Fight Cup: a literal World Cup Part 4

The Fight Cup continues, as Doug Starnes realises that he might have created a bit of a rod for his own back…I’m assuming you’ve all read the first three bits of this series; if not, there are links to your right

Group D

If you’ve been wondering what’s become of Fight Cup, I’ll tell you. Group D has become of Fight Cup. I had it easy up until now. Samurai taking on elephants; a canary against some sport coats; hell, even marsupials versus barely watchable family entertainment were all relatively easy hypothetical donnybrooks to wrap my mind around compared to the near non-negotiable logistics of Group D.

Not the colour blue you might have been thinking...

Not the colour blue you might have been thinking…

I painted myself into a corner with the opening explanation regarding method in the first Fight Cup posting. I was young, naïve, and brash – full of myself even. How was I to know that by the time I got to Group D I would have a ball of chaos stuck on my hands with crazy glue?

There is but one thing to do. Push on. Push on to the ridiculous end. Push on to the ridiculous end while refilling my beer glass. Pardon me one moment…

Where were we? Ah, Group D!

Uruguay – Los Charrúas

Costa Rica – Los Ticos

England – The Three Lions

Italy – The Azzurri

14 June 16:00 – Los Charrúas v Los Ticos – The first match of Group D illustrates perfectly the corner into which I have painted myself. In one half, we have Los Charrúas, an unfortunately exterminated civilization indigenous to modern day Uruguay who met their untimely end in 1831 at the battle of Salsipuedes Creek, and in the other half, we have Los Ticos, a slang term for Costa Ricans.

I may be operating on a nuance no one but myself sees here, but to me, there’s a difference between referencing a demonstrably extinct entity in its totality and referring to a present day identifier of nonspecific and fluctuating number. The former seems more exact, specific, and quantifiable than the latter. Like the difference between Tyrannosaurus Rex and modern day lizards…or birds…whatever. We all saw Jurassic Park, let’s not make this an argument over most accurate genetic descendants. You get my point. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, I’m making an executive decision. The opening match of Group D pits all of the now extinct Charrúa people against eleven average Costa Ricans.

The two-toed sloth is not a person from Costa Rica, but is wonderfully cute. And from Costa Rica.

The two-toed sloth is not a person from Costa Rica, but is wonderfully cute. And from Costa Rica.

Here’s what we know: The Charrúa were a warlike people who occupied present day areas of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. They killed Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís in 1515. The Charrúa population was gradually killed off in ensuing years by Spanish colonial expansion until, in 1831, Bernabé Rivera, the nephew of the first President of Uruguay, lured the remaining population to a meeting at Salsipuedes (Get-Out-If-You-Can) Creek and massacred them. Those that escaped were massacred later in that same year by another Rivera led contingent.

Los Ticos is a nickname for present day Costa Ricans most likely derived from the term Hermanitico, an antiquated diminutive form of endearment used by Costa Ricans to refer to one another. The average Costa Rican is literate, has good health care, and enjoys a relatively prosperous life in a progressive and lush tropical country with no standing army. I know Fight Cup cares not of actual footballing comparisons, but it seems to fit here. Imagine an unspecified number of Luis Suárezes versus eleven Bryan Ruizes. Luis Suárez is a thirty-goal virtuoso who’s bitten two people in competitive matches. Bryan Ruiz is a floppy-haired wet blanket who wasn’t good enough for Fulham this season. Bloodbath. Uruguay for the win!

There always has to be a meme.

There always has to be a meme.

14 June 18:00 – The Three Lions v The Azzurri – England supporters have endured decades of perceived underperformance, shame, and missed penalties. In Fight Cup however, Queen and country get to root for lions – real, breathing, sharp- toothed and clawed lions. Granted, there are only three of them (for that you have to blame King Richard I) and they’re mostly nocturnal when it comes to hunting and male lions (like those depicted on the coat of arms) aren’t exactly cooperative with one another and it’s the females who do most of (all) the providing but still…lions. Imagine if the Team Great Britain thing became a reality? Three lions, eleven dragons, eleven tartan terriers, and some iron. Decent. Think on it.

Anyhow, in the Three Lions’ first match, they get to test their mettle against a shade of blue. Savoy Blue to be exact. All teeth and claws and manes and nowhere to go really. I mean, how do you defeat a colour? You don’t. This match looks like piece of performance art in which three male lions mark their respective thirds of a football pitch all the while bathed in blue light. I’m pretty sure Prince made a music video like that sometime between 1999 and Purple Rain. Draw.

19 June 16:00 – Los Charrúas v The Three Lions – Even the most optimistic England supporter wouldn’t hold out hope for three felines, ferocious though they can be, against an entire population of warlike indigenous South Americans. Even if we cap Los Charrúas’ numbers at the time of their final massacre at the hands of Bernabé Rivera and his men, the massacre was still notable enough in size to make the historical record. Otherwise, it would have just been some power-hungry jerk that killed a few people in August of 1831. The Three Lions take a few with them, but the numbers are just too overwhelming. Now, if they had eleven dragons, eleven tartan terriers, and some iron to heave around…Win: Los Charrúas!

20 June 13:00 – The Azzurri v Los Ticos – Another Prince video, but without lions to watch. Everyone loves watching lions. Eleven average Costa Ricans? Ratings bust. Draw.

Do not fuck with a charrua. Especially on a horse.

Do not fuck with a charrua. Especially on a horse.

24 June 13:00 – The Azzurri v Los Charrúas – I would say this is yet another interminable, tripped out performance piece, but it’s probably more like watching a National Geographic anthropology documentary on a dodgy television. The wildcard here is how an extinct indigenous group would behave upon confronting something as inexplicable as an all-pervasive shade of blue, but blue is a calming colour. Warlike no more, Los Charrúas settle for a draw.

24 June 13:00 – Los Ticos v The Three Lions – I concede, three lions should be able to comfortably maul eleven, unarmed adult human beings. However, these are male lions and, as we’ve already discussed, male lions are territorial and not known for their propensity to work together. There’s every chance that the lions, confined to their own half at the opening whistle, wind up fighting one another to gain territorial supremacy. Additionally, this match kicks off right in the middle of the day when any lion worth his mane would be seeking a shady place in which to take a nap.

If the Ticos were smart, and we’re talking about a country with a 94.9% literacy rate, they might take a cue from some of the other group matches and spend the ninety minutes huddled by their own goal line looking as non-threatening as possible.  You know, so as not to get eaten. That said, that 94.9% literacy rate would also afford them the curse of being able to read the Group D standings and surely they’d know that even the fearsome Charrúas weren’t going to be able to defeat a colour. Three draws for Italy would mean progression to the Round of Sixteen. Take a chance on progression and maybe get eaten? Or be unassuming, accept elimination, and maybe not get eaten? Sophie’s choice!

Unfortunately, the outcome may not be solely up to Los Ticos. Even if the three lions on the pitch lacked the cognitive abilities to realize they were sitting on a loss and a draw and needed a win to advance, you can be sure the England supporters in attendance, no matter their collective level of drunkenness, would know exactly what was required to secure passage into the knockout stage. I’m thinking the cocktail of self-preservation, desire to advance, singing, badgering, and boisterous harassment, all mixed haphazardly under the midday Brazilian sun, would eventually lead to this match hotting up some time around the sixtieth minute. In a spectacle reminiscent of the Roman circus, England wins.

Group D Results:      

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