NEW YORK, N.Y. – As the World Cup neared its end this week, Twitter had a field day with Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 loss to Germany in the semifinals, which became the most-discussed sports game in the social network’s history.
While Germany barrelled down on a stunned Brazilian team to score five goals in the match’s first half, quips such as #ThingMoreLikelyThanBrazilWinningTheWorldCup and #TeamsBetterThanBrazil became top trending topics on Twitter. Teams better than Brazil, naturally, produced lots of photos of children’s soccer teams, and at least one of a team of puppies.
Here’s a look at how the World Cup fared online this week:
— “RED WEDDING”
With Neymar nursing a back injury, Brazil was already down its star player on Tuesday. But as click-fishing websites like to say, you wouldn’t believe what happened next. Germany delivered goal after goal (including four in a seven-minute span) that had Brazilian fans sobbing, yelling insults at their team and sitting in stunned silence. It may have been around the fourth or fifth goal — hard to tell, it was all happening so fast — that tweets such as “This is the World Cup’s Red Wedding” began popping up, a reference to the infamous “Game of Thrones” episode in which several key characters are slaughtered.
The hashtag #PrayForBrazil also became popular, but God demurred. A parody account called @TheTweetOfGod, which has some 1.4 million followers, replied with “Stop praying to Me, Brazil. Even I can’t help you now.” Another widely circulated image was an altered photo of the famous Brazilian Christ the Redeemer statue, holding his face in his palm in exasperation.
— CURSE OF THE AGING ROCKER
Mick Jagger is accused of jinxing the World Cup teams he supports, including Brazil. The tradition to blame the Rolling Stones singer began four years ago, at the World Cup in South Africa. In that tournament, Brazil lost to the Netherlands in the quarterfinals. Jagger, who has a son with former Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez, showed up at the game wearing a Brazilian team jersey.
On Google, Brazilian searches for “Mick Jagger” increased 16-fold in the 24 hours around the match. Jagger again was in the audience — as he had been with six other games where his team lost.
— FACEBOOK, TWITTER SCORE
On Facebook, 66 million people had more than 200 million posts, comments and likes during the Brazil-Germany match. Sixteen million of those people were in Brazil, the company said. On Twitter, meanwhile, the match became the single most-discussed sports game ever, with 35.6 million tweets sent during it. The previous record was 24.9 million posts for Super Bowl XLVIII in February.
— STREAMING FAIL
A few dozen patrons at Rocky’s Bar and Grille in New York City watched Wednesday’s match between Argentina and the Netherlands. After a scoreless snoozer of a match, fans sipped beer and cheered after Argentina’s Lionel Messi scored the first goal of the penalty shootout. Then the Netherlands missed the next one. More cheers erupted, as this crowd clearly leaned toward Argentina. But the cheering quickly turned to groans when the TV’s streaming feed cut out, and the busy bartender continued to serve drinks as if nothing happened. With just moments to go in the game, an enterprising patron whipped out her smartphone, turned on the streaming feed and held it so the happy crowd behind her could cheer as Argentina won the shootout 4-2.