Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sharp-Dressed Man

There have been odd noises coming from one address in Southern New England for the last week and with any luck, the noises will continue for another week or so as Euro 2012, continues in both the Ukraine and in Poland but more especially in this instance in the TV in my living room in Norwich, Connecticut.

The Dutch have gone home, the Russians have taken their leave and various others have had the curtain descend on their passion play for European Supremacy in the years between the World Cups. I pay NO attention to the Asian Championships and about as close to zero as is legally possible to the North and South American contest (when you share the continent with Mexico why show up) but the Euro championships get me hopping, brother.

I don't care if they're on the Oprah Winfrey Network ('and how did the yellow card for that wedding tackle make you feel?') as long as they are televised. I watched an entire World Cup a number of years ago, through to the championship game which was actually carried on ESPN, on one of the Spanish language TV stations because they were the only ones who had all the games. All the Spanish I can speak is whatever sounds like Latin leftover from my altar-boy tryouts and since no one named Dominus was a libero or needed to introibo, I was free to enjoy the pictures (which I did).

My guys, the German National team are the youngest team in the tournament and won all three of their first round games in the Group of Death (they, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark were all together-only two could advance) but that wasn't the talk of the tourney. Rather the 'we are red and we are white, we are Danish dynamite' contingent got everyone buzzing.

And not merely because of the distractingly beautiful Scandinavian women who showed up in the bleachers practically wearing their nation's tricots but for the sudden and unsolicited appearance of the underpants of one of their strikers, Nicklas Bendtner. This wasn't like a decade ago when Brandi Chastain sank a penalty kick to bring the Women's World Cup back here to the Land of the Round Doorknobs. After scoring, she whipped off her jersey to reveal her, and Victoria's, Secret underneath, much to the delight of young men everywhere who developed an instant interest in women's soccer regardless of the score.

Nope, this time around Nicky B scored what at the time was the tying tally against Portugal, and decided to air his dirty laundry (so to speak) and shared a world-wide glimpse of his lucky underpants covered with advertising for a legalized bookmaking service (and I'm not talking about a library). Talk about product placement. It was inadvertent he suggested as if anyone anywhere ever says 'it was advertent' (unless they're also saying 'gruntled').

The spontaneous display of unmentionables has been deemed to be not entirely without preparation and planning or as it turns out, consequences. A six figure fine and a ban from dressing for the opening game of the 2014 World Cup qualifying round seems like a stiff (sorry) price to pay for lucky boxers that really weren't. I am surprised UEFA told him he couldn't dress for the game since that was precisely what got him into trouble in the first place.
-bill kenny

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