What's buzzing:

Postcard from Rio: Brazil fans show pride, passion for team in peculiar locale

Eric Adelson
Yahoo Sports
Brazil fans gather in a food court to watch their national team play Mexico in the World Cup. (Yahoo)
.

View photo

Brazil fans gather in a food court to watch their national team play Mexico in the World Cup. (Yahoo)

RIO DE JANEIRO – America gave the world the Mall of America.

Brazil has given the world The Food Court of Futbol.

In an otherwise empty mall here in this usually-bustling city, three subway stops from the Maracana stadium, a mob of Brazilians gathered Tuesday afternoon to cheer on their national soccer team from a food court. Yes, a real food court, with Pizza Hut and Bob’s Burgers and a fried chicken joint. (Sorry, no Sbarro.)

Four enormous screens were hung from the center atrium, and scores of people came with horns and hats to watch and scream and fret together as Brazil played Mexico in the group stage of the World Cup. Many more fans were arrayed outside the court, on a long concourse leading into the atrium. Every Brazil chance was greeted by a food-tray-rattling roar. Every Mexico opportunity was greeted by tile-scraping chair legs and hands on heads.

There was hardly any food served during the match, which ended in a 0-0 draw. In fact, one of the stores didn’t have any cashiers. The remainder of the food service workers stood behind their counters, watching the game. So did a handful of mall cops. Two custodians sat with the fans.

The only three people not watching the game were a trio of tots: two boys and a girl playing underneath the diamond of movie screens. As the game went on, they started to hit and kick each other. No one minded or even noticed.

What they did notice was every Brazil rally, and the fans were crushed when Mexico goalie Guillermo Ochoa made the game’s defining save.

The entire scene was a terrific display of one of the most passionate fan bases on the planet.

After the disappointing ending, most of the fans left. Some stayed to discuss the match and rue the non-victory. Pizza Hut started to hum again, though it took a while to serve any pies.

The oven had been turned off.

More World Cup coverage:

View Comments (5)
  • Everton and Chelsea fined over player misconduct

    Everton and Chelsea fined over player misconduct

    Chelsea and Everton have both been fined 30,000 pounds for players' misconduct during their Premier League match last month at Stamford Bridge, the Football Association said on Monday. "The charge against Chelsea further alleged that their players … More »

    Reuters - 11 minutes ago
  • Villa must handle relegation dogfight pressure - Sherwood

    Villa must handle relegation dogfight pressure - Sherwood

    Aston Villa players must accept and cope with the pressure they are under as they battle to retain their Premier League status, manager Tim Sherwood said on Monday. Sherwood has overseen two defeats since taking the job and Villa lie second from … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago
  • Feyenoord faces racism case for fans' banana incident

    Feyenoord faces racism case for fans' banana incident

    UEFA has charged Feyenoord with racist behavior by fans who threw an inflatable banana on the pitch during a tense Europa League last-32 match against Roma. UEFA also charged Roma winger Adem Ljajic on Monday with ''provoking spectators'' when … More »

    AP - Sports - 32 minutes ago
  • Feyenoord charged over racist behaviour, missiles

    Feyenoord have been charged with racist behaviour and throwing of objects by their fans after last week's turbulent Europa League tie against AS Roma was interrupted, UEFA said on Monday. The Dutch club will also face disciplinary proceedings over … More »

    Reuters - 40 minutes ago
  • Figo backs FIFA presidential TV debate proposal

    Figo backs FIFA presidential TV debate proposal

    FIFA presidential candidate Luis Figo is willing to take part in a live televised date with his three rivals, the former Portugal forward said on Monday. British broadcasters BBC and Sky have suggested the hour-long debate which would also involve … More »

    Reuters - 49 minutes ago