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Justice


I am not a horrible person, despite what you may read about me on Twitter or elsewhere. But I did thoroughly enjoy the complete mauling of Brazil that Germany handed them yesterday. Why? Because for me, it was justice. Or at least Karma. I don’t usually enjoy a rout, it’s not good sport. But I enjoyed this one because of all of the unsporting behavior of Brazil’s players, federation, and even fans this World Cup. Their sense of entitlement knew no bounds, and even more than Uruguay’s horrific support of Suarez’ insane behavior or some of the very frightening referee decisions that impacted this tournament (like Dzeko's goal wrongly called offside), Brazil ruined what has otherwise been an amazing World Cup to me. So judge me if you must, but I thought that yesterday’s semifinal was justice.

When you start out like this, Karma will come back to haunt you


There are those who accuse people of diving, or going to ground easily, and then there is actual diving that can be legitimately proven. And Brazil were not alone, getting the penalty call for Fred in the opening game of the tournament. Just ask Arjen Robben, he confessed to diving. But you must confess that Brazil did more than their fair share. Embellishing is not as easy to prove, but if you could, you would have to look no further than the yellow and green jerseys of the host team in any one of their matches this year. They fouled more than most teams, too, but relatively few of their fouls were called. Again, this is not just speculation, there is video evidence of repeated contact. But they were also guilty of appealing to the ref for anything and everything that they didn’t like. It was disgusting. They were so much better than that.

However it reached an embarrassing level of douchebaggery in the match vs. Colombia, where the ref reluctantly handed Thiago Silva a yellow card for an infraction so blatant even he couldn’t ignore it. That was Silva’s second of the tournament, which meant he would be suspended for the semifinal. It was also the match where Neymar was fouled by Zuniga and had to be stretchered off, later learning that he had fractured a vertebra in his back. But less memorable was the sheer brutalizing of the team who actually came to play football by the Brazilian Brute Squad™, and the way the referee turned a blind eye to so many fouls. Or how the referee did not send Cesar off but instead simply gave him a yellow. And you would think that with all of those advantages and the win, Brazil would be content having earned their semifinal berth so shamefully.

Any other team's keeper would have been sent off for this. Certainly Milan's has been.

But no. Despite all of these injustices, Neymar called for a ban on Zuniga. And so did his teammates. And their federation. Not unlike the way Uruguay united behind their player and his horrific behavior, Brazil united behind Neymar despite video replays showing there was nothing unusual about Zuniga’s challenge. And despite Zuniga’s sincere apologies, too. Also despite the fact that Neymar is already up and walking again, and will play football much, much sooner than many other players injured in the tournament by challenges that were actually out of the ordinary. Or all of the players who stayed home from Brazil with injuries much, much more severe than his. Disgusting.

But that wasn’t enough. Silva’s yellow cards were both absolutely warranted. In fact, you are more likely to review the tapes to see he might have deserved more rather than less. But that didn’t stop the Brazilian federation from lodging a formal appeal of his suspension. Van Persie didn’t lodge an appeal, neither has anyone else that I know of who earned a suspension in this tournament. Brazil didn’t even have a leg to stand on, they were just trying to cheat the system.

Thiago Silva and his Neymar propaganda hat were powerless to help stop the wheels of justice

Why the team with the 12th man in every match, who had been favored by the referee decisions in every match, and didn’t even have to qualify for the tournament would ever need any more favors, I will never know. But it was disgusting. Like when Barcelona didn’t like the result of a match with Milan and lodged a formal complaint with UEFA that we didn’t water the pitch. Or any of their other entitled shenanigans that have been so instrumental to their success. Only Milan never really got any justice for that.

Colombia or any of Brazil’s other opponents didn’t really get any justice for Brazil’s douchebaggery in their matches, either. They just got sent home. But Brazil’s complete and utter humiliation in their semifinal match was a form of justice for football and for this World Cup. It showed that they had been too busy whining and complaining and asking for more handouts when they should have been working on their game. It showed how dependent they were on just a couple of players and how mediocre their football actually was when the playing field was finally leveled. SeƱor Rodriguez, who had made such a mess of the Italy-Uruguay match, was unable to help them when they choked that hard against a team who actually just focused on the football, worked together and played well. Thank you, Germany. This match renewed my faith in the saying “Cheaters never prosper.” And if that makes me a horrible person, so be it. But I found a delicious serving of justice in this match, and I will savor it through the many other injustices that unfortunately plague the beautiful game.


This post inspired by the music of She Wants Revenge