A river of absurdly unnecessary metaphors, but a river never the less.
In order to concur with my Norman Maclean-esque friend I have to point out a few things for everyone sitting back in horror at the prospect of an all Euro final four, and all those gasping in pain at the absence of Brasilia.
It became pretty clear within 90 minutes that the Brazil we had all come to expect in World Cup play had stayed home, sending animatronic recreations to Germany in their place. It was like watching the Walt Disney Hall of Presidents, jerky, static and completely unlike their real life counterparts.
The cliche is that a team works like a well oiled machine. The only problem with using that cliche in soccer is that machinery doesn't do the beautiful game justice. Poets do not use drill presses. (Though, you might want to check with Brent (the real poet) on that one).
So the Hall of Brazilians survived Croatia, Australia and Japan (an average though not challenging dead eyed tour group) but it was clear that they were aging. In need of a visit from "imagineers" as it were. Their flaws failed to impress the rascally Ghanaians who wreaked havoc like toddlers in the Magic Kingdom until nap time came and they went to sleep. But it held no power over the disaffected French who sat back in teenager form snobbily dismissing all the squeaking hinges. (Are you sick of that metaphor yet?)
My point is, Brazil is not in the semi-finals because (as Brent pointed out) they didn't play well enough to earn a position in the semi-finals, neither did England (or flop happy Portugal for that matter, but that's for an angrier post). There's still some beautiful football to be played, and in order to have that happen in this World Cup (as it was in most others) you have to trim the underperforming teams down until the best remain. We still have to excise the malignant, collapsing tumors from Italy and Portugal, and make do with a fairly frustrating French side, but we still have California Klinsi and the Huns to root for.
So raise a glass of whatever you're sipping on to the fine tuned, German-engineered scoring ma...chine...DANG IT! Well, cheer for them anyway, and try to come up with a better descriptor of their playing style (I'll buy you candy).