In life, we strive for greatness. We want to find truth, create something beautiful, to experience dramatic and consequential moments.
We cannot always succeed. Often we find ourselves down and out, hitting every red light, missing every chance. We abandon the dream of beauty, perfection and grace and settle for something more fundamental - we strive to survive, to move on and do better the next day.
A clash between Brazil and Netherlands should have been a masterpiece. Two of the most skilled, motivated and charismatic sides in soccer today bringing out the best in themselves and each other.
Instead, we got that. Ugliness. Diving. Frustration. Hesitancy in front of goal. Diving. A shocking and unpardonable lapse of composure, leading to a backbreaking ejection. More weak efforts in front of goal. More diving. And finally, a whistle, and Brazil are gone.
Even for this Dutch supporter, it was hard to take. I felt my heart sink with Brazil's fans as they missed all those late chances from the corner, the ball popping back and forth between the flags like a slalom skier, but never quite finding its way into goal.
I wanted a beautiful equalizer. I wanted there to be more time. I wanted Brazil back. But it is not to be.
For the players, they will return to their clubs and their million dollar lifestyles. Will they be diminished? In the end, probably not. But we, the fans, today are diminished. Today Brazil played well enough to win, but were denied by the cruel hand of fate, the hard head of Sneijder, and the wayward boot of Felipe Melo.
Tomorrow, we move on. But today we mourn. Goodbye, Esquadrão de Ouro. We hardly knew ye.