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Monday, April 22, 2024

Humor: Amid pandemic, Brazil loses 7-1 to President Bolsonaro

A defeat to exceed the embarrassment of the nation’s 2014 loss to Germany?

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil suffered what was arguably the most humiliating and catastrophic defeat in its footballing history, losing 7-1 on home soil to Germany. Star forward Neymar was ruled out after fracturing a vertebra in his spine in the previous match. Six years later, Brazil finds itself hosting a match against COVID-19, an even more formidable foe than Germany (Germans might beg to differ, especially their chancellor). But luckily, this time around, Brazil’s new star player, President Jair Bolsonaro, is fit to lead his nation to victory, despite having fractured his frontal lobe (and, of course, having been stabbed a few years back). The Aggie’s play-by-play commentators Pelle A. Baipplae and Comán Tater were in Brazil to tell us about this high-profile sporting event.

Live match text:

0’ Kick Off: First half begins. Coronavirus enters Brazil’s half, with the first cases coming from wealthy people traveling abroad. But the virus is now passing with great fluidity and making its way into the final third, leaving Brazil’s crowded, low-income favelas wrongfooted as it breezes toward the penalty area with great efficiency.

10’ Corner, Coronavirus. Conceded by Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro told to defend the near post — fails to heed these tactical instructions, minimizing the threat of an opposition goal. Claims without evidence that Brazil’s state governors are manipulating the number of coronavirus cases for political reasons.

11’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 1. President Bolsonaro with an own goal from point blank range. By thinking offensively and not being where he was supposed to be, Bolsonaro managed to deflect an opposition shot into his own goal. Bolsonaro argued that conceding a few goals does not matter when the economy — a good offense — should be prioritized over a good defense: “I’m sorry, some people will die, they will die, that’s life. You can’t stop a car factory because of traffic deaths.”   

23’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 2. Can you believe that? It’s Bolsonaro with another own goal, saying that a “little flu,” a “measly cold” can’t hurt him. Bolsonaro adds that Brazilians can be dunked in raw sewage and won’t “catch a thing.” 

24’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 3. Wow! That’s a hat-trick of own goals for the president! And he’s out there snubbing social distancing by shaking hands with his fans in a large crowd. Don’t they know he’s sabotaging their own team? Wait, what’s that? Did he just wipe his nose

26’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 4. Bolsonaro again! Unbelievable! Despite shortages of large-scale testing, hospital beds and crucial medical supplies, Bolsonaro refuses to be a team player. He did, however, tell his fans that “God is a Brazillian, the cure is right there.”

29’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 5. It’s only getting worse for Brazil….Bolsonaro seems oblivious to how the virus could, and already is, impacting Brazil’s indigenous populations.

45’+1’ Half Time. First Half ends. Brazil 0, Coronavirus 5. Yikes.

45’ Substitution. Substitution, Brazil. Going into the second half, Bolsonaro has made the decision to fire his health minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, for contradicting him by urging people to obey social distancing measures. Bolsonaro has brought Nelson Teich off the bench to replace Mandetta and his harmful defensive tactics. Teich is an oncologist who supported Bolsonaro’s presidential campaign, of course. Luckily, with Bolsonaro’s abdication of responsibility, reports suggest that gangs and organized crime have stepped up to enforce quarantine measures and distribute supplies in the favelas in the government’s place.

69’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 6. Bolsonaro’s supporters are now protesting the quarantine measures by forming a motorcade to block access to hospitals in São Paulo. 

79’ OWN GOAL! Brazil 0, Coronavirus 7. Bolsonaro uses an executive order to overrule the state governors defying him by enforcing social distancing. Brazil’s Supreme Court throws it out. Bolsonaro reacts by holding a rally, however, and, while coughing, calls for a “self-coup” in which the military would seize power and end the quarantine. This could be a disastrous defeat for Brazillian democracy.

90’ GOAL! Brazil 1, Coronavirus 7. Brazil claws one back as the nation’s Supreme Court authorizes a corruption and obstruction of justice investigation into Bolsonaro for allegedly interfering with federal police probes. But this is little more than a consolation goal — a political crisis would likely weaken the effectiveness and cohesiveness of Brazil’s federal and state responses to the pandemic.

90’+2’ Full-Time. Brazil 1, Coronavirus 7. Bolsonaro forces the ref to officially blow the final whistle, but he unofficially knows the coronavirus is still a threat to his people. Yet, as all the Brazil fans leave the stadium in body bags, he continues to dribble down the pitch and strike the ball into the back of his own net.

Written by: Benjamin Porter— bbporter@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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