In a Game Neither Side Wanted to Play, Brazil Didn't Want to Play It More
If there was any shred of doubt that Brazilian football has become rotten to the core, the Netherlands quickly dispelled it.
If anyone clung to the notion that Thiago Silva's absence from the embarrassment that was the Seleçaos' performance -- or lack of it -- against the Germans, it vaporized with the wave of a hand.
And it was more of a pull than a wave, as Brazil's captain was found to be completely inadequate in marking the fleet Arjen Robben, pulling him down in the box during the third minute. That's right, it didn't take Silva long at all to display the same lack of intensity and purpose that his mates virtually trademarked in the semi-final.
Robin van Persie converted from the spot, and the tone was well and truly set.
Daley Blind's marker provided yet another example of Brazil's defense in disarray. The Dutch attackers had time to check their social media accounts before taking action:
The Brazilians are in a shambles and have been for some time. It's taken this spell of schadenfreude for the blind to finally see it.
They've gotten calls for so long because they are Brazil. They've been allowed liberties for so long because they are Brazil. The media lazily bestow a laurel and hardy reverence upon them because ... well, enough said. It's easier to package the past than to realize the present.
In the end, the Seleçaos are just another big brand operation run by a symbolic dude from Oz who hides behind a curtain pulling levers that haven't done anything for far too long. For North Americans, this phenomenon is familiar. Just think NCAA football pre-season rankings as Exhibit No 1.
For everyone else, recall a dysfunctional France in 2010.
The Brazilians will be back, but this time, they'll have to earn it. Just like everyone else.