Friday marks the start of one of my favorite quadrennial traditions, the European football (soccer) championships (also known as Euro 2012). Even if you don’t like soccer, you may have been exposed to the euphoria of Landon ‘Landycakes‘ Donovan, as he scored a last gasp goal against Algeria to put the USA through to the knock-out rounds in the 2010 World Cup. In 2011, you saw Abby Wambach score on a header to level the score against Brazil in the Women’s World Cup. The European championships are like a mini-World Cup, but only for Europe, and some would say a tournament contested at a higher level. Every four years, my brother and I journey to the promised land (in this case Poland) to watch the games at the local Fan Fest, meet random fans, and get rowdy like you can only do on holiday.
You may think that my team to support would be England, seeing as how my fake fifth cousin Wayne (who starts the tournament serving a two game ban for kicking out at an opponent during a qualifier…which is probably only in the middle of stupid things he has done) is English, but that is not the case. Next you might turn to the land of my real ancestors, ze Germans, but ever since the bad sport Michael Ballack scored against the winner, the USA in 2002, helped in part by some atrocious refereeing, I turn elsewhere. That brings us to the Dutch and the Portuguese. The Ajax teams of 1995 and 1996 started my affair with Le Oranje, while Portugal gets points for being a great place to visit, as well as including United old-boy and sometime Kardashian dater, Cristiano Ronaldo. To celebrate this great event, let’s journey through a hat trick of patents!