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Ogden Nash debunks Brazil

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 2 Whenever the World Cup comes around, you can bet your bottom dollar that many’ll
Plump for Brazil in this super-hyped, global quadrennial,
Supposedly playing their football with an infectious joie-de-vivre
Not found in any English text-book, German Textbuch or French text livre.
And of course the swaying of the Samba is an image that always lingers,
Though doubtless Craig Revell-Horwood would have a lot to say about the positioning of the fingers.
And the first thing people want to know when the opening ceremony has come and gone
Is “When is the Brazil match on?”
And they sit down with their lagers to watch those Gods-with-miraculous-skills-anointed
And are invariably disappointed.
Those of us of a certain vintage remember a hazy, crackling grey and white tellay
On which we first glimpsed Jairzinho, Tostao, Gerson and Pele
And marvelled at their flamboyant skill
And the ease with which they beat very good players from other countries at will.
They didn’t just play with the ball, they seemed to own it.
It really was football as we had never known it.
And to the detriment of the current crop of Brazilians,
We will never forget their forefathers’ brilliance
In much the same way that the English players all seem to come off worst
At the mere mention of Moore and Stiles and Charlton and Hurst.
To be fair, now and again, a Brazilian team will ratch it up a few degrees
(I’m thinking mailnly of the eighties team that included Junior and Socrates)
Or a Ronaldo or a Ronaldinho will come along
To lead the faithful in song,
But mostly the football never leaves up to the hype,
For modern footballers of every nation all seem to revert to type.
Rivelinho and Clodoaldo would never have chased after referees brandishing imaginary reds;
Pele and Gerson would not receive slight slaps on the back and go down clutching their heads;
And can you, for one second, imagine Carlos Alberto rolling over
Nineteen times in the clover,
If somebody breathed on him too hard
In the hope of the perpetrator receiving a yellow card?
These days, there are many, many millions
Still caught up in the hype surrounding the Brazilians,
And to be fair to them, God bless their resilience,
But in reality, there are several other teams,
Better qualified to serve up the football of our dreams.

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Notes

Before someone points out that the poem doesn’t scan very well, Ogden Nash was an American poet famous for (deliberately) going to extreme lengths to produce a ridiculous rhyme at the end of the line. In order to achieve this, he’d quite easily have a line with six syllables coupled with one of sixty syllables. I don’t pretend this poem comes anywhere near Nash’s genius.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/ogden-nash-debunks-brazil/?shared=email&msg=fail