Football Fever

by: in General
Football fever blog

It’s that time again when national chauvinism takes over – the football World Cup is here! Pubs and entire streets are made up in orange and I am glad that I “naturalized” my German car with yellow license plates years ago (it would otherwise be too dangerous in my street…). The fan composition within the executive board is very interesting: Dutch, German and Belgian nationalities forming a good mix of supporters rooting for the stronger teams that at least made it to the knock-out round. Luc and I are of course also cheering for Oranje… unless of course they’re playing against Belgium or Germany…

I have two interesting observations regarding the non-Dutch executive board members. Football seems to be the only thing that unites the Belgians these days (I therefore hope they’ll get far in the tournament) and from the German perspective I feel really relieved that one of my greatest problems (guilt) is finally resolved. It clearly looks as though the Dutch team has adopted the German style of playing: not always pretty but clearly highly effective – and that’s what’s winning competitions and cliffhangers (look at their performance against Mexico). It’s also obvious that Robben has greatly benefited from competing in the Bundesliga for years. Even with a little wind-blow, he can hit the ground very efficiently. May I humbly suggest that it is now finally time to formally introduce the German-based football term “Schwalbe” (zwaluw) into the Dutch language? At any rate, I honestly think they are serious contenders for the big prize this year, which would be good for the country’s morale. It would be great if the Dutch (or the Germans….or the Belgians….) win the cup, but let’s most of all cherish good sportsmanship. An aspect that’s also important for universities – we too should take losses and victories with fairness, respect and an open mind.

May the best team win!
The nicest thing about the world cup? It lasts only four weeks and it’s only held every four years. More often would be too distracting and exhausting, plus it’s good to get back to business when it’s over, certainly at a university that’s so diverse and international as UM. My final (and honest) wish for the World Cup? That’s simple: may the best team win and let’s applaud whoever that is!