Let’s talk about Brazil 2014 for a minute

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I know, I know. We’re more than a year away and it’s already in the news too much. But allow me to share an anecdote from earlier in the week. A friend of mine is Brazilian. I asked him if he thought I should go to the World Cup. He laughed and said a lot of people have been asking him. His response:

“I asked them a question: ‘Do you want to go to Brazil or do you want to go to a World Cup?’ If they say, ‘I want to go to the World Cup,’ I say, ‘Go to the next one.’ If they say, ‘I want to go to Brazil,’ I say, ‘Go some time that’s not during the World Cup.'”

Personally, I’m inclined to agree with him. The World Cup is a tremendous experience. Everyone should go to one in their lifetime if they are lucky enough to have the means. But I’m not sure Brazil is the right one, especially when we continue to get articles like this one on ESPN.com that reports on fan violence:

Research carried out by sports paper Lance! last year revealed that 155 people were killed by football-related violence in Brazil between 1988 and 2012, and 103 of the incidents involved firearms — a clear sign of the criminal element within many groups. The total of arrests made in relation to the deaths, meanwhile, stood at a pitiful 27. It is not difficult to see why some members of these groups consider themselves to be above the law.

Yes, that’s dramatic and cherry-picked, but it still happens. And yes, they said the same thing about South Africa and South Africa went fine for the most part. But I’m worried about the crush of people, the inadequate infrastructure, and the general mood.

I don’t know. Are you going to go? I’m genuinely interested in hearing the opinions. I’m of two minds. I just don’t know. I gotta say, I hear Russia is nice…