frightens a lot of non-Germans, yesterday's victory could be a breakthrough, as post-reunification Germany has never won a World Cup. The only final it's ever reached it lost - to Brazil 12 years ago.

This afternoon the Netherlands - the 2010 runners-up - plays Argentina, which is the Michigan to Brazil's Ohio State. The last time Argentina reached a World Cup final it (West) Germany.

So imagine the following scenario for Brazil this Sunday: Germany, which just delivered a humiliation sans pareil, playing the host's arch-rival for soccer's highest honor on the field in Maracanã in front of the whole world and all of those restless ghosts.

There is no parallel. This is sports anguish without peer.

Florida will never beat Ohio State 41-14 in Ohio to set up a BCS title game against Michigan in the Horseshoe. You laugh at the idea of that kind of pain because you know it's impossible. 

Well, it's impossible for us. Two hundred million Brazilians will find out this afternoon if that unimaginable nightmare is their reality. Think about that the next time Ohio State breaks your heart, which it most certainly will. 

So obrigado, Brazil. Danke schoen, Germany. The whole world should benefit from the horrifying perspective you furnished together; especially we eternally rhapsodic victims from Columbus, Ohio.


Comments Show All Comments

tommrkr's picture

Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in the World Cup

+16 HS
Woodysghost's picture

That is hysterical.

+2 HS
BroJim's picture


I season my simple food with hunger

-8 HS
theferno's picture

Posting links from reddit, you could work for 11W!

-10 HS
theferno's picture

Posting links from reddit, you could work for 11W!

-10 HS
theferno's picture

Posting links from reddit, wow you could work for 11W!

-10 HS
Ramzy Nasrallah's picture

Have to admit - I admire the way you came up with a backdoor method of exceeding 11W's 10 downvote maximum per comment. Respect.

dumpus's picture

if you post it again, maybe it'll be funny?  #persistence 

buckeyebfd's picture

I only watched the usmnt games, until yesterday. I'm not a soccer fan, but what happened was mesmerizing. The announcers on ESPN were tearing into Brazil. I was almost surreal.

BucksFan2000's picture

Not only did we get pounded, that game started the whole "SEC is on a different level" media/fan mentality.  It was the first of their string of championships.  It still haunts us at the end of the season when OSU is being compared to the second and third best SEC teams in the rankings.  It's the main reason two SEC teams could make the 4 team playoff instead of OSU.

Yes, Ginn got hurt, but that wasn't the team we watched all year.  Almost every second was a nightmare.  Screw Brazil.  I'll never get over the Florida game.

+5 HS
osugreg04's picture

When the talking heads on this morning's sports show asked if anyone could remember a defeat so crushing to a fanbase, I went and sobbed in a dark corner to myself

+3 HS
stittracer99's picture

Goddammit Ramzy.....I was having a good morning

+4 HS
BTBuckeye's picture

1969 loss to UM? I wasn't alive, but my uncles never shut up about it.

+4 HS
73buckeye's picture

I was there, alive, and I can't imagine Brazil's defeat being any worse. The loss to Florida was terrible, but losing that game to TTUN in the big outhouse seemed more like the end of life as we knew it. 45 years later, yellow and blue  still makes me see red.  


Riggins's picture

Hello darkness, my old friend.

edit - Wow, that's big. Can anyone tell me why the image properties and height/width attributes won't take?
+12 HS
ECSAGESTER's picture

I just want to give him a hug. 

+4 HS
NitroBuck's picture

Grandpa:  "Oh, man!  How many goals are those Germans gonna score?"

Grandson:  "About a Brazillion."

Ferio.  Tego.

