Know Thy Enemy: Brazil

Posted: May 28, 2012 in KTE Report
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

On May 30, soccer fans in Landover, Maryland will flock to Fed-Ex field to see the world’s greatest soccer team.  They’ll be treated to a dazzling display of highly-skilled offense, rock-solid defense, and spectacular goalkeeping.  That’s right, folks, these fans will have the once-in-a-lifetime chance of seeing our very own USA national team in action, right before their very eyes!  Oh, and they’ll be playing some team named Brazil.

USA Number 1 license plate

Sorry, Brazil.  There’s only room for one “World’s Greatest Team” in Landover, and you ain’t it.

People like to talk about Brazil like they are God’s gift to soccer.  I’d like to point out that they’ve only won 5 World Cups over the last 80 years.  For some perspective, the LA Lakers were recently crowned world champions of American basketball 5 times in a single decade (2000-2010).  Needless to say, I’m not impressed, Brazil.  And for the record, I’m not a Lakers fan either.  Go Clippers!

Look, it’s not like I HATE Brazilian soccer.  I like Neymar’s bad haircuts as much as anyone.  But when your team’s Wikipedia page says it’s a “common quip” about soccer that “the English invented it, the Brazilians perfected it”, I think you may have an arrogance problem.  The recent comments on Messi from Brazil’s greatest player ever, Pele, only confirm this diagnosis.  While I agree with Pele that Lionel Messi is not the world’s greatest player right now (it’s Landon Donovan, of course), he’s dead wrong that Messi can’t compare to Neymar – unless, of course, we’re still talking about bad haircuts.

Mohawk plus rat tail? Come on, Neymar. You’re no Brek Shea.

And for all their accolades, it’s worth noting that Brazil hasn’t been entirely flawless as a soccer nation.  In 1950, Brazil had the honor of hosting the first World Cup since World War II began.  They made it to the final, facing Uruguay in Rio De Janiero, needing only a draw to be crowned world champions.  The ensuing 2-1 loss they suffered still stands as one of the biggest upsets in soccer history, and is known in Brazil to this day as the “fateful final”.  32 years later, Brazil was eliminated in the World Cup quarterfinals at the hands of Italy, another massive upset known today as “the Sarrias Disaster” (for the stadium the match was played in).  Here’s an idea for a saying: “England invented soccer, but Brazil perfected choking at it”.  It’s not really true, but whatever.  We’ll see if it catches on.

Losing Brazil Fan

Brazil may win a lot, but it’s important to remember that sometimes, they lose. Like on May 30, 2012!

Here’s the breakdown:

Statistics sez: The USA and Brazil have met 16 times before, according to FIFA’s website.  The results are sure to bring a smile to any USA soccer fan’s face: we have a 1-0-15 record against Brazil.  Yes, you read that right.  WE’VE BEATEN BRAZIL!  Based on our prior history, the USA has a 1/16 chance of beating Brazil on May 30.  For some perspective, this website puts the odds of “being injured by a chain saw” at roughly 1/4500.  That means the USA is about 280 times more likely to beat Brazil than the likelihood of me being injured by a chain saw.  As a person with sweaty hands and little knowledge of power tool safety procedures, I’d say I’m pretty damn likely to be injured by a chain saw at some point in my life – so I’m liking the USA’s odds in this one.

Chainsaw Massacre

The only thing being massacred on May 30 will be Brazil’s defense, with Clint Dempsey as the chain saw, and Jurgen Klinsmann as the crazy guy. On an unrelated note, I’d imagine a high percentage of self-inflicted chainsaw injuries come from holding it above your head, like so.

What I’m eating: According to Know Thy Enemies’ Brazilian correspondent (spoiler alert: it’s Wikipedia), the national dish of Brazil is feijoada – a stew made from black beans, pork, and beef, cooked over low heat in a clay pot.  It’s usually served with white rice and deep-fried banana.  Although that admittedly sounds delicious, it’s not my job to support Brazil by eating their food.  No, it’s my job to support the good ol’ USA by eating a crappier, Americanized version of Brazil’s food.  So here’s my plan: a can of off-brand franks-n-beans, microwaved in a plastic bowl and served atop a slice of white bread and a deep-fried twinkie.  Bonus points since this meal would fulfill the daily caloric requirements of an entire favela.

What I’m drinking: Brazil’s national cocktail is the caipirinha – made by combining cachaça (Brazilian rum), sugar, and lime.  The name of the drink is derived from the word caipira – the Brazilian Portuguese equivalent of “hillbilly”.  Please, Brazil.  You want a real hillbilly cocktail?  Try Hillbilly Gatorade – BBQ sauce, pickle juice, and a can of Miller High Life.  That’s what I’ll be choking down, suppressing my gag reflex like the USA defense will be suppressing Brazil’s attack.  True USA fans will do the same.

What I’m singing:  “Ego Check”, sung to the tune of “Yankee Doodle”.

Brazil’s good but way too vain, think they’re God’s gift to soccer
Pele says Neymar’s world’s best?  Please get Pele a doctor
Time to show Brazil they’re wrong, their glory years are all up
Brazil needs an ego check like Neymar needs a haircut

Bonus track!  “Neymar’s Haircut”, sung to the tune of “Dreidel Dreidel”.

Neymar, Neymar, Neymar, your haircut is so bad
Looks like you killed a hedgehog, and glued it on your head!
Please get this man a barber, he needs one oh so bad
He’ll never play like Messi with a hedgehog on hishead!

What to say to the Brazil fan next to you if, God forbid, they score: “Wow, that’s SO original of you to be a fan of Brazil’s soccer team.  Way to set yourself apart from the crowd!”

Until next time: Go USA!

  1. […] out Know thy Enemies for a more humorous take on the match […]

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