So Brazil Got Thumped…

Accountability Resilience Teamwork


Key Point: Read the following excerpts, reflect on their meaning and the dysfunction of group blame:

From Mashable: “A nation of 200 million people just fell to its knees, and we don’t know when it will get up again.

If you were paying attention in the run up to the 2014 World Cup, you likely have heard about the defeat known as the Maracanazo in the Maracana Stadium in 1950. The scene was, until now, the most ignominious loss in Brazilian sporting history. Here’s what went down: An overconfident Brazil team prematurely celebrated a World Cup victory, then lost the final 2-1 to tiny Uruguay. The defeat is still spoken of in hushed tones.

The Brazilian goalkeeper in that game, Moacir Barbosa, was scapegoated, and hounded for more than two generations. Widely considered a bad-luck charm, he was even shunned from training matches. ‘The maximum punishment in Brazil is 30-years imprisonment,’ he said shortly before his death in 2000, ‘but I have been paying, for something I am not even responsible for, by now, for 50 years.’

This, despite the fact that Barbosa was previously lauded for his part in a 7-0 victory in the Copa America final the previous year.” 

And how about this quote: 

Via IMDb: “Bill Buckner achieved baseball immortality and infamy among Boston Red Sox fans (collectively known as The Red Sox Nation) when as Red Sox first baseman, he let a ball weakly hit by Mookie Wilson scoot between his legs during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The spectacular bone-headed play gave the one-strike-away-from-losing New York Mets new life, and they went on to win Game 6 and the World Series in seven games. Buckner’s unbelievable play prolonged the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ that had plagued the Nation for 66 years, after Babe Ruth had been sold by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee to the New York Yankees. The following year, the Sporting News’ annual baseball supplement featured a cover photo of Buckner’s miscue with the headline, ‘Can Anyone Doubt the Red Sox Hex?’ The Nation took it so hard that a retired Buckner was forced to move out of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as his children were being harassed by young Red Sox fans.” 

I am a huge sports fan and truly love the teams I root for. And I find anyone who has really played at something, skinned their knees and given their heart and soul to sometimes fail AND sometimes succeed, is usually capable of dusting off defeat to play again the next day. Frankly, I don’t get the idea of a 50-year curse or Red Sox hex (which btw has clearly since been proven false). Furthermore, the idea of blaming a single player in a team game like the cruel punishment doled out to Barbosa and Buckner is barbaric and symptomatic of some deep need to “kick others” under the sick banner of BLAME.  

Character Moves: 

  1. Insist on taking out blame from your personal character framework. Applying intentional, meaningful learning and being self-accountable for mistakes or defeat, is much different than blame. The best thing Brazil can do is to fire back, win third place overall, and use the butt kicking from the Germans to propel them to the next World Cup. Many people forget that the Red Sox still could have won game six and game seven after Buckner’s error. Do you like to spend your time blaming others at work or do you worry about others only after you become perfect yourself? 
  2. The best “athletes” bounce back after a loss or mistake. Great quarterbacks throw touchdown passes on the next set of plays after giving up an interception… and so forth. How fast do you rally after a mistake or loss at work? Or do you like a long-suffering pity party? 
  3. Are you a sideline coach or have you played the game so that your understanding and empathy is the foundation by which to coach by? Most people who criticize a CEO can’t get one project done well, let alone run a complex system. Run something… Lead something… Change something… Lose and fail… Win and celebrate… Then you’ve earned the right to be critical in a constructive way, rather than turning to blame.

Reminder: No blaming in The Triangle, 


Published and Edited by Garrett Rubis