A Cup of dreams and crazy realities
Declan Lynch finds a tragic flaw in the World Cup — the fact that it will eventually come to an end
You will have noted that there was no World Cup match on Friday. I should also point out that there will be no match on Wednesday and none on Thursday. We have reached that most delicate stage of the journey, just past the half-way point at which the stakes are getting higher, but the games are getting fewer. In exchange for the agony of enduring a whole day, or even two days in a row, without football, we are getting games of ever-increasing importance, with the possibility of extra time and penalties.
What we are losing in frequency, we are gaining in intensity. Which would sound like a reasonable trade-off, if we were dealing here with reasonable people, in a reasonable situation. But then there is not much reason left in the world, during the World Cup. At this particular stage of the global addiction, the viewers have the attitude of junkies who are told they can't have their drugs several times a day, but they can have a better class of drugs - being junkies they wonder why they can't have the better drugs several times a day, why indeed they can't have everything they want, all the time.
Yet there is logic in it too, a crazed logic perhaps, but one with a certain basis in reality. In the city of Manaus, deep in Amazonia, there is a stadium that was built for this tournament, for four football matches. It may eventually become a concert venue, on the other hand it may not.