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Greetings from Manaus

It's hot. It's humid. It's game time.

After a few days in Manaus, it's safe to say they've not only embraced having the tournament in town, but they've taken on the role of gracious hosts with aplomb.  The vendor carts and the shops all have TVs turned on to the games.  Ordem E Progresso is draped all over cars, windows, balconies- tattooed on decaying and undulating sidewalks that have sunk and collapsed after patch and re-patch.  2 blocks down, the local funeral parlor even has the game on.  Quick with a smile and eager to strike a pose, they have an affinity for blondes.  So do many of the locals, but you've.  We're having a blast.

Oh yeah, there's a game today.  Yesterday was the winter solstice, and much like the day before, most of the 4-5 miles we walked over the course of the day was in a pretty solid open air simulation of a sauna.  Drinking plenty of water and even more beer is a must for the tourist, but for the players at the Arena da Amazônia staying hydrated will tricky.

As we saw in the game between England and Italy, the pace of the game was a few ticks slower than it might have been at a more temperate venue.  This should be a huge advantage for the United States, and with the result between Ghana and Germany yesterday, a win and the Yanks are on to the Final 16.

We're going to hoof it three miles to the stadium to take in more of the splendid and colorful local grafitti which is worth losing 5 pounds of water weight good exercise.  We've walked everywhere since we were carried from the airport by a benzedrine addict with no sense of where the break pedal was a local cab driver who was very helpful.  Truthfully, traffic and bus travel here are a nightmare, so I'm glad we skipped out on the rental car for this leg of the trip. We're getting to see all of the grit and color of a city desperately trying to mimic the mythical Phoenix, and we could not be more thrilled.

I'll touch on the game a bit before we head out to the jungle tomorrow, so until then, Go Go USA!