Thursday, 12 June 2008

A nation coming together...

In June 1990 the Republic of Ireland competed in their very first World Cup finals in Italy.

The following three weeks or so were some of the best memories I've ever had, and even though I wasn't yet 13 years of age, I still, to this day, get shivers all over when I watch old clips from that tournament.

A draw against the old enemy England in our opening game, a draw against the highly fancied Dutch, and a penalty shoot out of Hollywood proportions against Romania which put us into an unprecedented quarter final against the hosts, Italy.

That was the end of the road but the beginning of something unexpectedly magical....

The celebrations, the feel good factor, and no small amount of alcohol during those few weeks all contributed in a mini baby boom in Ireland in the Spring of 1991.

So, as they say, any port in a storm, and we find ourselves living in Holland while the Dutch are flying high in this year's European Championships.

The place is starting to buzz and Friday night brings a big game against France, which the entire country will be glued to.

Which makes me wonder, if they progress to the later stages, and provide us with more nights of celebration, will we have a baby boom here in Holland come next March?

I'll try anything once, as they say, so I'm dusting off my clogs and cheese hat, and ironing all the orange clothing we own and heading into town on Friday to partake in the revelry and thunderously potent baby making that should follow.

As an experiment, I think everyone should try it, pick a team to support and fling yourselves around the bedroom with great gusto when they win. We could compare results in a few months.

While I am talking of all things Irish and baby-making related (when am I not?), I want to mention a success story, a real happy ending for Fiona & John B. this week. Congratulations guys.

47 comments:

iVegasFamily said...

Wow...I'm first. That rarely happens. One question - is face paint required?

Bettina said...

ooooo

I can qualify to be part of the orange army. My father is dutch you know.

Lilacspecs said...

I think Jen in Holland is sending me one of those totally awesome roaring lion shirts. You can feel free to send me something too of course. I'd send Belgina sports stuff but they don't sell it cause, well Belgium's sports teams tend to suck. The beer is better than any Dutch beer though.

Geeks In Rome said...

I think I'll be rooting for the Dutch... Italy's team stinks this year and the Dutch had some good plays against them. I always root for the underdog like Cameroon and Senegal (oh, yes, and the USA) during the World Cup. But I'm not partial yet for anyone in particular for the UEFA games.
Any tips?

Maggie, Dammit said...

In Wisconsin we call that the Green Bay Packers. In fact, I think we invented the cheese hat. It is all a thing of great beauty.

Immoral Matriarch said...

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Captain Steve said...

I don't watch European football, but I totally support the drinking and having sex. Go with it! Just take the body paint off first, I would imagine it makes a horrible mess.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@IVegasfamily - Welcome (back)!
Face paint or a really bad sunburn is preferable.

@Bettina - You're a cloggy then? Oh, sorry about that.

@Lilacspecs - until the last tournament, Belgium were the only team to have qualified for the previous 5 World Cups. Usless fact I know.

@Geeks in Rome - Holland, Portugal, Spain. One of those. Very very open this year.
Italy got truly spanked.

@Maggie, dammit - It's sounds as fetching as it probably smells in a stadium with 35 thousand drunkards.

@Immoral Matriarch - I knew I'd struggle with a few of you yanks...
Football, (soccer), great passion, joy, and humping etc etc.

@Captain Steve - THATS the kind of support I'm looking for! Beer and shagging.

Quickroute said...

Wear Orange if you must, just don't come marching thru my hood! ;-)

Kori said...

Um, though it is tempting beyond belief to sell everything I own in order to fly over there just to find someone who wants to have sex with me, I have enough kids, thanks. :)

Fate's Granddaughter said...

How perfect - in the absence of the Irish, my hubby is supporting the Dutch. I decided I would to given my pending visit to Leiden this month.

If this baby boom rumour is true, I want in! Although I don't think they need to win, just the fact that I would let him watch football all night would be enough to woo my man.

Huckdoll said...

Anyone wearing orange clothing deserves to be called a pumpkin and made to cry. Please send photos.

It's the same way with hockey in my neck of the woods. Like you, I still gets shivers thinking about our team being in the final - the energy in Vancouver and all surrounding suburbs was amazing. I cried for two days when the lost :)

Tara R. said...

