City Paper is not for tourists
The Dutch have always been among the brightest soccer fans. Well, at least visually. Special correspondent Juliana Brint reports from Mackey’s Public House at 1823 L Street NW, awash in orange for Thursday’s Netherlands-Cameroon match up. “A fair number of orange clad fans here already,” she reports 10 minutes prior to the 2:30 p.m. kickoff. “Best costume thus far: guy with an orange hippo headpiece and orange boa.” She later adds: “Actually, upon further examination from a different angle, it seems the headpiece is a lion, not a hippo.”
1st minute-Got stuck at the bar next to some loud guys talking only in Dutch and ordering lots of summer ale. Some conflict: TVs were set to ESPN, the Japan-Denmark game. Guys at the bar were having none of it, got the guy to switch to ESPN2 for Netherlands versus Cameroon. New contender for favorite costume: cardboard crown with orange tulips.
7th minute-Family with four kids, all wearing orange and carrying Dutch flags just walked in. Also, the bar seems to be auctioning off a jersey.
10th minute-Wishing I understood Dutch. Only English I can hear at this point is “more Heineken.”
19th minute-Woman standing five-foot-five complains about being the shortest person here. The Dutch do seem to be fairly tall people.
22nd minute-There’s an odd divide at the bar: the front half seems to be mopey working stiffs, back half seems to be Amsterdam USA.
27th minute-Woman walks in with a blow-up orange clown and blingy fake gold necklace. Glad the female Dutch pimp contingent is represented.
36th minute-On the replay, it appears the ball went through the Cameroon goaltender’s legs. Nutmeg! Big LOLs around the bar. Holland is up, 1-0.
40th minute-Stoic guy at the bar is wearing a shirt that’s 50 percent orange, 50 percent red, white and blue (all colors in the Dutch flag, too), and 100 percent awesome
Halftime-Some sedated claps. “Going well, we just need a tie,” says the orange-clad guy next to me. “We need to keep winning!” another guy replies. “Losing’s for losers!” yet another chimes in. Bartender takes advantage of the downtime to scarf a meal. Lots of loud Dutch chatter around the bar. Some stragglers come in, pulling on orange t-shirts as they walk in. Watching highlights of Italy’s loss is super depressing. I guess I’ll have to be vicariously happy through the Dutch.
49th minute-The “leaving work early to catch the second half” crowd has arrived, sporting suits and orange ties.
54th minute-Too many common Dutch surnames is causing problems at the bar. Guy gives the name on his tab as Van…Something. The bartender comes back and asks, “You’re with the group over there, right?” Nope. “Uh, no,” the guy replies. “Fuuuuck,” the bartender sighs as he heads back to sort out the tabs.
61st minute-“I always root against the Italians,” the guy next to me says. They’re making it hard for me to live vicariously through the Dutch team.
63rd minute-Guy tells me Mackey’s is way less crowded than it was last Saturday. “It’ll be crazy Monday,” he predicts.
65th minute-Cameroon scores on a penalty shot. A few groans but no one seems too upset or worried. The Dutch are already through to the knockout round.
67th minute-Someone’s Latina girlfriend started talking in Spanish to her friend, only to be chided by her boyfriend. “No Spanish, just Dutch,” he says. “Dutch is so hard!” she replies. So much for cross-cultural understanding…
72nd minute-The little kids dressed in orange are getting antsy, skipping around the bar.
76th minute-The Latina girlfriend swoons, “Your guys’ coach looks like he should be in a GQ photoshoot.”
78th minute-Bartenders tells the orange-clad crowd, “As long as you guys don’t play the U.S., we’re good. If you do, that would be a problem.” Dutch fan replies, “No, there wouldn’t—we’d win!”
81st minute-The more tipsy the crowd becomes the more English they seem to be speaking. Thank you, Heineken!
83rd minute-An emotional rollercoaster. Excitement about the fast-break, groans on the bad first touch, then huge cheers at the beautiful goal: 2-1, Holland.
88th minute-The tulip crown is still on. Gotta admire the dedication of the Dutch supporters.
Final whistle-A quiet end to the match. Someone unfurls a Dutch flag, but no real outrageous celebrations. The orange outfits are enough.
Games resume at 10 a.m. Drinks at 8 a.m. Where to go? Consult our trusty guide: Where to Watch the World Cup.
Photo by FaceMePLS/Creative Commons Attribution License