Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The WTF

Whoa. It looks like wall-to-wall Euro coverage this week (I'm guessing, I wrote this on Monday). By the time you read this, the Dutch will have already beaten the tar out of the listless, captainless Italians. So, in honor of this week's opening win, and because they wore the worst shirt a team ever wore to win the European Championship, I bring to you the Netherlands 1988 shirt.

Oh God, forgive me. I am so sorry.

Joep Smeets, what say you?

Hey, I learned something new today. Back in 1988, the Euros only had 8 teams. Huh.

That year, Netherlands were grouped with USSR, Ireland and England. Netherlands actually lost their first game of the tournament, 1-0 to the Soviets. There were no more slip-ups after that. Ireland was beaten 3-1 and the woeful English, who finished bottom of the group without a point, were dispatched 1-0.

Since there were only 8 teams, the first knockout round was the semifinals. In those semis, the Dutch went behind in the 55th minute to the West Germans. However, Koeman scored in the 74th minute for the Dutch, and Golden Boot winner Marco van Basten sealed the win in the 88th for the Dutch. The final was against the Soviets again. This time, the Dutch were up to the challenge. Netherlands scored in both halves, and the title was theirs.

I have a theory. I think that in the first game the Soviets, who were always theorized to be experimenting on their sports stars, concocted a pre-tournament mixture that made their players color-blind. Unable to see just how horrible the Dutch shirt was, the Soviets were able to win easily. The color-blindness wore off by the finals, and the Dutch vanquished their (dirty, commie) opponents. Hey, it could have happened.

Really, look at that thing up there. Go ahead and stare at it. I bet you one of two things happen. Either you hypnotize yourself (I hope it gives you a Peter Gibbons-like transformation), or you start to see a hidden message, a la Magic Eye posters (It's a schooner!). Me, I'm not taking my chances.

So, congratulations to the Netherlands. You win the ü75 designation of worst Euro-winning shirt ever, barely beating out the über-striped Danish 1992 kit. Good on you all.


Precious Roy said...

All sports jersies should be inspired by Q-Bert.

Joep Smeets said...

Hahaha, it's well deserved I suppose. But everyone completely dresses in orange during the games here and you'd be surprised if you knew how many people put on that shirt.

Come on. You know you want to.

Georgina Best said...

And there was me loving the Dutch BECAUSE of their orange shirts. That one is truly hideous - looks like the pattern you might get on cheap lino. Worse still you know someone probably got shedloads to design it!

Micah Seymour said...

If you stare long enough at the jersey and let your eyes go into soft focus, you'll see... well something.