Today marks the opening of Euro 2012. The Euros are like the World Cup, but with just European countries. For those of you who still have no idea what I am talking about... the World Cup is this tournament held every 4 years to crown the world's best soccer team... and soccer is that sport you see elementary school kids playing on Saturday mornings with their feet.
So, here at Lists That Actually Matter, we thought we'd take it upon ourselves to give our fellow hard-working Americans a few simple tidbits about the Euros, so you can finally understand what all those liberals and foreigners are talking about.
Host Countries Auto-Qualify: In order to be one of the 16 countries in the Euros, you must qualify, which I guess means there are more than 16 countries in Europe. However, the host country gets a free pass into the tournament, while the rest of the countries duke it out in qualifications. Typical European socialist policy.
The 2012 Euros have two host countries: Poland and Ukraine. So apparently these two countries do more than just buddy up to fill-out neighborhoods on the west side of Chicago. Neither country is very good because most of their best players are here in Chicago running the construction industry, but at least they will have the home fans on their side. And I imagine their fans will all be wearing dated-polos tucked into jogging pants.
Spain is really good and Portugal is pretty good, but they are apparently two different countries that speak two different languages. I'm not buying it.
Ireland is a huge underdog, but a huge favorite to be the team that most Americans fake they are fans of. In other words, buy stock in Guinness but make sure to sell that stock in two weeks. Capitalism.
Holland dresses like hipsters: Our Dutch friends wear bright orange uniforms, but do not wear wooden shoes. That's just stereotyping.
Italy wears blue uniforms, but their flag is still red, white, and green. The Italian players are also very fashionable, smoke cigarettes while they play, fake tons of injuries to draw fouls, and often try to payoff referees (see also 2006 scandal). Only one statement in that last sentence was a lie.
Everybody hates Germany: In America, only our Jewish friends hate the Germans. In Europe, all other countries hate Germany. Many people believe it stems from something Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski did in the '30s and '40s.
One of France's star players looks like Sloth from The Goonies.
Greece qualified, but apparently the players had to sell their cars and pawn their family jewelry to pay for the trip to Poland.
Vladimir Putin made every player on the Russian team change their name to Vladimir Putin, so don't get confused.