Sports

Fighting for the Favelas

Fighting for the Favelas

Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro share how they have been affected by the World Cup

It’s a whole lot of confrontation, lots of head-on fighting, out in the open. Threats and lots of things they do. They throw garbage on your doorstep. They climb up the lamppost and cut the electricity while demolishing houses, and they don’t bother to replace it when they’re done. Or the sewage [that surfaces] when they break down someone else’s property—they leave it out in the open. They do everything in their power to pressure you so you hand over your house. Eleven families still live here. More than 100 left. The first land the state offered, they took off.

World Cup Preview, 2014

World Cup Preview, 2014

Anything less than a win will be seen as a failure. The last time Brazil hosted a World Cup, in 1950, they were overwhelming favorites but lost to Uruguay in the final, deeply wounding the national psyche. Brazil’s most famous playwright described it as “Our Hiroshima.” Moacir Barbosa Nascimento, the keeper whose mistake allowed Uruguay to score the winning goal, became a national pariah. Women would point him out to their children as “the man who made all of Brazil cry.”

Human, Not Too Human

The athletes are too big. How big? Between 1963 and 1983, the average NBA player grew an inch, from 6’6” to 6’7”, but his weight held steady at 211 pounds. Since then, along with yet another half-inch of height, he has packed on fourteen pounds of muscle. The change shows.

Mavericks

Mavericks

Life and death surfing

Surfers have the odd habit of saying “I drowned” when they mean “I almost drowned.” Drowning, after all, feels like almost drowning until it feels like nothing.

Episode 10: Sports

Episode 10: Sports

This month, the n+1 podcast does Sports, with Alice Gregory on the Mavericks surfing competition in Northern California (the subject of her essay in Issue 17); Lizzie Feidelson and Daniel Squire on the Merce Cunningham archives; and a conversation with Keith Gessen and Chad Harbach about sports, sports writing, and n+1‘s most recent softball game against the Paris Review.