June 30, 2014
All Roads Lead to Brazil (It’s Football Time!)
The US calls it “soccer,” the rest of the world calls it “football.” Whatever you call it, the World Cup is here!
It was just four years ago that fans around the world tuned into the matches and learned a new word: that noise-making phenomenon, the “vuvuzela.” In case you have missed the news for the last four years, Brazil is playing host to this year’s World Cup. We can only hope this means the drone of the vuvuzela will be replaced with the soft sounds of samba.
The “World Cup” is not just an event; it’s also a trophy
Named for the founder of the world football association, the Jules Rimet Trophy depicts two athletes, arms stretched upward, holding the world above them. It is wrought of solid 18-caret gold and measures 14.2 inches in height and weighs 13.6 pounds (also known as “36 cm” and “6.175 kg”). Before that design was introduced in 1970, the trophy depicted the winged figure of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, with her arms stretched upward holding a 10-sided cup. So in the early days, it really could be called a “cup.”
Brazil won the cup for the third time in 1970. According to the rules, this qualified them to keep it, so it was put on display at the Brazilian Football Confederation headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. The bullet-proof glass protecting the front of the cabinet did not stop thieves from prying open the back of the cabinet to steal the cup in 1983.
World Cup Fever
The cup had its greatest adventure when Brazil took it home in 1958. In those days, the winner was responsible for the cup until the next championship.
The team paraded the cup through the streets of Rio on a fire truck, past the presidential palace, and all the way to the Copacabana beach. The whole city went down to see it in the hands of such legendary players as Pelé, Bellini, and Garrincha. The cup was kissed and touched by the admiring throng, including Miss Brazil. The cup was never locked away in a safe that year. Miraculously, it was never lost or stolen during that time.
Now remember, at that time the cup was really a cup, nicknamed “o caneco” or “the mug.” All manner of beverage was poured into that cup, from “espumante” (a local sparkling wine) to “caninha Praianinha” (which translates to “my little girl from the beach”). Adoring fans drank those beverages from the cup…and many of them kissed it for good measure.
Nowadays, the cup is traveling through Brazil under tight security. And fortunately, now that it is no longer a cup, no one can drink from it. If only we could do something about the kissing.
Pickles Saves the Cup
Another time the cup was stolen was in 1966 during an exhibition at Westminster Central Hall in England. After seven days of searching, it was found wrapped in a newspaper under a suburban garden hedge in Upper Norwood, South London, by a dog named Pickles. You really can’t make this stuff up.
Brazil is near and dear to us at FairCom. Beyond responsibility throughout South America, FairCom Brazil is working on exciting development for our core product. Stay tuned for the latest new features…the Developers will be back to work as soon as the competition is finished.