Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


June 26, 2014

Of fans, fish and fakers

Behind the scenes at the 2014 World Cup

Editor’s Note: Andover freelance photographer Winslow Townson is on assignment in Brazil covering the World Cup for USA Today. He has offered to share some of his game photos, as well as his view of Brazil, with The Townsman. He will continue providing weekly dispatches as long as Team USA remains in competition. You can find plenty more of Townson’s photos online at


Over my first 11 days in Brazil, I’ve been in four different cities and photographed seven World Cup soccer games. Here are some of my unscientific soccer and non-soccer observations over that time:

The country with the fans that love their team the most is Mexico.

The country with the fans that love their players the most is Japan.

The fewest fans supporting their team is Greece.

The country with the nicest fans is Canada (and they don’t have a team playing!).

The player who the women love the most is Portugal’s Ronaldo.

The country with the loudest and rowdiest fans per person is Mexico.

The most confident fans are from every team in Europe.

Faking an injury is part of the game.

The country with the most photographers covering their team is Japan (not even close!).

The gate printed on your airline boarding ticket is just a starting point.

Your departure gate can change to even a different terminal just before boarding.

There are no empty seats on any domestic flights.

The aisles on airplanes are for standing in.

The fans with the most carry-on luggage are the Americans.

The airports double as sleeping quarters.

There is no passenger train service.

The city buses are not safe.

Red lights at traffic intersections don’t mean anything after dark.

You can make a living hawking goods at the beach.

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