|Do like Dunga, don't use crack.|
Flamengo won the first turn of the tournament (Taça Guanabara)with a lovely free kick by the buck-toothed wonder, who has already paid back the investment through shirt sales. This brings me to the first of the C-words that start off this post: Craque. In Brazilian Portuguese, Craque refers to someone who is really, really good at something, usually football. The stars of the Brazilian national team are, obviously, Craques. However, the drug crack is pronounced in exactly the same way. In the lead up to the World Cup a group of friends in Matto Grosso do Sul were displeased with then-coach Dunga's team selection. They pooled their money, rented the above bilboard, making a wholesome statement while at the same time crticizing Dunga.
The surprise of the tournament was that Gaucho's was that his free kick hit the back of the Boavista net. Not Vasco, not Fluminense, but Boavista F.C. from Saquarema, about 200 km East of Rio. Four years ago Boavista did not exist. It was bought by businessmen who are very open about their plans for their team: they want to develop and sell players to larger clubs all over the world. This is the same logic behind Traffic's investment in the Nova Iguaçu team, which did not have a single player over the age of 23 (and whose uniforms are suspiciously like the Carolina RailHawks). The surprise development in this year's tournament is that the traditionally smaller teams are having more success than usual. This is attibutable in part to Vasco's horrible start to the year but also to the changing economy of football in Brazil.
|John Carioca, keeping it real|
In addition to the 30 new cameras installed this week, we got a look at the new Carnaval mascot today: John Carioca. He will apparently be handing out pamphlets in English, getting robbed on Copacabana Beach, and getting arrested for peeing on buildings in Lapa. I'm not sure where to begin dissecting John Carioca as an anthropological subject (must all tourists must be pasty white men with big ears with smiling gostozinhas at their side?) and am hoping that some comments will be forthcoming.
There should be a new look website coming soon. You have hopefully noticed the jump to www.geostadia.com so reset your favorites. I've got John Caroica working overtime on this, so stay tuned for some marvelous photos!