For all of the good and bad of this year’s World Cup, thank you Brazil—The Monday Morning Realist


July 13, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; Germany celebrates after winning in the championship match of the 2014 World Cup against the Argentina at Maracana Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Every Monday morning, Section 215’s Akiem Bailum gives an in-depth and unfiltered look at all of the latest sports news in The Monday Morning Realist. You can follow Akiem on Twitter @AkiemBailum.

As the old saying goes, nothing lasts forever.

As another old saying goes, all good things in life must come to an end.

As another old saying goes, all things have a beginning or an ending.

Any more old sayings and at this point, Realists, I’ll be quoting Socrates and Aristotle (and I don’t mean Shaquille O’Neal either).

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has drawn to a close, and like many of these international events, there was a lot of drama, intrigue, heartbreak, elation, and eye-catching fans in the stands that have gone on to become viral superstars on these internets.

So, Realists, let’s take some time to thank this year’s host nation—Brazil. Any football aficionados had to know that a soccer-loving country as much as Brazil would seemingly be a pretty good fit for the world’s largest sporting event. How it was received by many in Brazil turned out to be another story.

Let’s cut to the chase—here are some things, good and bad, that we ought to be thanking Brazil for.

Thank you for the fact that an international sporting event on the scale of the FIFA World Cup was staged in a country like Brazil, with Rio de Janeiro as the centerpiece of the thing. If it’s one thing male sports journalists love, it’s hot women. Heck, if it’s one thing men in general love, it’s hot women and Brazil has plenty of them. So, as they weep somewhat with the fact that the World Cup in Brazil has drawn to a close, they have smiles on their faces knowing that they’ll be returning to Rio in a couple of years to cover the Summer Olympics.

Thank you for making the rest of the world realize that England is the international football version of the Dallas Cowboys—much ballyhooed and sky-high expectations, but in the end, their inner Tony Romo always seems to show itself.

Thank you for sending tabloids like The Sun in the United Kingdom and the Philadelphia Daily News in the states into total tizzies. After England lost to Italy in group play, the Sun’s headline was “The Italian Sob”. This could have been either a reference to the movie, The Italian Job, or the papers in London could have simply been calling them SOBs. At the same time, when Team USA (John Brooks) scored the winning goal against Ghana in group play, the Philly Daily News’ headline was “Johnny Futbol”. Exactly. Must I say more?

Thank you for the fact that this is the last World Cup that will be broadcast by ESPN. This isn’t meant to be a diss at Bristol unlike some of our previous musings about the four-letter network, Realists. ESPN did a great job in South Africa in 2010, and did just as good with Brazil this year even though the coverage seemed scaled back somewhat from 2010. Starting with the Women’s World Cup next year, Fox will take over World Cup rights, & they have them until 2022 in Qatar, for now.

Thank you, Brazilian national team, for getting blown out by Germany 7-1 in your semifinal match, then losing 3-0 against the Netherlands in your third place consolation match. A dear friend of mine on Twitter remarked that you could have used Tim Howard in your semifinal match vs. the Dutch. No—in your last couple of games in where you laid Cristo Redentor-sized eggs in front of your home fans, you needed about five Tim Howards…and maybe five Memo Ochoas as well.

Thank you Brazil 2014 for proving that you can get away with having a theme song for an international sporting event for your country—even when the primary artists on said theme song aren’t even from your country. I’m a fan of Jennifer Lopez, and will even listen to a Pitbull track or two on occasion, but sources told this Realist that the World Cup was not exactly being split between Little Havana in Miami and Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Just to satisfy the unwritten rule that all international sporting events should have a theme sung by someone from their country, I would have rather Neymar did the theme song.

Thank you FIFA for once again exposing the world (including the USA) how incompetent Sepp Blatter and your old boy’s network can be. Everyone seemed to forget as they were immersing themselves in the action that was taking place on the pitches that Brazil didn’t actually complete their stadia they had planned for the World Cup. They held up for the time it did, but they weren’t actually finished.

Thank you Brazil for exposing how incompetent of a nation you can be. My biggest problem with international sporting events like the World Cup and Olympics (which I support bidding for) is that they occur at times when sport seem to trump everyone else. While stadia get built, people in Brazil get forced out of their homes, all for the cause of prettifying a country to look good in front of the world. It may take a whole lot more than a month-plus of international footy action to prettify Brazil outside of its beautiful cities like Rio, Sao Paolo and Brasilia.

Thank you Brazilians for standing up in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, against a government that seemingly didn’t get it. This is Brazil—one of the most football loving nations in the world rebelling against hosting the World Cup. If this country’s citizens are rebelling against the FIFA corruption and shadiness that goes along with the thing, who will be next? After all, a man named Ricardo Teixeira (thankfully, no relation to Mark of the New York Yankees) was in charge of the thing and one of the stadia was named after Joao Havelange. Anyone who knows FIFA as much as I do, Realists, knows that Teixeira and Havelange are two of the most shadowy names in all of international football. That should say a lot.

So, to make a long column short, thank you very much Brazil for both the positive and negative that came out of this World Cup. We may have enjoyed this month, even though I don’t think I can say the same for your citizenry (and eventually towards the end, your national team), but thank you anyway. And as mentioned earlier, we’re already excited about coming back for the Olympics—an Olympics whose preparation who has once been lambasted by one IOC exec as the worst in history (and started rumors of a possible return to London, of all places, for 2016) and probably has more in Lausanne wishing they didn’t pass up Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive for the Christ of Redeemer Statue.

See you in 2016, somewhere. And to the Women’s World Cup, see you next year somewhere in Canada—on Fox in the States and CTV/TSN/RDS in Canada!

And as a side note, there is still discussion and debate within Zurich (FIFA) about possibly moving the World Cup in 2022 out of Qatar. Excessive heat, workers dying to build stadia, the absurdity of moving the event to the winter to avoid said heat (and upset TV broadcasters in the United States and Canada who will be all NFL and NHL, respectively, all the time by that time) are all making the powers that be in Switzerland think with at least a small modicum of sanity that they didn’t have in 2010 when they handed the ’22 Cup to Qatar on a silver platter. There was even a report that said that FIFA has thought about relocating 2022 to the US and Canada to be co-hosted by the two nations.

FIFA would be smart in relocating the 2022 Cup to the United States and Canada given that those are two of the few nations (the UK being another) that does not have to build a bunch of new “white elephant” stadia just to host an international sporting event the size of the World Cup. Plus, there is clearly a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Qatar with the building of these stadia.

For reasons within and outside of United States borders, FIFA relocating 2022 to the US and Canada would be another reason for many people around the World to say thank you.