The first five goals in Germany's 7-1 slaughter of Brazil in Tuesday's World Cup semifinal came in a span of less than 20 minutes. Each one represented a stage of grief experienced (a la the Kubler-Ross model) by the host country: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
It's easy to be hyperbolic since people are creatures of the moment, but what happened to Brazil has the makings of the worst sports meltdown that anyone can seem to remember. Brazil, the five-time FIFA World Cup champion, was humiliated on its home turf for the whole world to see.
According to Twitter Data, it was the single-most discussed sports event on its platform. Ever.
It also produced perhaps the best series of fan-grieving photos in years.
B/R's Dan Levy wrote that the blowout will never be matched. Andy Glockner, formerly of ESPN and Sports Illustrated, tried to make sense of what those mortifying 90 minutes meant to a country where football means everything.
And when the college football world tried to make sense of what it was seeing, the comparisons started rolling in. Among them was Alabama 42, Notre Dame 14 in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
Understand that there is no perfect comparison to what happened between Germany and Brazil because there has never been anything quite like it.
When comparing Brazil-Germany to Alabama-Notre Dame, there's a distinct difference that needs to be addressed: It would have been more accurate if Alabama delivered its beating in South Bend, not in Miami. Furthermore, 7-1 feels closer to something resembling 100-7 in American football.
Other college football comparisons would have worked, too. UCLA 66, Texas 3 in 1997—later known as "Rout 66"—is one example (h/t Adam Jacobi). USC 55, Oklahoma 19 in the 2005 Orange Bowl is another. The examples go on and on.
But Alabama-Notre Dame is still fresh in collective minds. The way the Tide won has a striking resemblance to the semifinal. Like Germany, the Tide got off to an incredible start, racking up 21 points on its first three drives in the first 15:04. Alabama would score touchdowns on six of its 10 possessions.
"Domination is not a word I want to use," Irish defensive tackle Louis Nix III said afterward (via ESPN's Brett McMurphy). "We missed a lot of tackles."
It certainly appeared Notre Dame got dominated, though. A few goals into Tuesday's massacre, it was clear Brazil was being dominated, too. It was a surreal turn of events given the history of the Brazilian national team and the talent on the field.
Like Thomas Mueller of Germany and Brazil's Neymar, the Tide and Irish had star power on the field too, with Nix being one of them.
Among the players drafted from that game were Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, cornerback Dee Milliner and running back Eddie Lacy. Nix, tackle Zach Martin, tight end Tyler Eifert and linebacker Manti Te'o were among those drafted later from Notre Dame. In all, 31 players have been drafted over the past two years between the two schools.
On the sidelines, Alabama's Nick Saban has four national championships while Notre Dame's Brian Kelly has obviously come close (though he has won national championships at the Division II level with Grand Valley State). Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari won the World Cup in 2002. Germany's Joachim Low has two third-place finishes: one as an assistant in 2006 and one as a manager in 2010.
Given who was on the field, the history of the two sides and the way things played out, there are plenty of similarities between Tuesday's semifinal and the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
Some may disagree, but both events are ones fans on both sides won't soon forget—even if some would like nothing more than to do just that.
Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand.
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