Tuesday, February 12, 2008

ING Direct Soccer Game

Last Monday, I expected a Dutch experience: my first indoor soccer game. However, this wasn't what I expected; more Americanized than this is impossible.

It started with the ride towards the game. A colleague offered to drive me there, which was in a Hummer H2. Once I arrived, I met the team. I did not speak to everyone yet, but I haven’t even seen one American: people came from Norway, Germany, Jamaica, Curacao… And now a Dutchie as well! “No pressure Daniel, just play like Kloif!” “You mean Cruijff?”

When the game started, I was on the side for a few minutes to analyze the strategy of this team. In the first moments I thought I watched an American Football game: everyone ran towards the ball with no strategy at all. When there was a little space, someone would try to shoot on the goal like crazy! One of the reasons causing this behavior was the extremely small room we played in. Despite the amateurish level, everyone was very fanatical and really tried hard to score. The referee was a volunteer but hard-working, serious ref. They know what authority is over here: when the referee whistles, he is right about his decision – period. However, the referee was too lazy to take the basketball net out of the way, which led to funny situations.

After the game a teammate asked me if the story is true: “can you really legally buy and smoke weed in Amsterdam?” When I told him about the menu that you get in a coffeeshop (indicating all the types of weed and magic mushrooms), what you can find in the red light district, and the amazing parties in Amsterdam, he suddenly understood why the Netherlands had never won the World Championship Soccer! Maybe he’s right…

Another nice quote about soccer: "It's one of the simplest games you'll ever play (a ball, a net, and you!). ING DIRECT is one of the simplest concepts in banking--no headaches, no branches, great rates. And you'll get a kick out of both!" You can see the result of our game below. I assume I don’t have to explain that we were the visitors! See more pictures by clicking here!