Thursday, June 01, 2006

Eugh, football!

Just as I’m beginning to think I may be the only person who’s not so crazy about the football World Cup craze, a group of women (Vrouwen voor een Voetbalvrij Nederland, VVN= Women for a Football-free Netherlands) have set up a website called “Stop the World Cup” ( link to the UK version for English). It’s mostly directly at married women who have to bear certain unbearable habits of their husbands:

Men steal precious broadcast time.
Men ignore us, pay attention no more to our needs.
Men are unable to communicate.
Men pay attention only to the ball.
Men all of a sudden seem to think they know all about everything.
Men grow ugly watching football.

Romantic getaways have been replaced by jeering and other loutish and boarish behaviour over 22 men who have nothing better to do than running around on a field, kicking a ball back and forth for no apparent reason. Is that what separates us from the animals?

Some of their rules include:

2. We will not tolerate to be left in the offside position any longer.

4. A ball in the house = A ball less elsewhere.

5. Each and every hour of televised football will have to be compensated with two hours of Sex and the City / Friends / Desperate Housewives. Prime Time.

7. Each goal scored by [The Netherlands] will have to be compensated with one afternoon of shopping. At man's expense.

10. All remote controls in the house are subject to (VVN)'s authority.

And of course as in everything there is also the opposite end of the spectrum. Believe it or not, a ‘habituation’ course (inburgeringcursus, a pun on the current ‘civic examination’ that immigrants are required to take) in football has just kicked off. The aim is to educate football-dumb women so that the men can enjoy more pleasant company while watching the World Cup (WC), instead of the usual complaining and whining. It aims “to ensure that women are [smartened up] in the foreign culture of football-watching.” It also aims to prepare women/wives to comfort the men/husbands should the unfortunate event that the Netherlands lose the WC.

I did a quick online test and scored 5.5 out of 10...which means I'm in dire need of such a course.

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