1,000 Dutchmen without trousers

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Even if you're not interested in the World Cup and hate soccer, you can still appreciate a story that begins the way this one from the BBC does: "Football's governing body has explained why up to 1,000 Dutch fans watched a World Cup tie wearing no trousers." (football=soccer, in those countries living under the shadow of the metric system)

This mass pantslessness has nothing to do with some Low Countries perversion involving attending sporting events in only a euro-thong, and everything to do with marketing. The World Cup has an official beer, among many other officially sponsored items, and Fifa (soccer's governing body) has been harshly cracking down on anything that might remind spectators that any products other than those officially approved exist. Hence, the debagging of the Dutch.

Around 1,000 fans arrived for the Ivory Coast tie in their traditional bright orange trousers - but bearing the logo and name of a Dutch brewery.

To protect the rights of the official beer they were denied entry, so the male fans promptly removed the trousers and watched the game in underpants.

To add tastelessness to pantslessness, the official beer of the World Cup this year is Budweiser, Anheuser Busch having paid mightily for the privilege.

Pity the poor soccer fans attending the matches– not only are they stuck in the only places in all Germany you can't get a decent beer, but now they must live with the knowledge that at any moment they may be surrounded by the barely covered nether regions of Netherlanders. It's too high a price to pay for even a beautiful game.

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