Rio #20 – 87,000 people Leave the Maracana Complex in COMPLETE shock!
Greetings From Rio,
5 more days and counting …
Yesterday was a long and crazy day for Brazilian fans at our facility ..
At the Maracanazinho we had 4 EPIC matches yesterday including the U.S. Women’s Team getting a step closer to it’s first Gold Medal in the Olympics as they throttled Japan in 3 sets. They look outstanding but by no means is this going to be easy for the women in Red, White and Blue.
The third women’s quarters was a match up between a very good team from Serbia and the Russians. The Serbian team was OUTSTANDING and crushed Russia in 3 sets. As of now, they look to be the best team in the tournament.
During the Serbia/Russia match, right next door at the Maracana Stadium, the site of Opening Ceremonies, Brazil was hosting Sweden in a women’s semi final Futbol Match in front of over 70,000 screaming fans. The stadium was so loud we could hear the crowd bleeding through the concrete walls of our production cabin. The game ended in a 0-0 tie and went into Penalty Kick’s where Sweden prevailed (5-4) dousing any medal hopes for the home team and sucking energy of the crowd.
The Maracana Stadium and the Maracanazinho Arena, sit of two devastating loses for Brazil Yesterday!
Our final match of the night featured the home team, Brazil (1) vs China (4), who have been a HUGE disappoinment in this tournament thus far. Even under the coaching of Hall of Famer “Jenny” Lang Ping the Chinese team came in as one of the medal favorites but up until last night they could not find any continuity on the court. After getting demolished in the 1st set China appeared to be on its way out but than the stragnest thing I have seen in my 6 Olympics happened … China turned it around and captured the second set, it was Brazil’s first lost set in 6 matches. It seemed as if EVERY woman on China took her game to the net level at the eaxact same time. Shots, serves and blocks that were failing all tournament long were turning into points for China as they took the 3rd set to lead 2-1 in sets and more important, silenicng a VERY crazed and knowledgeable Brazilian crowd. Brazil fought back to win the 4th set setting up a decisive 5th set. Whatever Coach Lang Ping said to her players was a game changer as the women from China would not be denied of the biggest upset we have seen at the Maracanazinho as they won the set and the match sending 17,000 rabid fans home in near silence …
A truly compelling 8 hours of sports within the Maracana Complex and a devastating blow to our hosts here in Rio …
For those who don’t know, futbol (soccer) in Brazil is religion and volleyball is its number one sport. In one day both Brazilian women teams lost at the bitter end dashing any medal dreams for the home country. WOW!
Nothing in sports is guaranteed, that is why we refer to sports TV as teh ONLY real reality TV that exists … There are no scripts that define the outcome, only pre-ordained dreams of hope … Yesterday defined why we love sports, it epitomizes our passion for competition and the unknown outcome. An outcome that can lead to Gold Medals every four years, though in this case, not for Brazil.
The Semis are set for Thursday, in a very unique outcome, all four teams came from the same pool:
USA (1) vs Serbia (3)
China (4) vs Netherlands (2)
Over the past 3 days our team produced 10 full Volleyball Matches, were on the air for 19.5 hours and on site at the Maracanazinho for 47 or the possible 72 hours … But we made it with plenty of smiles!
Catering has been better than we thought!
Barnett the Redeemer
The TINY warm up courts
Our hard work has paid off immensely, so much that we have been given another show, now we are up to 39 in 15 days. NBCSN has added the men’s Late Night Quarterfinals match tonite between Argentina (1) vs Brazil (4). This matchup is like the Dodgers vs the Giants or Ohio State vs Michigan, there is simply NO LOVE between these two international rivals. As crazy as it sounds, I am glad they added this to our schedule. The energy inside the Maracanazinho will be tremendous! I urge you all to tune into this match tontie at 9:15 pm/et on NBCSN.
Don’t forget to follow me on instagram (JAWPRODS) for more photos and stories!
Love to all,