Though to be fair that should be 'brazuca' with a small 'b' or @brazuca with a sodding Twitter account. Rise seas. Fall skies. For this is where civilisation ends...
After Zlatan lost the duel with his nemesis, the World Cup will be without a monstrous ego (with a sprinkling of insecurity). We'll be saved some of the tiring nonsense...
For a pastime so obviously irrelevant and so fundamentally silly, football has managed to accrue considerable power over the years. Whether you're an oligarch looking to dry-clean your politically vulnerable profits, an emirate looking to distract the world from your pre-emancipation labour laws, or just a good ol' fashioned down-home family of asset-stripping value-sucking identity-blanching chancers, football is the sport for you.
But it's bigger than that. Harold Wilson always denied that England's loss to West Germany in the 1970 World Cup contributed to his election defeat just four days later, but years afterwards Denis Healey's diaries revealed that the Prime Minister had been fretting about the impact a footballing loss would have on the nation. Football gets everywhere, seeps into the least likely of cracks. It brings about break-ups. It forces nations to war.
More important than all of that, football messes with the very words themselves. It's a shame Orwell hated the game so much, since it could have really helped with the technical bits of Nineteen Eighty Four.
Football does various things with words. It keeps endangered ones alive ('aplomb'; 'trusty') and repurposes others ('go down'; 'loyal'). And, very occasionally, it completely changes their meaning.
On the off-chance you missed this, a recap. The word 'literally' was recently redefined by the lexicographical elite that determine such things. No longer does it just mean 'In a literal manner or sense; exactly', which is what it actually, literally means, but it is also 'used to acknowledge that something is not literally true...for emphasis or to express strong feeling', which is quite literally what it doesn't mean. Obviously, football wasn't credited, but let's be honest. Without the sterling work of Jamie Redknapp and others, could 'literally' have grown beyond its humble origins - that constrictive and accurate definition - and achieved the perfectly zen status of being both itself and its own opposition? No it could not. Redknapp may be an unlikely Buddha, yes, but we mortal serfs cannot choose our own gurus, or their trousers.
As with 'literally', so with 'crisis'. The innocent non-football fan may have blithely assumed that 'crisis' means what it's always meant: a stage at which the course of future events is determined; a condition of instability or danger; a dramatic circumstantial or emotional upheaval; something else from a dictionary. Fools! Listen to football. Listen to the game. 'Crisis' now means 'loses two games in a row'. Or 'star striker is misquoted in a newspaper'. Or 'MAN PLAYING FOR BLUE TEAM WEARS RED HAT'.
The problem with 'crisis' is it's always been too damn flexible, too open to manipulation from the unscrupulous and the hysterical. Unlike more specific nouns that can assert themselves -that's not a watering can, that's a toucan, stop waving it at your petunias - poor 'crisis' is vulnerable to the hysterical, the opportunistic, and the plain unscrupulous. And if those words sound a lot like decent descriptions of football coverage, well, that's probably because that was the point of the paragraph.
Yes, 'crisis' has gone from a thing that might be selectively applied to a club in real, genuine, actual trouble, to a byword for any club that finds itself momentarily inconvenienced. Chelsea's Jose Mourinho was being cutely but obviously disingenuous when he referred crisis-seeking journalists to Syria - which didn't prevent overreaction, of course (LINK: http://twitter.com/johncrossmirror/status/381029432636358657) - but it's easy to understand where he was coming from. Yes, it's embarrassing to lose two games in a row, first to a team containing Gareth Barry, then second to a team from Switzerland, where foot-balling is the fourth most popular sport behind cheese-melting, alp-horning, and gold-hoarding. But the readiness with which the country's press leapt for the dreaded c-word, the other c-word, tells us something utterly horrifying. The word has become the object. The concept has become the monster. The idea has metastasized from the notional to the actual. The crisis is a thing, and it is loosed. It is a black cloud. It has tentacles.
English football exists in the fear of a perpetual crisis, for it knows that this once-innocuous noun is now a shady beast that stalks the highways and b-roads of the nation, searching for its next victims. Clubs can ward their doors against it (by winning), they can run from its attentions (by, er, winning), but it will find them eventually. Already Chelsea have felts its hot breath, David Moyes has only barely and temporarily fought it from the door, and Sunderland have woken up to find it happily sleeping at the foot of the bed. The Premier League exists in a permanent state of quivering dread, waiting for the slap of otherly suckers around the window, the sudden shadow in the window. The crisis is coming for your club. It already has your sanity.
I'd like to suggest to F365 that they have an Andi Thomas week (or month) where he writes every aritcle, in his style. Because that way we might get rid of Nicobellic for good. Perhaps he can find another website that is free to use, with other articles that he doesn't have to read, that he can also complain about in a pompous, up-his-own-arse, pr*ckish manner.- tk421