There have been other parties on this beach. Not just the annual Carnival bacchanal or the New Year’s fireworks, which are massive and can run ragged (as a friend here told me, “you watch the fireworks and then run home so nothing bad happens to you”). Copacabana beach, the “billion dollar crescent”, as the New York Times called this strand fifty years ago, has hosted everyone from the Rolling Stones to Pharrell. Three million people showed up on its shore for Pope Francis last year, even more than that came for Rod Stewart a decade earlier. Five years ago, 100,000 people turned out just to celebrate the announcing of Rio as 2016 Olympic host—a party to celebrate a future party.
But it’s still worth appreciating the unique wilding that is Copacabana this month during the World Cup. The Argentines are camping, the Chileans are chanting, the Costa Ricans are weeping, the Brazilians are hustling, and everywhere are the Americans, baying and bro-ing. Kiosks sell Ruffles and Lucky Strikes and Prudence condoms while sidewalk touts shove apitos and off-label FIFA tchotchkes in your face. Beach cruiser bikes weave around clusters of flagthumpers on the swirled stone promenade. A Uruguayan takes off running to the west for no apparent reason. A naval warship lingers just offshore; police helicopters buzz the beach. The atmosphere is somewhere between Spring Break and the Fall of Saigon.
I’ll tell you what I’d do if I was in charge. First of all I’d tell Rooney to fuck off. You’re a muppet and you’re no good any more - fuck off back to old trafford and shag a granny you bald wanker. Then I’d shove in that rickie lambert fella - propa Englishman him - and I’d tell Adam lama…Adam lallama…that Southampton geezer to put the ball in the box onto lambert’s ‘ed and he can stick it in the net. Now, I wouldn’t play this continental system - you wanna play your 4-4-2 and I’d go to Paul scholes and I’d say - now I know you’re fucking old mate, but you’re still fucking quality and your country needs you. Wham bang - we’d beat Uruguay like that, get a draw of them Italians - cos they’re still crafty - and we’d whallop Costa Rica or cosa Nostra, whatever they’re called. Then we’d beat whoever we face in the second round and quarters - the Germans in the semis - on penalties - then in the final we’d smack the shit out of Argentina like we did in the Falklands, win the fahkin World Cup.
—via an Englishman in New York: “I can guarantee you that up and down the country of my birth this evening [which was the evening of June 19), following England’s defeat [by Uruguay] this monologue was given by some fat, beer swilling tattooed up guy: (for the sake of it, read it in Ray Winstone’s voice but the accent will change depending on the city”
belatedly posting: World Cup Philosophy: Germany vs France - Existential Comics
via a remembrance of the just-departed Real Madrid legend, “Alfredo di Stéfano was one of football’s true trailblazers”:
As the architect of the Ajax revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s Rinus Michels is widely credited with inventing total football but the Blond Arrow had begun playing it two decades earlier. Attack, defence, goalscoring, goal prevention, goal creation and joining up the midfield dots, Di Stéfano could do it all…
via Marca: #LaPortada con la que rendimos nuestro particular homenaje a Di Stéfano #EternoDiStéfano”