A Cup of Russia

Obscure Blogger Breaks
Silence About World Cup

Many readers – ok, three – have asked about Colltales’ lack of World Cup coverage this year. Flattered that they even care to ask, I can only offer that I’m a lazy bone by nature. Deep down though I could come up with a corollary of excuses to justify my apathy.
Like, this team doesn’t make my heart beat faster (a lie); it doesn’t hold a candle to past Brazilian soccer players (that’s actually relative); their win will boost a terrible government (it always does). The reality, however, is that when they step on the pitch, I lose my mind.
I’m sorry that Germany is out, after what they did to the game, and to us, four years ago in Brazil. Their fine display of football had the rare quality of matching their generosity off the grass. The community that hosted them won’t forget their dignity, and donations, for long.
Also, despite my little faith, I’d hoped for a rematch of their 2014 7×1 thrashing of the home team. The upside for Brazilians, though, is that their premature exit represented a big relief: Brazil’s unmatched five-times world title record will remain unchallenged for another four years.
Apart from them, all teams expected to get this far, have made it into the round-robin stage. On its twisted way, the cup is a predictable affair. Past champions Argentina, England, France, Spain, and Uruguay are still pretty much alive, at least until next week. Can’t wait.

THE TEAMS, THE GAME & EVERYTHING
By far, everybody’s sentimental favorite seems to be Mexico, this time around – albeit there’s a place in my heart for Japan too. They’ve been playing with gusto, and Sweden aside, are hot for a first title. Plus, they play next, and are always reeling to beat, Brazil. You’re on.
Up to now, the best game was the early thriller Portugal 3×3 Spain. And Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo has the edge over Argentine Messi and Brazilian Neymar as MVP. That can change but it’s unlikely. It may not be feasible but a Portugal versus Mexico final would be great.
Speaking of coverage, the media has been predictably biased and disappointingly sparse. News organizations, which have spend lots of ink demonizing Russia, seem set on not showing the country’s so-called human side, as it’s customary in this sort of world class sports event.

THE MYSTIQUE OF THE YELLOW JERSEYS
Disgusting displays of hate and racism happened too, but none from host Russians. Scenes of ugly sex abuse of female fans and reporters, burning of country flags, and xenophobic celebrations went viral and caused the appropriate repulse around the world.
But I daydream, sort of. Despite FIFA’s ingrained corruption, referee mistakes, fake injuries, and some boring games, the cup always manages to thrill those, like me, helplessly hooked on its appeal. My, I even consider those world titles my own personal achievements.
I grew up with Pelé, Garrincha, Gerson, Rivelino, Jairzinho, Sócrates, Zico, Falcão, Renato Portalupi, Careca, Romário, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Kaká, – and now, the pickings become slim – Marcelo, Dani Alves, and, fine, Neymar, and Coutinho.
I can’t help it, I’m lucky that way and yes, you may hate me for it. So when friends say they’re rooting against Brazil, I tell them (more)
__________
Read Also:
* Grace Under Rain
* Out of This World (Cup)
* Cold Cups II Continue reading

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Going Under

As the Ice Melts & the Water Rises,
Some Think It’s All About Business

Where many see a loss, a few see an opportunity. Such a sacrosanct business tenet may not find enough apologists, though, when it comes to climate change. While that sort of discussion is bound to become overheated, the glaciers of the world, well, haven’t you noticed? they’re still melting.
Greenland’s been so far the poster nation for the changes: while warming waters are ruining its fishing industry, they’re also opening its receding real estate for mineral exploration. In the Pacific, however, entire islands are literally going under. Guess what will happen to their populations.
The environmental impact of our presence on this planet seems to be accelerating at a pace with our own demographic explosion, and daily heavy use of harmful pollutants. What few can safely predict is whether we’ll be able to catch up with the transformations before they crush us.
Since they’ve become faster in the past fifty or so years, all our prediction models are essentially speculative. That makes easy for climate-change deniers to jump at every opportunity whenever a faulty data, or an overzealous approach, may rush to a conclusion that no one, not even them, would like to face in the near future.
Thing is, when it comes to a large but limited, complex but enclosed Continue reading

Seconds to None

Does This Tax
Make Me Look Fat?

According to the World Hunger Organization, 925 million people went to bed starving last year, including 13 million American children.
But before you drop your fork and choke with this opening slice of grim reality, we assure you, this post is not about that.
You wouldn’t care to go around beating about the bush, anyway, and most people would rather have seconds from the today’s special: rampant obesity in developed societies.
For despite all those stats about hunger, and the medical risks and social stigma associated with overeating, our collective girth keeps on growing.
Again, why preach to the already stuffed? That business Continue reading