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Michael Lewis


June 21, 2014
Where patience is a virtue and then some

By Michael Lewis Editor

MANAUS, Brazil -- Sometimes I think we're in a reality show here at the World Cup, except we just don't know it.

There have been many things that have tested our patience in the country that gave us, "Hurry up and wait!"

Saturday morning was another prime example.

We were supposed to load the U.S. Soccer media bus at 7 a.m. It actually arrived 15 minutes early, but disaster occurred before we could board; a truck hit it. We didn't know the exact damage but we did know that a replacement bus was not going to appear out of the blue.

It was then I imagined that we were in a reality show and that the media person that showed the least patience would be jettisoned at the airport, not unlike the reality show, "The Bachelor," when roses are handed out to this week's survivors.

I imagined David Applegate, the U.S. Soccer media coordinator, handing out our boarding passes, except to a couple of writers or photographers who showed the least patience.

Of course, that never happened because we rolled with all the punches.

Another bus arrived and off we went at 7:34 a.m.

We got to the airport in about a half hour, record time, in plenty of time for our 10:10 a.m. flight.

As it turned out, there were other challenges ahead.

Once again the kiosks refused to work because we had been booked as a group, so we had to get on line. First, we tried the regular line, which seemed rather long. Then we were told we could use a special FIFA line, as we raced there. USA TODAY writer Mike Foss had some problems with a strict interpreter of tickets, paperwork and passports because his passport said Michael Foss. It took a while before that unneeded headache was sorted out.

I was the next-to-last media person on the FIFA line. I asked the woman behind the counter whether I could have an aisle or window seat. She waved her head no. Oh well, I thought, at least I was going to get a seat.

I looked at my boarding pass -- 15D. Hmmm, that sounded like an aisle seat.

And yes it was. Actually, it was better than that. It was in the emergency row, where I had so much extra room for my feet.

Patience certainly is a virtue here.

I don't know what lies ahead on the return trip early Monday morning, but I will try to be patient then as well, even if I get a middle seat.

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