I know where Hubs and I will be this weekend. I would sing again, but I already put you through that once. I'm hoping for an ugly spanking of the French...

zoeyjane said...

thank you for reminding me why my neighbourhood will be so damn annoying if someone favoured wins. we've got some mad soccer nuts around here, complete with honking, flag waving, beer drinking and 3am drunken stumbling yelling in foreign languages.

awesome.

TentCamper said...

This is my first time on your blog and I am glad I came. Love what you've been posting.

Although I now live in LA, I am a HUGE NY Giants fan. I love all sports but the Giants get me bouncing off the walls.
I am adding you to my blogroll :)

Single Parent Dad said...

I'm giving my support to Spain. Not just because I enjoy spanish football, not just because I think they have some of the most gifted players in Europe, but because, they have underacheived even more so than England in the last 20 years.

Where could it possibly go wrong?

John Braine said...

Thanks a lot. Was such a long time time coming we still can't believe it actually happened. Was an emotional delivery. Really hope you guys are next. Thanks again.

B said...

we didn't have a television for italia 90 so I missed it all, had a t-shirt for it though... doesn't fit anymore.

try and find one of those holland 88 jerseys, surely the worst football jersey ever!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Quickroute - ooh....Controversial. Fucking funny mind...

@Kori - I don't often do this but.... LOL.

@Fate's Granddaughter - Leiden eh? well, it's a small small world is all I will say!
I'll keep an eye out for ya...

@Huckdoll - I had a look at a few clips as I was posting this and I STILL get the shivers.
Great times. Really great times.

@Tara R - The French are heading home early I reckon, how the mighty have fallen.

@Zoeyjane - That sounds like me here in Holland when Ireland actually do well!

@TentCamper - You can't ever shake off your first sporting loves, no matter where you go.
Thanks!

@Single Parent Dad - On the first round games alone, they gave the best showing, totally dismantled Russia, who themselves are no pushovers.
But they've been underachieving for 44 years. I see Portugal as being more cut throat than Spain, and probably the winners.
But I loved the way Holland finally showed some balls the other night and played like a team.

@John Braine - More than welcome. Fiona's recording of the journey on her blog was a real eye opener for us.
Later the book was good help for the intangible stuff, how to cope, what to say, privacy etc.

I hope ye all enjoy every single second of it all.
Thanks.

@B - You nutter, are you serious, no telly? in 1990
Funny thing I had a similar conversation about the funny bits about Ireland only last Sunday.
Aside from the fact you would have been what? a month old or something.

That Holland shirt gave us the best euro championship goal ever, and the poxiest from Wim Keeft, who now does the punditry on the Dutch sports channel.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I live near Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, home of the Green Bay Packers. Come football season, this entire state becomes driven by Packer Fever. The morning after a loss is said to see a rise in domestic abuse, so I suppose there are probably baby spikes following years in which we make the playoffs; I wonder if anyone has ever done a study.... :)

Irish Diaspora said...

Hmm, sounds like a cunning plan...except the orange clothing in public part. I'm with QuickRoute on that one.

Veronica said...

Hell, anything is worth a try at this point!

Ed (zoesdad) said...

All right. I'm in. I may even have an orange shirt somewhere. It's tie-dyed but it is orange.

Megan said...

ESPN has been showing tons of commercials for these games. Unfortunately, the broadcasts are all on in the middle of the damn night (or early morning, actually).

Fortunately though, the commercials always tend to show the best-looking footballers...

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Half Past Kissing Time - Funnily enough similar findings have been reported when England go out of championships.
Domestec abuse calls rise.
Weird.

@Irish Diaspora - SO two of ye eh?

@Veronica - My thoughts exactly...

@Ed - Careful, You'll run out of Zs...

@Megan - Well Im glad you get SOME enjoyment out of it!

Momo Fali said...

Sounds like a good excuse for a romp. I'm in!

B said...

3 months old.

We actually bought a television during the world cup, the salesman said to my father "I suppose you're buying this for the world cup and all?"

"what's that?" my father replied.

allegedly a true story.

Karen said...

This comment is unrelated to the subject at hand, but when I read your blog (not out loud, mind you), I do it in an Irish accent.

But you're from Holland? I can't do that one.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Momo Fali - You're getting quite cheeky in your old age!

