More Dutch Underwear

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Dutch Underwear

The saga of the "leeuwenhosen" just gets more funny. A few days ago, I linked to a story about the Dutch fans who ended up watching the World Cup match against Ivory Coast in their underwear. A small Dutch brewery called Bavaria (yes, I'm sure they realize that Bavaria is not in Holland) gave out "leeuwenhosen," which is a nice pun on the German lederhosen. These garments look like lederhosen (though they're not real leather), but they are bright orange and have a lion's tail on the back. Leeuw is Dutch for "lion," and the lion is the Dutch symbol. But when Dutch supporters showed up at the match in leeuwenhosen, FIFA officials made them take off the garments, because the strap that goes across the chest had a Bavaria logo on it, and Budweiser is the official beer of the World Cup.

So for yesterday's match against Argentina, Bavaria gave out orange boxer shorts that said unterhosen across the front. This way, when the leeuwenhosen got confiscated, the supporters still had something orange. And I'm not sure this comes across if you don't have a bit of familiarity with German, but using the word unterhosen (which literally means underpants) seems to be quite funny.

Madame Tussaud's is also getting in on the action. The Amsterdam branch now has world leaders like George Bush and Tony Blair clad in leeuwenhosen.

For a small and fairly obscure brewery like Bavaria, this has been a brilliant marketing scheme.

Meanwhile, to counter the image of brawling football hooligans, check out these photos of the spontaneous party in the streets of Frankfurt where Dutch and Argentine fans celebrated together before the match. Granted, since both teams had already qualified for the second round, both sets of supporters would have been feeling pretty relaxed, but it's still a nice scene.

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