Tuesday, March 10, 2009


No, I'm fine, thanks. The upset was in the World Baseball Classic where the mighty Dominican Republic fell to the Netherlands 2-1. The Netherlands?!? The Netherlands. This doesn't mean much to you and me and pretty much anyone now, but moments like this often transform the state of sports in these types of countries. It wasn't long ago that Greek, Italy, and Venezuela were America's whipping boys in Olympic basketball. Those days are over. We had to bring out our superstars to barely squeak by Greece in the Beijing Olympics.

If you gave me a thousand guesses to which countries had teams in the WBC, I wouldn't have come up with the Netherlands. Call me ignorant, but I honestly don't know anything about the Netherlands. And if you haven't visited or wrote a paper on windmills, I bet you don't either. Wikipedia tells me:

It is known for its traditional windmills, tulips, cheese, clogs (wooden shoes), delftware and gouda pottery, for its bicycles, and in addition, traditional values and civil virtues such as its classic social tolerance. The country is more recently known for its rather modern, liberal policies toward drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, and euthanasia. It also has one of the most free market capitalist economies in the world, ranking 13th of 157 countries on one index.

When tulips are one of the first things your country is known for, you're kind of a shitty country. Delfware?? I do hear Amsterdam is nice though. Nice, if you like drugs, whores and canals. Which a lot of people do.

Anyway, Americans shrug during these international competitions. We have the best athletes in the world playing in our professional leagues. The World Series, Super Bowl, etc. will mean more than any silly World Baseball Classic so long as the world's stars play here. But for a country like the Netherlands, this win could mean the world.

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