@B - That's nuts. Seriously insane.
So bloody Irish, I love it.

@Karen - I am Irish, don't you worry, accent and all.
Just happen to live here in cheese world for a while.

Marie said...

All right! I'm in! Just two questions: Who's playing? When are the games? :-D OK, three: Are they next week? (because that would be perfect, timewise, ya know...)

It's not just that I'm an American and know little about what's going on in sports in the rest of the world, it's that I'm an American nerd and know little about what's going on in sports anywhere, my own backyard (literally) included.

Angel said...

I spent my entire life thinking I'm Irish/Cherokee. I'm positive an elderly family member told me so years and years ago. But a few months ago, I started a family tree. I was honestly devastated to find out I have very little Irish in me at all.

I used to joke about not believing it because while I have the standard issue red hair and complexion, I've never been able to hold my liquor. But once I found out I'm not really, I was sad!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Marie - Everyone, for another week or so, before they start getting knocked out.
Pick a colour and hump for your life.
Let us know if it works!

@Angel - Awww, petal, you KNOW you haven't lived until you've at least a little Irish in you....

;0)

James Austin said...

Haven't tried that yet, but have tried with a few Guiness in us before, which for the record wasn't the drink that actually did the trick for us. It was a load of lime Margaritas. Try that!

Karen MEG said...

You know that might be a great strategy! I heard this happens in Brazil after carnival too. Pretty amazing what a little alcohol and lack of inhibition will get ya.

Clogs and cheese hat, sounds just so, sex-ayyy!!

I would be open to trying this myself but I don't think I can fling myself around the bedroom without breaking a hip anymore. And according to the kids, no more babies allowed in the house unless they leave at some point!

Kelley said...

Sport? You are talking about SPORT? And you bitch when I post housewifey shit...

Methinks that there will be a geek baby boom here in Oz when the iphone is finally released. Good think MPS has been spayed.

womb for improvement said...

Good call. With no British team the husband and I were planning on supporting rival teams but I guess with logic like yours I'll have to start supporting Spain with him. Come on the perennial under achievers*!

(*In match of the day's words)

B said...

what can I say, I define "quaint"

Putz said...

a family comming togeter...3 sons, 2 daughters, fam reuion, no money for gas....patriotic dogs, yes all this weekend plus the mormon miracle pageant every night for two solid weeks..i am an usher...i take all the pretty girls hands as they are entering the pageant grounds and stamp their hands with an imaginary ink stamp gaining them admittance { IT IS FREE and they can go to and fro as they please, but they don't know that} but i get to hold their hands for a minute until management catches me at it and then i am TOAST

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@James Austin - A lime marggarita eh?
Must give it a shot, once my head stops thumping.

@Karen MEG - Some of the 'orange' fashion on display last night would have made your eyes bleed.

This strategy can't really hurt though, can it.

@Kelley - It wasn't just sport woman, there was a deeper level to it.
Somewhere.

@Womb for improvement - MOTD is so full of cliches. So if you're backing Spain, you should be getting busy in about an hour!

@B - that's one of a few words I could think of...

@Putz - I hope you enjoy it Putz, before the management chase you out of there...

B said...

the other words being?

Pete Dunn said...

Reminds me of the couple years the Utah Jazz went to the NBA Finals. Too bad they got worked by Jordan.

Anja said...

The Irish can actually play football? Seriously? Do they paint ping pong balls black and white, so the little buggers don't fall over the real size ones?

The Irish can't play Rugby Union for squat.

You can't paint yourself orange, dude. Someone will mistake you for a jaffa and roll you down the aisle at a theatre.

Deb said...

Could just be the momentum you need!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@B - I couldn't possibly, not before the watershed ;0)

@Pete Dunn - I barely understand those words being a European but I'll assume it was a great sporting occasion with many spine tingling moments!

@Anja - What are you yapping on about?

Mistaken for a jaffa? I have the semen analysis results to disprove that.

@Deb - The hangovers may disagree, but it's something to go on...

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hee hee, enjoy all the jumping and humping.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

@Jo Beaufoix - It IS a huge sacrifice, beer, football and sex, but I am committed to the cause!

Chris in Happy Valley said...

I don't know if they represent Dutch football fans as a species, but those guys don't look up to fertilizing much.