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Jul. 29 2010 — 5:11 pm | 62 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

It Never Ends

Thanks Andrea, for all the technical assistance.

Thanks Coates, for all your enthousiasm and your swift anwers to all my really dumb questions.

Thanks Michael, for your patience with me as a non-native speaker, all the language help that was needed and for nonetheless putting me on the frontpage again and again.

Thanks T/S-bloggers for all your wit, the fun and the feeling of being part of something special.

Thanks Lewis, for starting all this.

Thanks everybody at T/S – I’m going to miss you a lot.

Who ever wants to follow me around, I might be found on facebook, twitter and the rest. Also in Dutch, of course.

See you all, it never really ends.

Jul. 13 2010 — 10:15 am | 272 views | 0 recommendations | 1 comment

Celebrations for Dutch Soccer team in Amsterdam Canals

(C) Mathys van Abbe, Mobypicture

Jul. 12 2010 — 4:14 am | 252 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Hope vs. Justice = Deepest Disappointment

The Dutch military approach, where victory was the only goal, was sustained for seven ugly World Cup matches. Understanding that this method was needed to reach the finals of the tournament, Dutch soccer fans were hopeful that their national team would eventually start playing the real football again. In vain.

In the end the Dutch team became the metaphor for a pale tournament, with hardly any highlights. Hope was cherished for over a month, but it didn’t last after all – justice was done by Spanish goal getter Iniesta and what was left was one big pool of disappointment.

Dutch newspapers this morning don’t focus on the ugly game that was played by their national team, nor on the un-Dutch approach (at moments the fans thought they were watching German, Italian or Argentine players instead), but only on the disappointing grand finale. ┬áThere even is some anger against the English referee, although this man obviously could have given the Dutch one or two extra red cards. And of course there is pride. “We fought like lions”, De Telegraaf writes.

In the mean time, the rest of the world (including the non-Spanish part of it) concludes that it would have been much better if the Dutch wouldn’t have reached the finals at all. That won’t stop the Dutch authorities – and fans – from giving their heroes a warm welcome when the return home. An “almost victory”-tour in the canals of Amsterdam will be held on Tuesday, next to a bunch of other celebrations.

Jul. 11 2010 — 7:11 am | 148 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Amsterdam prepares for World Cup crowds in victory or defeat

1988, the national Dutch soccer team celebrates their European title in the canals of Amsterdam. (C) NOS

Not only in case of a Dutch victory in tonight’s Soccer World Cup Final, the city of Amsterdam is preparing “strong crowd management” for the next couple of days. “When we will become world champions, or even when we lose after a heroic battle, we consider asking non-residents to stay away from the city”, a spokesperson told city newspaper Het Parool.

Amsterdam expects at least 1.5 million visitors in case of a victory. Measures like closing highways or not allowing trains to travel to Central Station will be discussed on Monday morning. Buses and trams will be free of charge, but won’t ride in the city centre. Official celebrations are planned for Tuesday afternoon. In the World Cup scenario a canal tour will be the highlight of the celebrations. The 30+ generation has strong memories of the national team’s canal tour after winning the European Cup in 1988.

The city has already advised car owners not to park their vehicles alongside the canals in any case for the next days. Inhabitants of floating “housboats”, which are found in almost every Amsterdam canal, have already been working on reinforcement of their property. In 1988, many of them were severely damaged by the fans who climbed on every one of them, just to get a glimpse of the national players. “Chances are high that the fans again will use anything, including cars and houseboats, as a platform”, the spokesperson said.

Some smaller bridges will be closed in order to prevent their collapse should the crowds swarm over them. Starting Monday morning, the same “strong crowd management”-measures will be taken as on Queen’s Day. Which means that not only security guards but also speakers and information panels will lead the crowds into the right directions.

UPDATE: Hours before the beginning of the World Cup Final (and even days before an eventual celebration), the mayor of Amsterdam has declared his city “full”. He strongly calls upon all non-residents not to come to Amsterdam anymore today.

Jul. 9 2010 — 4:07 pm | 34 views | 0 recommendations | 0 comments

Home Sweet home, Summer of 2010

Things are getting more orange every day in the Netherlands. Look at this “typical World Cup front yard”. The Dutch seem to be pretty confident about their chances at winning the world cup finals next sunday.

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    About Me

    Managing editor Hyperlocal Online Media for Telegraaf Media Netherlands. Building an online network of connected local platforms for news and other information in the Netherlands. Convinced to find a combination of sustainable business models. Former editor-in-chief Sp!ts, 3rd largest national newspaper in the Netherlands and of Dagblad De Limburger, one of the largest regional daily's. Member of the Dutch Press Complaints Commission. Boardmember of Kim, forum for reflection on (the ethics of) journalism. Member of the committee for contact with professionals at the Tilburg based Fontys School of Journalism (FHJ). Between january-june 2009 member of the temporary commission "Innovation and Future of the Press" of the minister of Media. Master in Eastern European History and the author of books on Journalism and Cycling. Living in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Cycling addict. Married, two kids. Find me on twitter: @brewbart

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    Location:Haarlem, the Netherlands