Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The real reason Brazil lost
By now, you've probably heard the experts break down what went wrong for Brazil in yesterday's humiliating World Cup semi-final loss to Germany - the main themes being incompetent defending, lack of leadership and too much emotion improperly channeled. Here's my non-expert analysis on another Brazilian shortcoming: too pretentious, especially when it comes to the longstanding tradition of referring to their players by one name only.
I don't disagree that the legendary likes of Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Neymar are instantly recognizable by their first names, but go down the roster a little further and you'll find Fred, Jo, Oscar and Hulk. These are not household names on a global scale.
First of all, if Hulk was in the Brazil lineup yesterday, why didn't he call in Iron Man, Flash and the Mighty Thor as reinforcements before the game got out of hand? Fred and Jo are horrible monosyllabic soccer names. They sound like two guys you'd go bowling with more than they sound like world class soccer players. Mention Oscar to me and I automatically think Bert and Ernie, who probably wouldn't have done much worse against Germany than Fred and Jo fared.
There are but a handful of professional athletes in all of North America who resonate on a first name only basis - Sid, PK, Lebron, Carmelo, Tiger, Phil, Peyton, Eli, Miggy...and that's about it. When the entire roster of one country's national soccer team bestows single name stature upon themselves, it's the height of presumption.
For KIC Country Sports, I'm Ted.