Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
FIFA WORLD CUP FANS: SURVIVAL TIPS
Sao Paolo police advice to FIFA World Cup fans “Don’t scream.”
Telling soccer fans not to scream is like telling the Marlboro Man to quit smoking, Elvis not to gyrate, Miley Cyrus not to twerk. Soccer fans are born to scream. But, in this case in picturesque Sao Paolo, not screaming could save your life… while you’re getting mugged, which may happen, make that more than likely will happen… by Brazilian robbers.
The Sao Paolo police printed a brochure painting a picture of city life in Sao Paolo… you get robbed, you keep your mouth shut, you live. You go all crazy, scream at your muggers, as many have, then the muggers get hot tempered and shoot you. In other words, there’s not a policeman on every corner, so don’t expect them come to your rescue. It says so in their brochure.
You know what else it should say in their brochure? Don’t come. Don’t get robbed. Don’t get trampled by hundreds of thousands of protestors. Protestors not happy so much money is being spent on unfinished stadiums instead of social services. Don’t come to the half built stadiums where you may or may not get a ticket depending on how many seats are installed by match time. And if you do come, don’t walk around with fancy watches and bulging wallets. Also, don’t hit on the beautiful half dressed women on the streets, fantastically beautiful but also more than likely to be men… who will rob you.
In less than two weeks three million six hundred thousand fans will descend upon Sao Paolo for the FIFA World Cup, two hundred thousand of these from the USA. Here are some other things that may or may not be in the brochure: Travel in groups (we suggest 75), carry mugger money. Be ready to empty your pockets and have enough cash so the mugger doesn’t get mad. In other words, don’t insult him with petty cash. You can just as dead by being too cheap as you can by being too loud. Never say the Brazilian soccer team stinks. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to know the team song as well as the Brazilian anthem, and know how to hum them. Always be mindful your mugger is probably a soccer fan, a fervent one at that.
If your mugger wants you to play a game of hacky sack or juggle soccer balls, be ready to do so. Don’t insult his juggling ability, even if he’s lousy. Tell him he’s the best soccer juggler you’ve seen today and on top of the money he’s robbing from you, you’re going to give him a tip. It is best to tell your mugger in Portuguese but when you compliment him in their language try not to over accentuate the trills and the lilt. If you mention his gun, and you remark on the pearl handle, don’t ask where he got it.
We want to emphasize the part about not insulting the Brazilian soccer team. Fans in that country are very feverish about their teams. You may have heard about the Brazilian referee who got in a fight with a player, knifed the player then ended up stoned to death, drawn-and-quartered with his head on a stake. Two things to remember: Brazilian fans are very serious about their soccer. Brazilian muggers don’t like to be yelled at.
Other things to remember: Brazilians loved to be kissed on both cheeks. The best and most beautiful bananas in the world are from Brazil. Don’t tell your mugger his nose or any other appendage looks like a banana… no matter how pretty it is. And don’t forget to kiss your mugger… on both cheeks.
Another thing to remember: Don’t go.