The Pity The Poor Dutch Fan Mini-Rant
How much more money can the bloody Dutch national team cost me, anyway? That is the question. And, really, can't the whole world feel the pain of all the fans of The Netherlands? I'm not just talking about all the Dutch people out there, but all the misguided non-Dutch dreamers who call themselves fans of Dutch soccer too. I mean, World Cups and Euro Championships come and go and the Dutch crash out way too early, year after year after year... 8 years ago, 6 years ago, 2 years ago (4 years ago they didn't even qualify for the World Cup!!), it's always the same story. How many times can they let me down? Or, maybe the real question is, how many times can I be let down and still continue to believe? And, really now, how many bets - and how much money - are these bloody Dutch going to cost me in the end?
Today's 1-0 Dutch loss to the Portuguese (again!) on a goal by Maniche (again - just like in that Euro '04 semi-final) was a heartbreaker. It was a really exciting wide-open game, but it was also a crazy and frustrating game to watch, with a record 16 cards shown and 4 players sent off. There should have been another as well, since Figo, who I had always thought of as a great guy up till now, somehow escaped with just a yellow card after headbutting one of the Dutch players. A proper red card for that and it would have been a totally different game. It would've also been great if the Dutch coach, Marco van Basten, had actually played his best striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy, but that's a whole other story. Oh, you men in orange, how you let me down.
One thing's for sure, the Portuguese are going down hard against England on Saturday. That won't bring back my lost bets and it certainly won't bring back my lost Dutch team, but it will be revenge of sorts... unless, of course, the English once again let me down and, once again, cost me even more money. I almost forgot about how the English break my heart and empty my wallet on a much more regular basis than the Dutch.
To be fair to the Dutch though, I should say that all my Dutch friends have warned me time and time again that to cheer for Holland is to suffer, but I always just thought they were being overly pessimistic. You know, living below sea level and all must make them feel a bit on edge and
less-than-fully-optimistic about the future. But now I finally see that everything they told me was simply the truth and that to cheer for the Dutch is simply akin to self-flagellation.
Ah screw that, they're going to win it all at Euro '08 in Switzerland and Austria in 2 years - go Holland go!!
Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Sunday, June 25th, 2006