That's right, you lazy, cholesterol-soaked, American Imperialists! It's time for the Euro 2008 championship, and I, for one, couldn't be more excited. Really!
Despite the fact that, for me, this is a pretty exciting time of year for sports (Stanley Cup finals, F1 is in full swing, NBA finals involving two teams that anyone gives half a shit about), there hasn't been anything blogworthy to write about that anyone but I would care to read. But the Euro championship is different. This affects everyone, and anyone not caring about this clash of the soccer titans is an unwashed rube.
Perhaps that last part is a bit much, but the fact remains that the Euros are an excellent and almost unavoidable opportunity to allow your ethnic pride to bait you into arguments about a sport that you know little about with equally impassioned strangers. Count this as a rare chance to throw your undivided support towards a team of players whose names you cannot pronounce. It's like the St. Patrick's Day of the sporting world. No one really cares about being Irish; you don't speak the language and have never been there, but, by God, you'll jump at the opportunity to get wasted and proclaim your pride as a member of Celtic race.
Speaking of Celtic pride, Ireland will not be represented in this year's tournament. Booooo. Neither will any of the UK nations, for that matter. There goes that half of the Big C gene pool, and the ill-fitting Irish national team jersey, to boot. So, who am I throwing in with (primarily)?
That's 'Poland' for you non-Slavic wags. I don't speak a word of the language, have never been there, and, because my father was adopted, haven't the slightest clue as to the origins or whereabouts of my ancestors. That makes me the perfect candidate to get into a barfight with some dago or kraut bastard over the honor of one Jakub Blaszczykowski. Fuck all haters.
Also, in the true spirit of the modern day euro-mutt, I'll give 1/16th of my support to, wait for it,.....France! Three reasons:
1. They have received absolutely zero dap from ESPN's annoying little TV ads. Portugal, which has accomplished roughly dick in international play, gets a 30-second spot; but France, apparently, can go fuck themselves. What a great way for me to be both an asshole and an iconoclast at the same time. I'm in douchebag heaven with this one; and that's what soccer is really all about. Fuck all haters.
2. Entertainment value. France plays the most exciting, beautiful soccer in Europe. A win for the frogs is a win for the sport. I really enjoy the irony of the fact that the only country that can possibly get Americans to give a flying fuck about soccer will be the one nation that everyone here pretty much universally despises.
3. Um, they are going to win and it's not even going to be close. Seriously, vive la France.
So, everybody, all two of you; Fire up the HD, don those expensive, brand-new jerseys, and pledge your schizoid allegiance to whichever half, third, quarter, or sixteenth of your ethnic heritage is represented on the pitch over the next few weeks. So long as you're not looking for an explosive offense, aggressive playing style, and well, scoring, you'll be in set. Catch the fever.
P.S. Why is Lukas Podolski not starting for the German squad? If the krauts don't want him, we'll be glad to welcome him back to the motherland. Miroslav Klose, too, please.