June 19, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 8
Interviews in the morning, a game in the afternoon
SAO PAOLO, Brazil - You learn to pace yourself at the World Cup.
Well, within reason.
There are plenty of surprises that are foisted upon everyone, some twists and turns that you don't see coming.
With a 9 a.m. departure for the U.S. training camp, I didn't to forgo my morning exercise, 30 minutes on a recumbent bicycle. As it turned out, it was paid back to me later in the day, waiting from the train station to Arena de Sao Paulo with a nice long walk at a brisk pace, including an incline that tested out my leg muscles.
For yours truly and many U.S. writers and photogs, it was a doubleheader of a day.
In the morning we visited the USA camp, where we spoke to Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson in roundtable discussions. The "big" news of the day was the official announcement that striker Jozy Altidore would miss Sunday's game with Portugal in Manaus with his hamstring strain. I wrote a quick story and posted it on BigAppleSoccer.com as fast as possible because 15 minutes later we were on the media bus.
The second part of the day was the Uruguay-England match, which turned out to be a classic, with Luis Suarez and the South Americans winning, 2-1.
It was supposed to be a high of 63 degrees, but it was 53 degrees at the stadium. Fortunately, I packed a long-sleeve shirt and had a light jacket. I could have used a sweater.
The Sao Paulo media center was a conglomeration of nationalities, culture clashes and amazing sights and sounds. Some members of the media have no manners and some think they are God's gift to the planet. By and large, most of the media are pretty decent, except that we have to get from here to there in a rush.
As with any World Cup, there was plenty of unprofessional conduct, as U.S. media people know it, going on.
When Colombia won on Thursday, I could not count the number of media people who cheered loudly. When Uruguay completed its 2-1 defeat of England, there was cheering in the media tribune.
Shameful and embarrassing.
Yes, I know it's not my culture or style. But in the U.S. you don't do that. That would mean the confiscation of your press credential, or at least a warning.
With the proliferation of cell phones, it has caused further madness because many reporters and photographers walk slower than ever because they are reading cellphones.
Because I don't want to incur any more roaming charges on my mini-computer, err, I mean my cell phone. I have kept it on Wifi mode, unless, of course, there is an emergency.
Many times the wireless doesn't work well throughout the hotel, including on my floor. So, on the way to breakfast, I walk by the U.S. Soccer media room and use its superior Wifi to see what e-mails I missed overnight.