June 27, 2014
DON'T BLAME IT ON RIO, DAY 16
The case of too many Michaels
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- I have nothing against the name Michael. After all, it has been my favorite name all my life.
But apparently when you get too many Michaels (or Mikes) together in Brazil, especially in the same traveling group, well, strange things can happen.
It did on both ends of our trip to Recife.
As I related in a previous diary entry, my name was replaced by the name of USA TODAY writer Mike Foss on the GOL airlines' manifest for the trip to Recife, even though I already had checked in and had a copy of my boarding pass on my cellphone.
On Thursday morning, I checked into our flight back to Sao Paulo at the airport (I actually had checked in online with seat 29D). I had left the counter before I looked at my seat. I was disappointed that it said 16B, a middle seat. But it was too late to turn back and change it.
As it turned out, it was on an emergency row, so it could have been worse. I settled into my seat. A few minutes later, Michael Rocha-Keys of Fox Sports walked by and said he had the same seat. He showed me his receipt and it said 16B. Incredible. He decided to look for an empty seat. He found one in the back, but with the flight being virtually packed some more passengers came aboard and he was removed from that seat.
Michael eventually was escorted to a seat in the first or second row.
The return was uneventful. Not too much sleep, but I rested my weary eyes.
After landing, the media group got breakfast at the airport and went immediately to USA training at Sao Paulo FC for a press conference with coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Our next trip isn't until Monday, when we travel to Salvador for the Round of 16 match vs. Belgium.
Just wondering what will happen to the three Michaels/Mikes in the group for that trek.