The Copa America final looked like a classic in the making: stylish, steamrolling Argentina against an undermanned but still potent Brazil. Turned out to be sort of a soul-sucker, eh? Argentina didn't show up; Brazil did, chiefly in the middle of the park with studs showing. Well, it's a man's game after all, but if this is the new Brazil, look for various marketing entities to launch a desperate search for a new troupe of jogo bonito tricksters. Tackles from behind don't sell a lot of shirts.
Brazil was creative enough, in a thoroughly direct, ruthless way, on the three goals, but by and large it was a performance that said that Romance is Dead And We Are Here to Win the Fucking Trophy. Can't fault them too much. The referee was on top of just about all their transgressions, giving Argentina plenty of free-kick opportunities with which they accomplished nothing. Besides, it's a little unfair to expect Brazil to play like a whimsical crossbreed of Cirque du Soleil and the Harlem Globetrotters all the time. They are, after all, a football team.
Still, I hope some alternate dimension got the fully rocking samba/tango inferno that could have been.