Who should you, the sporting gentleman, root for in the World Cup Final, a game where unless you are Dutch or Spanish one is forced to adopt a foreign country's squad in order to stake out some partisan ground? Whose brew should you hoist high in the wood-paneled oases of respite you call home, aka your neighborhood taverns? Whose style of play favors your natural sporting sympathies? WHOSE MAIDENS ARE THE MOST COMELY AND PLEASING TO THE EYE?
These questions will be lapped at dangerous speeds in our six-cyliner racing jalopy motorcar below by category in order to facilitate gentlemanly efficiency in making one's pick. Put away that snuff, man, and hop into the rumbleseat with celerity!
HOLLAND: Pickled Herring. Not conducive to the attraction of buxom ladies in hoop dresses due to the odoriferous exhalations created by its consumption, but proteinaceous and therefore advantageous for the builders of bodies and those fond of mansome athletic exertions.
SPAIN: Jamon. Ham so sweet and succulent you would vouchsafe its purchase from the thighs of sainted porcine angels.
VERBIAGE ASSOCIATED WITH EACH TEAM:
VAN BOMMEL'D: Derived from the name of Dutch National Team member Mark Van Bommel, and indicates the savage assault of a player on the field without the notice of the referee.
PUYOLESCA: A delicious pasta dish tossed in garlic, olive oil, and worn on the head while playing defender.
HOLLAND: Beer. Stout, flavorful ales strong enough to fortify souls driven mad by the whirring of windmills and the howling North Sea winds.
SPAIN: Rioja. A lively red wine served with late Spanish dinners. And sometimes with lunch, and occasionally in between to strengthen the constitution. From time to time, it is consumed with breakfast. And while driving. Sometimes consumed by Iberia Air pilots to reduce stress. Recommended for teething babies. Sometimes given to dogs in a pinch if the water's out and they look thirsty. Official sports wine of the Spanish National Soccer Team.
SPAIN. Measured, methodical, and patient, with an emphasis placed on the continued calculated possession of the ball, but festooned with unnecessary theatrics in the manner of beflopping oneself upon the greenery of the hallowed pitch.
HOLLAND: Measured, methodical, and patient, with an emphasis placed on the continued calculated possession of the ball, but festooned with unnecessary theatrics in the manner of beflopping oneself upon the greenery of the hallowed pitch as performed by those with beknighted, hairless pates in the manner of Caesar himself.
SPAIN: Playing in red garments reminiscent of the royal crest of Spain, and stealthily resistant to stains from sport-wine Rioja.
HOLLAND: Playing in orange, the color of the House of Orange, and additionally luminescent enough to be espied during wintry games when players may be buried by weighty snowdrifts in a most inconvenient manner.
ILLICIT PREFERENCES OF EACH NATION-STATE LISTED IN DISCREET MANNER:
SPAIN: The nightly covert a-smuggling of Africans across the money-strewn rock of Gibraltar and its surrounding waters into the Union European for performance of services too cheap for white-gloved Europeans to perform whilst cashing generous cheques from the Crown.
HOLLAND: The nightly prowling of the district illumined by crimson lights for the attentions of maidens most purchasable after much consumption of the intoxicating leaf of the cannabis plant and its perpetual culinary coat-tail, the well-baked fry of the French.
TRADITIONS BORN OF THE COMMUNAL WILL TO CHANT IN UNISON DURING EVENTS MOST SPORTING:
SPAIN: Comments most derogatory made in the manner addressing ones ethnicity, religion, or mother and her position vis-a-vis said chanter, group of chanters, horses, or the very evil Devil Mephistopheles himself.
HOLLAND: Limited to those comments pertaining to mothers, their perceived lack of virtue, and services rendered under unsavory and potentially illegal cash agreements.
STATUS OF THE RELATIVE SUB-CANINE AS DEEMED BY PAST HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE:
SPAIN: Sub-canine of sub-canines herein, as they have the lines of the Finals pitch ne'er crossed in competition.
HOLLAND: A sub-canine only by sentiment's watery delusions, as they have donned the Finalist's Laurels in the years of our Lord 1974 and '78.
HAVE THEY WITH THEM ARTILLERY ENOUGH FOR A PROPER BATTLE?
SPAIN: Aside from the Quixote of Spanish soccer himself Senor David de Villa, no, but with Iker Casillas manning the castle gates need you more than one bullet to split a single orange?
HOLLAND: Yes, a veritably armory crowned with a dastardly, fearsome cannon dubbed "The Van Bronckhorst."
MODE OF CELEBRATION RELATIVE TO THE NORMAL BEHAVIOR OF THE CITIZENS OF EACH COUNTRY
SPAIN: The ignition of road flares will accompany rhythmic dancing, alcohol consumption, and furtive amorous liaisons with total strangers after much atonal singing and chanting, a mode of living not altogether different from many Saturday evenings of note in the metropoli of the Iberian peninsula.
HOLLAND: Conjugal pile-ups in public coupled with the Heineken brewery bursting a dike holding back a reservoir of beer, thus flooding the cobbled streets of olde Amsterdam. No one shall speak of this in years to follow barring the allotment of support funds owed for children fostered this evening, and work shall recommence dourly at 10 a.m. the following day lest the beer-sea obstruct the commuter's step the following morning.
Make your decision, sporting gentlemen, and join us for the World Cup on Sunday.