Miami - At South Beach's SushiSamba, Miami Beach's Renata Santos summed up the Brazilian attitude that puts Brazil high on their favorite-teams list come World Cup time.
``I'm not very happy,'' Santos said at halftime with Brazil in a scoreless tie with North Korea. ``North Korea? That's not even a team. I'm very upset.''
So displeased was Santos that she joined the Brazilian Carnival drummers for some extemporaneous hip-wiggling as the drummers pounded through the end of their halftime show. Then, as another restaurant patron, Francesca Bacellar, pounded out a beat on a small drum, Santos broke it down some more, encouraged by the whoops and cheering from the north side of the restaurant.
And, keep in mind, this was an unhappy nervous fan in front of several other unhappy nervous fans.
The world's greatest purveyors of The Beautiful Game and one-name-superstars soon relaxed everyone and accelerated the party beat by popping in the first of two goals. In fact, the only thing that brought anything resembling quiet -- for all of three or four minutes -- was the North Korea goal that cut Brazil's lead to 2-1.
Brazil's first game of the 2010 World Cup brought out a bigger crowd than in 2006 to the Brazilian-Japanese restaurant, one of several on South Beach that caters to Brazil's large following come World Cup time.
Four years ago, when Brazil played the tournament's opening-game as defending champions, tables filled just before kickoff. Tuesday, 45 minutes before kickoff, even the added tables added were spoken for, and management estimated the crowd at 150 people.