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Soccer Politics and The Warhol (Fifteen Minutes) Effect

Brazil Soccer WCup Brazil Germany

Source: Diário do Centro do Mundo

By: Paulo Nogueiro, journalist and founder

Translation:  C. Brayton

There will no doubt be intense speculation about the political meaning of the thrashing Brazil took from Germany.

The more apocalyptic of these comments are born of a sudden change in the interest of the parties in favor of reforming the system [FIFA] as it stands.

From this point of view, the defeat will lead Brazilians to take out their suffocating anger on Dilma in October.

Social scientist Roberto da Matta was among the first to voice this concern.

In an interview with the BBC, he said that failure in the tournament would “make Brazilians pay more attention to social conditions in Brazil, such as inflation and slow growth

By “Brazilians” da Matta means that Brazilians should, to put it simply,  not vote for Dilma.

“Germany Saved Brazil from the Workers Party,” wrote minor-party candidate Levy Fidelix on Twitter.

This is a classic triumph of hope over despair. It also represents a brutal underestimation of the Brazilian people, imagining them as mere spectators susceptible  to the excitement of a major sporting event, even when that event is is the World Cup.

The typical reaction to the 7 x 1 rout came from the camera of a photographer who captured the overwhelming disappointment of a fan. The photo went viral as a symbol of national mourning.

The man was dressed like a traditional gaucho, with the mustache of the Barão do Rio Branco, eyes downcast and clutching a replica of the Cup

His name was Clóvis Fernandes, member of a group called “Gauchos for the Cup.”  He has followed the national team since 1990 and calls himself “the twelfth player” [on the field.

At a certain moment, he saw that the gesture of holding up the trophy was attracting photographers and this image was spectacularly on display inside the stadium.

It did not take announcer  Clóvis to rebound from the mighty shock, however. A Globo remote connection inside the stadium showed the gaucho handing over the effigy to a young German fan.

On Facebook, the photo was posted with the following caption:

«Take the Cup. You deserve it (…)  Gluckwunsche» («Thank you» in German.)

And yet the immense sadness among the sporting establishment and fandom tends not to linger for long — not much more time that victory celebrations, in fact.

Let us imagine that Brazil won the title match on Sundary. One or two days later, the atmosphere of constant revelry would begin to fade away — as the problems of real life face from people’s minds in the face of the day to day.

Work, health, family, bills to pay: It is life as it is lived, every day and not during the ephemeralhalf-time of a Cup match. .

At the moment, Dilma enjoys an enviable advantage, but much can happen during the election, of course.

Changes in the electoral landscape post-Cup, however, will not be forthcoming. Once again, our mustached gaucho — I mean Clóvis, not national team coach Felipão – may serve as an excellent of how fickle fandom can be, in both positive and negative ways.

Whatever the voting machine records, the result will not be the fruit of the afternoon when Germany obliterated Brazil.