I wish I could say you’re about to read a 3,000+ word article on, say, how Brazil defended set pieces in the Copa America, but you’re not.

As you’ve probably noticed, I’ve been MIA since the Copa America ended.  No, I didn’t fall into a deep-seeded depression at another Brazilian humiliation, and I didn’t lose my passion for the Selecao, either.  The truth is that life has really gotten in the way lately, and it’s prevented me from spending more time doing the things I love…like this site. 

Since my participation has been so sporadic, I thought I owed it to everyone to explain what exactly has kept me so…indisposed.  If you don’t care, no hard feelings.  Go watch some old videos of Ronaldo or Romario and pray for the day a striker of their caliber returns.  Go watch some new videos of Allan and ponder whether he’s the answer to Brazil’s midfield issues.  Then come back and post your thoughts.

For the rest of you…

The last several months have been very difficult, both physically, mentally, and emotionally.  It all started near the end of April.  It was about 11:00pm, and I was just getting ready to put down the book I’d been reading (“The Ball is Round” by David Goldblatt; a cracking read on the worldwide evolution of football), when I noticed a funny feeling in my abdomen.  Thinking it would pass, I went to bed.

Five hours later, I woke up in tremendous pain.  And it just kept getting worse.

By 1:00 the next day, I was in the ER.  Without going into too much detail, they diagnosed the problem, told me how to treat it, and discharged me.  I was still in a lot of pain, and spent the next several days in bed.  But following the doctor’s orders helped, and in about a week I felt (mostly) back to normal.

Unfortunately, the problem returned two weeks later…with a vengeance.  I ended up in another ER, this time in Baltimore (2,000 miles away from my home in Salt Lake City.)  The pain was worse than ever, and I had a high fever.  This time they decided to put me on an even stronger medication.  Once again, a week of rest and antibiotics helped me feel better.  But then a new problem set in.

As it turns out, I picked up a new, wholly different infection during my last hospital stay.  This one wasn’t quite so painful (I still wouldn’t wish it on anyone), but in a way, it was even more debilitating.  Several different courses of antibiotics were tried, and none seemed to fix the problem.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t put the rest of my life on hold.  I had a day job to do (I’m the head writer at a marketing company), and a secondary job to do (I run a freelance ghostwriting business).  I had to miss several days of both, but for the most part I just tried to work through the pain.   Meanwhile, the Copa America came and went.  I did my best to write about it, although I didn’t do 25% of the things I had planned to do.

But wait, there’s more.

Recently, my wife decided to quit her position at the hospital so she could start her own private consulting business.  My wife’s a genius, and the hardest working person you’ll ever meet, so we felt good about making it work and knew that the time was right.  Then, of course, the proverbial shit hit the metaphorical fan.  But it was too late to change course.  I’ve tried to help my wife out as much as possible – writing, marketing, building a website – so that’s basically been a third job on top of the other two.  Add that to my duties as a dad (coaching youth soccer when your gut feels like it’s going to explode ain’t fun, let me tell you),  and a son (I’ve had to do some work for my dad’s company, which until recently looked like it might be going under) and, well…you get the idea.

Understand, I’m not telling you any of this out of some plea for sympathy.  Shit happens, we deal with it, and we move on.  The last several months have been really, really hard, but it happens.  I’m telling you this because I want you to know exactly why I’ve been so absent.  I just haven’t had the time – or frankly, the energy – to write about football, even in the comments section.  Most of you probably don’t care too much, and I realize that.  After all, there’s plenty of better writers out there, and football itself is in quasi-hibernation right now.  But I care.  I really, really, really love writing for this site, I’m incredibly proud of the community that sustains it, and I feel awful about not participating more.

So, yeah.  Just wanted you to know.

The good news – yes, there’s good news! – is that I think I’m finally on the mend.  My last round of antibiotics ended on Friday, and my symptoms haven’t returned since then.  I still don’t feel entirely normal, but a whole lot better than before.  Provided I don’t suddenly relapse, I think the worst is behind me.

I sure as hell hope I didn’t just jinx myself.

The other good news is that my wife’s business is off to a great start, my dad’s business looks much healthier, and my twin boys, Tristan and Austin, are absolutely killing it on the pitch.  Austin, especially, has a passion for the game, and he’ll be much better at it than his old man ever was.  And recently, I got some of the most exciting news of my life when I found out that not one but two different magazines wanted to purchase a pair of science fiction stories that I wrote last year.  (Writing science fiction and fantasy is my single biggest passion in life, even more than music and football.)

So despite all the drama, life is pretty damn good.

Alright, that’s more than enough about me.  Let’s talk about the site.  The truth is, I’m going to be pretty damn busy for the next several months even if my health remains solid.  I’m going to try to keep doing one article per month, and then hopefully pick up the pace around November.  But I can’t guarantee it.  So once again, I’d like to open the door for anyone who wants to contribute a guest article or two.  Zetona killed it with his article on strikers, and I’d love to see what others have to say.  If you’re interested, drop me a line at brazilworldcupblognet at gmail dot com.

In the short term, I do have one article 80% done that I want to post before the end of the month.  So look out for that within the next week or so.

In the meantime, thanks for keeping the conversation going.  I hope you enjoy visiting this site as much as I enjoy running it.