No More Tears

This “Jesus Wept” photo became a meme in the aftermath of Brazil’s defeat yesterday.
“O Lachryma Cristi, what has happened to our weepy Brazilians? Since day one of this tournament, it seems, they have been in tears. As the technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira reported, ‘They cry during the national anthem, they cry at the end of extra-time, they cry before and after the penalties.’ The sports psychologist Regina Brandão was rushed in, but failed to stem the flow; then it was the Pressure! The Pressure! A nation’s hopes, et cetera, et cetera. And now this 7-1 pasting, the iconic gone-viral boy in the crowd, glasses pushed up, fingers pressed to eyes, sobbing into his Coca-Cola cup; and somewhere else not too far off, the pretty girl with tears streaming down her cheeks, rivulets slowly obliterating the Brazilian flags she had painted there.” The Paris Review – Jonathan Wilson

Why Brazil Lost
“Most people are terrible singers, and yet football crowds are good at picking out a tune. Crowds are often flat on the high notes and tend to rush the tempo, but generally the combination of thousands of wrongs adds up to one big right. The Brazilian national anthem last night was different. All around the Mineirão people stood and roared it so loud that their eyes bulged. The words resounded with startling clarity but much too loudly for any music to be heard. Down on the field David Luiz and Júlio César were holding aloft the shirt of Neymar like a holy relic. The camera picked out a woman holding a placard that read, “Don’t worry—Neymar’s soul is here!” It was as though Neymar had died and was looking down at his former teammates from heaven, rather than watching them on television. The collective emotional frenzy of the scene was awe-inspiring.” Slate (Video)

The World Cup Beyond the Stadiums
“The matches of the FIFA World Cup have played out before crowds in stadiums—some barely finished—throughout Brazil, but the passions of the tournament can, at times, be most acutely felt far from the stands. Here, David Alan Harvey captures scenes from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to Copacabana Beach.” New Yorker (Photo)

Why Brazil Crumbled
“Peeling back the layers of expectation. The weight of…a team. ‘A player plays for more than himself.’ That’s a common maxim echoed throughout dressing rooms across the globe. Players are also expected to play for teammates, families, communities, countries, continents, gods, and local bodega store owners probably. Every player on a World Cup team has shouldered a cross-section of these burdens on top of self-imposed expectations and demanding, perpetually looming coaching staffs armed with lots of professional badges. And the better the player, the more that weight is amplified. If a player is that good, he can become a meal ticket for all involved. All of that weight can rest on a selection of moments and touches. A final touch ending up in a net or in the lap of a cerveza-guzzling spectator can be the difference between being heralded in tribute videos or becoming an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons. This is the burden of performance, the burden of play.” Fusion

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