Jul 10, 2014
Sportsball Time! USA v Belgium Preview
The United States is playing tiny, adorable Belgium today in sportsball, and it’s an important thing because whichever team loses won’t be able allowed to play in this sportsball tournament anymore. And while national-team athletics are usually a great way to sublimate humans’ men’s thirst for war, it’s awfully difficult to get our jingoism on when the opponent is a country with whom we’ve never had a major dispute. And as far as we know, Hollywood hasn’t made any movies in which Lee Majors or Steve McQueen defeats the Belgian scourge and saves the world for democracy, so where will we find our cultural touchstones?
On Twitter, you can see people searching for a reason to get excited about USA v Belgium. Here is an image of rapping soccer god Clint Dempsey eating waffles, because Belgian waffles, get it?
— Zoo With Roy (@zoowithroy) July 1, 2014
Here’s the Smithsonian Institute trying to get in on the “fun.”
Here’s ESPN encouraging red-blooded Americans to choose freedom cakes as their syrup delivery vehicle of choice.
— ESPN (@espn) July 1, 2014
STEP UP YOUR GAME, INTERNET. You wanna talk some shit about Belgium? Here’s how you do it.
-Hey Belgium, bet you’re pretty good at not using your hands in soccerball, on account of you cut off all those people’s hands in the Congo back in the day, haw haw haw!
-Hey Belgium, watch out for long balls over the top of your defense, wouldn’t want you to suffer a second Fort Eben-Emael, yo. WAFFLE STATUS: BURNT TO A CRISP!
-Hey Belgium, you can’t spell “Antwerp” without “twerp,” AWWWWW SNAP!
-Hey Belgium, y’know those creepy, North Korea-esque “goals” you set for your fans in the run-up to the World Cup? Like, “Produce 500,000 db of sound,” or “a King Baudouin Stadium full of children’s drawings?” Creepy as balls, seriously, knock that off, it’s kind of weird.
-Hey Belgium, thanks for inventing Stella Artois, you’ve made it much easier to figure out who to avoid in a given bar. If we wanted to drink piss-flavored beer, we’d just order a Budweiser, which you also own, screw you, Belgium.
-Hey Belgium, what’s the Belgian word for “reclaimed land lying below sea level,” oh wait, Belgian isn’t even a language, STUPID!
-Hey Belgium, why don’t you go dunk your tears in mayonnaise, like you do with every other thing on the planet? Boom, roasted.
Man, turns out it’s pretty hard to get angry at Belgium! Even the narrator in Heart of Darkness couldn’t bring himself to truly hate Belgium. Do you know who is the scariest Belgian in American pop culture is? It’s Dr. Evil. Remember the “Belgian dip?”
Do you know who Belgium’s best-known hero is? It’s Tintin, a reporter with a snow-white fox terrier, A GODDAMN FOX TERRIER.
No matter who wins today, America loses because Belgium simply can’t play the arch-nemesis role we demand from our villains. This isn’t Rocky fighting Ivan Drago, this is Rocky fighting some Belgian dude with asthma. But seriously, Belgium’s probably going to win today. They’re really good at this particular type of sportsball.
Follow Dan on Twitter.