+6 HS
FROMTHE18's picture

I thought about this comparison last night whilst watching the match. At first glance, the 2006 title game and last night's match are very similar, but when you think about it they are only similar in that Brazil fans dreamt of a title (Similar to OSU fans) and their team was embarrassed on the way to that title. Germany was a better team going into the World Cup than Brazil (arguably the best in the world; before people get on the 'well, yeah we saw it last night' train, the WC is a tournament and not necessarily a true reflection) and Brazil have no striker nor any solid build up play when Neymar doesn't have the ball. Brazil's only hope to win the match was to have their defense (without Thiago Silva) play incredibly well and Hulk (Fred is horrible) put one in. 7-1 was surprising, but a result of 3-0, or 4-0, was more likely to happen pre-match than many were willing to admit given Neymar and Silva missing the match. Germany was likely to win anyways. Florida was not expected to win the game against OSU. In fact, much of the talk before the game was about OSU winning comfortably. I'd class the UF win over OSU as far worse of a humiliation than the Brazil defeat last night. Look at how that loss has changed the landscape of college football over the last 8 years. 7-1 is unreal, yes. The match was in Brazil, yes. But Germany were by far the better team at kickoff than Brazil and I think had Brazil put in more effort to stop the bleeding following being down 3-0 the match would have likely ended 4-0, 4-1. I know thats splitting hairs as 4-0 would have still been a rout, but as I said, they were likely to lose by a few goals anyways rather than setting a record. 

+3 HS
EvanstonBuckeye's picture

I definitely thought of the Debacle in the Desert while watching the game and, more importantly, the Brazilian fans. The best commentary I heard was when the commentator said it was like Germany was playing against only nine men. I can only imagine the gloom that hangs over Rio and the whole country today.

+1 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I'm glad Ramzy brought this up. I've been thinking along these lines since the end of the game. We won't see anything like this again and as fans who have seen some horrendous losses, they pale in comparison to what those Brazilian fans have to deal with here. And now, as a host country, who do you cheer for in the championship game? Your archrival or the team that just absolutely crushed you in ways never seen before? I'm glad I don't have to make that call. I can forever just hate both Florida and Michigan knowing that neither will do to us what Germany just did to Brazil and I'll just go ahead and root for Argentina so I can win the 11dub bracket challenge, lol.

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

+1 HS
Buckeyeneer's picture

Definitely a meteor game, me thinks.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

SaltyD0gg's picture

And it could have been worse. Germany had several more easy chances - ozeil's to name one.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

+1 HS
SaltyD0gg's picture

I have also been thinking about how positively this reflects on the US team. We only lost 1-0 to the same German team that massacred Brazil. And the argument that they didn't have Silva and Neymar doesn't hold up as you know Brazil would have been favored against the US even without them.

Pain of Discipline

Pain of Regret

Take Your Pick

+2 HS
prdoctor's picture

41-14 was the first thing I thought of when I caught the end of that game yesterday. Still, Cleveland trumps Brazil.

dwcbuckeye's picture

Another fantastically written article by Ramzy.  Well done sir.  It really puts it all in perspective.  Though I was certainly pissed and disappointed by ANY buckeye loss, particularly the BCS Championship game - I never thought of crying about it.  The passion these guys have for soccer is mind-boggling.  I thought I was passionate.

deskpoet's picture

For this, you win the Internet today. This should be published/read beyond the humble confines of 11W (though it most certainly belongs here.) Kudos.

Earle's picture

Somebody call the BBC!

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

Have the Brazilian team executives paid the players?

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

Maestro's picture

Had that night in the desert in January 2003 turned out differently I think the Florida game could have rivaled what Brazil felt yesterday.

vacuuming sucks

Dirty419Boy's picture

Pretty good for a guy who had a 0.0 GPA.

Crumb's picture

~~Relax, Buckeye fans: We're not going to peel open any scabs today.

That picture alone not only peels open scabs but sticks a knife in em. And twists the knife.

"The only good thing about it is winning the d*** thing" - Urban Meyer on The Game The War

+2 HS
ziplock007's picture

I lived in Vegas at the time and I went to the game... January 8th, 2007 I still remember

Asking me how the day was would be synonymous to asking the crowd at Ford's theater, "Well, other than that, how was the play?"

+2 HS
canukeye's picture

I wonder if Brazil will end up hiring the current German coach for the next World Cup

It's not the band that I hate.  It's the fans.

+1 HS
1MechEng's picture

I can't believe nobody else read the article's title and immediately came up with a witty Peter Gabriel quote ...