It's past midnight, and I've spent the day a bit lost and confused. I drank too much wine, I talked too fast and didn't really listen to people. Or, I didn't talk much at all, and didn't listen to what others were saying. I just waited for a decent time to call it a night. Is 9:30pm respectable enough? Is that too early to call it a night so I can get the day over with?
Brazil lost to the US, by one unanswered goal scored by Carli Lloyd in extra time. I know the words on my passport should have had me rooting for the US, but I felt no joy at this victory, and did no more at the match's finish than turn off the television.
I agree with Brazilian fans Hugo & Cibele's take (see comments to my last entry) on today's match. The US played a strong game, a strategic game, and were tireless. The match looked like a replay of the loss to Germany in the World Cup final - the opposition's impenetrable defense, Hope Solo taking on Angerer's position as the unbeatable keeper, then the waiting game - you know that lone, textbook goal is coming somewhere in the last twenty minutes or so. And there it was - USA 1/Brazil 0.
It was a soulless match. I don't know the answer to the question these kinds of games provoke - because if they suck the joy out of the room, they do put silverware on the mantle.
What was it Eduardo Galeano said? The story of football is a voyage from 'beauty to duty' and is today played by 'functionaries' who 'specialize in avoiding defeat.'
I wanted Brazil to take home the medal. It would have made for a better story. But perhaps this desire is about more than wanting a certain team to win - perhaps it expresses a longing for a world in which the "beautiful losers" win.
I shouldn't be so romantic. When we see Brazil's national women's team get the material support they deserve, we'll see them winning these final matches. I just hope that Brazil's football association takes this defeat as an incentive to honor the skill and passion these women bring to the game, by putting their resources into their training and competition program, and by developing the talents of those girls inspired by them. I fear though that some may see in this a confirmation of their patriarchal ambivalence towards the very idea of "Pele in skirts."