I cannot say that I am a football fan, or that I know anything about the sport. I went to a couple of games in my early years and did not get taken by it. I played rugby and cricket and I love both games, even if the latter is invisible in the country where now I live. Still, I guess nothing is impossible in a world where half of England now wears Lycra and knights cycling champions.
Last night I watched Brazil’s 7-1 defeat in the Semi Final of the World Cup at the hands of Germany. I found it to be a painful experience. Four goals in six minutes destroyed the Brazilian team. It was a very real shock and utter humiliation for a country that prides itself on its soccer heritage. Football may be what Pele described as being “the beautiful game” but this was cruel, more so than F1 is in the modern age.
If an F1 team has a disastrous day the focus of the TV cameras is not on them. It is on the winners and in this respect F1 is a more benign sport. The losers are hidden away amongst the backmarkers and not transfixed like rabbits in the glaring spotlight. There may be newspaper “follow-ups” about an F1 team having a bad day, but it does not warrant the screaming headlines, even in Ferrari-mad Italy, the nearest comparison there is in racing to Brazilian soccer in terms of passion.
The humiliation in F1 is not restricted to one Grand Prix but is spread over weeks and months rather than being crammed into 90 horrible minutes.